Dr. Rachel Levine, Pa’s former secretary of health, promises inclusion in her new role as a four-star public health service admiral

Written by on October 20, 2021

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s former secretary of health, promises inclusion in her new role as a four-star public health service admiral

By Dave Heller

October 20, 2021

Former Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, was sworn in Oct. 19, 2021 as a 4-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Photo | Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s former secretary of health is now a 4-star admiral. Dr. Rachel Levine was confirmed Tuesday to lead the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by the U.S. Senate. 

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She is the first openly transgender four-star officer in the nation’s eight uniformed services. 

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is a 6,000-person force that responds to health crises on behalf of the federal government, including administering coronavirus vaccines and delivering care after hurricanes. 

Levine is the organization’s first female four-star admiral and stressed the importance of inclusiveness following her swearing-in ceremony;    

 “I commit to you that I will be rigorous in my approach. I will follow the science to build a healthier future where we work to create an environment in which no-one is left behind,” Levine said. 

During her tenure as Pennsylvania’s health secretary, she became well-known for her daily COVID-19 updates and reminding residents to wear a mask. Earlier this year she was tapped by President Joe Biden to serve as United States assistant secretary for health.

Levine is one of only a few openly transgender government officials in the United States and the first to hold an office that requires Senate confirmation.

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