HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that he will nominate Alison Beam, one of his top advisers, to serve in the post of  Secretary of Health to replace Dr. Rachel Levine, who was named assistant secretary of health by President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Beam had been Wolf’s deputy chief of staff,  coordinating with the Department of Health as well as the departments of Human Services, Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs and Insurance.

“Alison Beam is a talented public servant who brings years of experience in health care policy and implementation to this position,” Wolf said. “Alison knows that a strong, widely available, and successful vaccination strategy is the path out of the pains of this pandemic. Her foremost and immediate focus will be on the strategic distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, making sure Pennsylvania receives as many doses as possible from the federal government, and that the Pennsylvania Department of Health coordinates with hospitals, health centers, county and local governments, and pharmacy partners to make this vaccine as widely available as possible to Pennsylvanians everywhere.”

Beam will begin serving as acting secretary of health on Saturday, Wolf said.

Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny County, said Beam has “big shoes to fill” in replacing Levine, who’d served as the public face of Pennsylvania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Her strong background in health care program management and project rollout is going to be invaluable as we work to get vaccines to every Pennsylvanian in the coming weeks. Her broad-based experiences in health-related agencies in the Commonwealth will enable her to serve us all well in this new role,” Costa said.

Prior to joining to the Governor’s Office, Beam served as Chief of Staff to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. She also previously served as Director of Public Policy and Associate Counsel for Independence Health Group in Philadelphia.

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