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Department of Health
Executive Leadership

Acting Secretary of Health
Keara Klinepeter

Keara Klinepeter most recently served as the Executive Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Health, where she worked extensively on COVID-19 response, including helping to lead the state's successful vaccine roll-out and working closely with hospitals to manage patient surges. She also has experience working with Long-Term Care Facilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leading multiple procurements, and working with the Department of Human Services to co-lead the Regional Response Healthcare Collaborative Program and the transition to the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams. Ms. Klinepeter has experience representing the department through testimony to the PA Legislature, publicly in media events and by engaging daily with a range of stakeholders.
Ms. Klinepeter has also previously served as the Director of Rural Health Innovation, also within the Department of Health, where she was responsible for designing, implementing, and expanding population health initiatives that focus on social determinants of health; coordinating external technical assistance opportunities from external entities for hospitals and associated funding lines; and advancing the PA Health Model through strategic and design thinking.

Before coming to the department, Ms. Klinepeter worked for the MITRE Corporation in strategy and policy roles across the healthcare and national security domains. Ms. Klinepeter also served as a fellow at the Coro Center for Civic Engagement in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Klinepeter completed her undergraduate career at Chatham University, where she earned a double major in Economics and Political Science. She also completed her Masters of Science in Health Care Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Physician General
Dr. Denise A. Johnson

Dr. Denise A. Johnson, M.D., FACOG, FACHE is the Physician General. Prior to serving in this role, Dr. Johnson was most recently Chief Medical Officer at Meadville Medical Center. Before joining the Meadville Medical Center leadership team in 2008, Dr. Johnson spent 13 years in private practice in Meadville.  She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She serves on the Governor's Commission for Women.

Dr. Johnson has been involved in various community and regional groups focusing on diversity and inclusion and on the needs of women and is the current board chair of the Meadville Area Free Clinic. She is past chair of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

She received her Medical Degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Executive Deputy Secretary
Pete Blank

Pete Blank is the Executive Deputy Secretary. Mr. Blank most recently served as Policy Director at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to this role, he worked as an Executive Policy Specialist within the Office of Policy since 2018. Before joining the Department, Mr. Blank held various roles in non-profits supporting early childhood education programs in Colorado and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Peru focusing on environmental and public health issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Miami University (Ohio) and a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.


Deputy Secretary for Administration
Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith is the Deputy Secretary for Administration. Ms. Smith most recently worked as a contractor with the Department of Health for the past few years. Prior to this role, she served 35 years with the Commonwealth which culminated with her appointment as Deputy Secretary for Administration with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). She played an instrumental role in creating the Commonwealth's first Human Resource Service Center at DMVA. Her fiscal management experience began in the Department of Health, where much of her professional growth occurred over the course of twenty years.

Deputy Secretary of Health Resources and Services/Chief Business Analytics Officer
Jared Shinabery

Jared M. Shinabery is the Deputy Secretary of Health Resources and Services/Chief Business Analytics Officer at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Mr. Shinabery oversees the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries, the Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention, the Health Research Office, and the Primary Care Office. Prior to serving in this role, he was the Director of the Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention.

Mr. Shinabery has led several successful statewide initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, including the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the Overdose Surveillance Program, the Patient Advocacy Program, the Safe and Effective Prescribing Education Program, and the First Responder Addiction and Connection to Treatment Program. As a result, Mr. Shinabery and his team were awarded the Governor’s Award of Excellence for outstanding contribution to public health twice, once in 2017 and again in 2020.

Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Mr. Shinabery worked at Eliza Corporation designing data-driven population health management solutions for health plans across the country. Mr. Shinabery has a Master of Public Health Degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Deputy Secretary, Health Preparedness and Community Protection


Deputy Secretary, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Cindy Findley

Cindy Findley is the Deputy Secretary, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Ms. Findley has been with the Pennsylvania Department of Health since 2000, and began her public health career as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Health Planning and Assessment where she was involved with the Bureaus of Community Health Systems, Health Planning, Laboratory, Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Medical Services. In this role, she worked closely with program staff and helped determine their policy needs and assisted with various procedures.

Ms. Findley then became a program administrator with the Special Kids Network in the Bureau of Family Health. From there, she was promoted to the program manager in the Division of Immunizations Vaccines for Children program, and then to the Division Director for Immunizations.

In 2017, Ms. Findley became the Bureau Director of Communicable Diseases, where she oversaw the Divisions of Immunizations, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Tuberculosis and HIV. Ms. Findley also served as the Acting Deputy Secretary this past year from April to July. Cindy has over 20 years of Social Work experience in the fields of long-term care and acute care hospital settings. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her Master's degree in Social Work from Temple University of Pennsylvania.

Deputy Secretary, Quality Assurance
Susan Coble

Susan Coble is the Deputy Secretary of Quality Assurance at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to becoming Deputy Secretary for QA, Ms. Coble 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 Kostelac is the Chief Counsel at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Ms. Kostelac 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
Barry Ciccocioppo

Director, Office of Legislative Affairs
Dave Toth

Dave Toth is the Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Mr. Toth has over a decade of public service beginning in 2006 working as a Legislative Assistant and Chief of Staff to three state Representatives in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2015, Mr. Toth joined the Department of Human Services as a Legislative Specialist, focusing on the Office of Long-Term Living and Office of Developmental Programs. In 2017, Mr. Toth was named Legislative Director for the Department of Aging and in March of 2019 his role expanded to Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs.

Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Faith Haeussler


Director, Office of Policy
Lori Gutierrez

Lori Gutierrez is the Director of the Policy Office. Ms. Gutierrez brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. She has been with the Department since 2004 and served in a variety of positions within the Bureau of Community Health Systems and the Bureau of Emergency Preparedness and Response. Ms. Gutierrez joined the policy office in 2015 where, most recently, she served as the deputy policy director and coordinated the update to the Department's hospital and long term care facility regulations. She is a 2010 graduate of the Commonwealth's Leadership Development Institute, and received her undergraduate (Public Policy) and graduate (Public Administration) degrees from Penn State University.

Director, Office of Operational Excellence
Emily Gibeau

Emily Gibeau is the Director for the Office of Operational Excellence (OpEx). Ms. Gibeau most recently held the position of the Director of Quality Improvement and Performance Management in OpEx. Prior to that role, she worked as a PHPA overseeing implementation of Lean and performance management efforts in PADOH's Bureau of Health Planning since 2017. Before joining the PADOH, Ms. Gibeau had previous positions as a program coordinator at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for the adult vaccine program, at the Temple University School of Medicine's Clinical Research Institute as a field worker implementing a community health needs assessment and concurrent epidemiological study, and was the program coordinator and a site worker for Philadelphia's syringe access program. Ms. Gibeau holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the New School University and Parsons School of Design, and received her Master of Public Health from Temple University's College of Public Health in 2009.