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Pennsylvania’s Acting Health Care Secretaries Face Committee for Confirmation

March 19, 2018

Pennsylvania’s Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), held the next step in the confirmation process to formally place the acting secretaries for Pennsylvania’s three health agencies.

Acting Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith, Acting Secretary of the Department of Health Rachel Levine, and Acting Secretary of the Department of Human Services Teresa Miller, all appeared before the committee today to address questions from legislators.

The opioid epidemic was top of mind for the majority of the hearing, with questions centering on access to treatment for those suffering from substance abuse disorder and funding.

“We thank the acting secretaries for their dedication to the commonwealth and look forward to continuing our close working relationship,” said Andy Carter, President and CEO, The Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). “Our continued collaboration is crucial in combatting the opioid crisis, but also in maintaining access and quality health care in all regions of Pennsylvania.”

Final confirmation of their positions now head to the full Senate chamber.

HAP has worked closely with the three acting secretaries during their interim period.  Most recently, HAP is currently partnering with the departments on six warm hand-off regional summits during March and April that will bring together providers and county officials share warm hand-off best practices.

For more information on the confirmation hearing, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy. For more information about the hospital community’s efforts to address the opioid crisis, contact Michael Consuelos, M.D., HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration. 

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