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Governor Announces Pick for Head of New Department of Health and Human Services

May 23, 2017

Today, Governor Wolf announced current Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller as his pick to lead the proposed Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services. Miller has served as Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner since 2015. 

During the announcement, Governor Wolf touted the commissioner’s work to address the opioid epidemic and her commitment to seniors.

Miller focused on her experience working on mental health and drug and alcohol issues as well. Starting in Oregon, Miller advocated for mental health parity legislation and access to drug and alcohol treatment. Working with the Obama Administration, she had oversight for the implementation of the federal mental health parity law, and as Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner, worked to educate consumers about their rights under state and federal laws and to ensure insurers are compliant.

In February, the Governor unveiled his plan for the unification of four agencies into one, the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of his state budget proposal.  Four agencies, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, Department of Drug and Alcohol, and the Department of Aging would fall under one secretary. According to the governor’s office, the unification would save approximately $90 million, improve the consumer experience, and create efficiencies.

Legislation has been introduced to create the new department, which must pass the state House of Representatives and Senate.

For more information or questions, please contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice-president state legislative advocacy, or Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice-president legislative advocacy.

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