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Penn State Hershey Doctor Named PA Physician General

Doctor Rachel Levine has worked for the Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center for 18 years as a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, the Center’s Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, and sits on the Equality PA Board. She also works as the liaison for LGBT Affairs. Now, she’s been named to cabinet of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf as the state’s Physician General.

As Physician General, Levine will advise both the governor and secretary of the Department of Health on medical and public health related subject matter.

In a press release, Wolf described Levine as “well respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades.

“She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders,” he said. “It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the Secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters.”

The appointment is a monument in itself after it was revealed thats Levine’s hiring would make her the first transgender woman to serve as Physician General. Levine transitioned five years ago. As reported by, Levine will become the highest-ranked transgender woman in Pennsylvania state government history if confirmed to the cabinet.

The physician general position is one that needs to be approved by the Pennsylvania Senate. If she isn’t confirmed, a spokesman for Wolf has already stated that Levine would still hold the part, but as a senior advisor.

Unfortunately, many fear that Levine may not get confirmed due to beliefs like those of Diane Gramley, the President of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, who said that “Tom Wolf is following the lead of another liberal governor — Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who just one year ago named Dr. Marissa Levine, another transgender, to be his commissioner of health.” She continued to call the decision a “mistake”, stating it would normalize transgenderism.

If voted into the cabinet, Dr. Levine’s plans include placing focus on the intersection of medical, mental, and behavior technologies. To do this, she wishes to work with the new leader of Departments of Health and Human Services.

“It will be really, really important to have a strong voice in terms of those public health issues, health matters for the Department of Health and Administration,” she stated.


About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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