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Department of Health Executive Leadership

Secretary of Health
Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. Levine is currently the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. She is also the President-Elect of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, with her term beginning on September 26, 2019.

Dr. Levine joined the Wolf administration in January 2015 as the Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and served from 2015-2017. She was named Acting Secretary of Health in July 2017 and confirmed as Secretary of Health in March 2018.

Her previous posts included: Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

In addition to her recent posts Dr. Levine is also an accomplished regional and international speaker, and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBT medicine.

Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine.  She completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Executive Deputy Secretary
Sarah Newman Boateng

Sarah Newman Boateng is the executive deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to serving in this role, Ms. Boateng served as the special assistant to the Physician General at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Keystone. Ms. Boateng is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University.

Deputy Secretary, Administration for Shared Services
Carolyn Ellison

As part of the Shared Services Initiative to consolidate the Administrative and Budget functions of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Aging and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Carolyn will oversee administrative functions for all departments. Carolyn has worked for the Department of Human Services the past five years as a project management consultant in the Secretary's Office through Computer Aid Inc. Prior to that, she served as a commonwealth employee for 10 years in both the Department of Health and the Pennsylvanian Liquor Control Board in various capacities.

Deputy Secretary, Health Innovation
Meghna Patel

Deputy Secretary, Health Preparedness and Community Protection
Raphael (Ray) Barishansky

Ray serves as the deputy secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection and is responsible for 1) monitoring, tracking and analyzing the health status of Pennsylvania communities; 2) overseeing the state laboratories and licenses independent clinical labs; 3) supervising emergency medical services; and 4) ensuring epidemiological data collection, dissemination and analysis. Bureaus include: Community Health Systems; Emergency Medical Services; Epidemiology; Laboratories; and Public Health Preparedness.

Ray holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Touro College, a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College and a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies from Long Island University. He is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2006) and has also earned a Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification through Arizona State University.

Ray brings experience in large governmental agencies as well as in writing, developing and testing realistic operational emergency plans and interacting with all levels of emergency services personnel in both the private and public sector.

Deputy Secretary, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Dr. Loren Robinson

Dr. Robinson serves as the deputy secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is responsible for developing and implementing a wide variety of educational, preventative and treatment programs for people of all ages. Bureaus within this area include: Communicable Diseases; Family Health; WIC; Health Promotion and Risk Reduction; and the Office of Health Equity.

Before joining the department, Dr. Robinson was a staff physician at the Cobbs Creek Clinic with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She also served as a staff physician for the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, as well as other hospitals in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Dr. Robinson was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program and at the Penn Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She was also a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine.

She received her medical degree at Duke University and completed residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Robinson also has served abroad as a fellow in the Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship Harvard University, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.   

Deputy Secretary, Quality Assurance
Susan Coble

Prior to becoming Deputy Secretary for QA, Susan was the Director for the Bureau of Community Program Licensure and Certification, where she managed various programs including home health, intermediate care, tanning and the drug devices and cosmetic act. Susan has a robust background in nursing, with over 25 years of experience working in nursing homes. She also worked at Penn State Hershey for 10 years where she directed operations for the department of medicine and managed National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.

Chief Counsel
Yvette Kostelac

Yvette has been an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Health since 1990.  During her tenure with the Department of Health, she has acted as counsel to several of the Department’s regulatory programs and nearly each one of the Department’s public health bureaus. She was appointed Deputy Chief Counsel in 2015 and continued in that position until her appointment as Chief Counsel.

Director, Office of Communications
April Hutcheson

April Hutcheson is an experienced media relations expert with more than two decades of professional work in crisis communications and public relations, as well as experience helping non-profit organizations increase awareness to build member and donor bases.  She currently serves as the Director of Communications at the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

At the Department of Health, April oversees all external communications and serves as the communications lead for the Opioid Command Center. She has worked on high profile issues like the implementation of the medical marijuana program and serves as a department spokesperson.

April has served Pennsylvania governors Ridge, Schewiker, Rendell and Wolf in communications roles. She has also served in the private sector providing public relations, association management, strategic planning and organizational support for non-profit organizations, public relations firms and marketing companies nationally and internationally.

April is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Excellence in Technology Award for her work as part of the Opioid Data Dashboard Team.  She was named to the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 list 2012. The International Association of Business Communicators also has recognized April for her work on the DEP 2000 Annual Report, and by the Religious Public Relations Council of America for crisis communications.

A Philadelphia native, April holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master's in Journalism from Temple University.  She also is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Director, Office of Legislative Affairs
Erin Molchany

Director, Office of Policy
Kimberly Early

Kimberly serves as the director for the Office of Policy and is responsible for directing policy development activities for the department. Most recently, Kimberly served as the deputy director of the Office of Policy Development in the Department of Human Services.

She is a licensed social worker, receiving a bachelor's of science degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and a master's of Social Work at Temple University. She began her career in the mental health field before working in child welfare as a child protective services caseworker. In 2002, she joined the commonwealth as a human services program specialist in the Department of Human Services. She later worked for the Department of Health managing grants related to children's health, before returning to the Department of Human Services as a legislative specialist. Kimberly also served as a public health program manager in the Department of Health preparing for public health accreditation.

Fiscal Management Director, Office of the Budget, Shared Services for Health and Human Services
Ronni Burkhart