Admiral Rachel L. Levine, the 17th assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will visit Lehigh’s new Health, Science and Technology Building (HST) Thursday, April 28, to discuss how she’s working to help the nation overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her presentation, “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Public Health Perspectives from the Assistant Secretary for Health,” will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in HST’s Community Health Room at 124 E. Morton St.
Those who are unable to attend in person may log on via Zoom. The event is sponsored by the College of Health and its Institute of Health Policy & Politics. It is also being promoted by the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Lehigh’s Pride Center, and Lehigh’s Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Health Medicine and Society programs.
Levine was nominated to her current role by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021. As assistant secretary for health, she’s working to help the nation overcome the pandemic and build a stronger foundation for a healthier future, one in which every American can attain their full health potential, says her biography on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
Levine also is head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the eight uniformed services. She was also recently named one of the “12 Women of the Year” by USA Today.
A Harvard grad and pediatrician, she was previously Pennsylvania’s Physician General, nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015 and subsequently, unanimously confirmed by the state Senate. In 2018, she was named Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health.
She is the highest-ranking openly transgender official in the country.
Levine’s career in health began after graduating from Harvard College and Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She also was a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine.
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.
Lehigh’s new HST Building is home to the College of Health. The building is designed to encourage collaboration between disciplines with open-concept labs, integrated workspaces and shared meeting spaces instead of formal classrooms.
In January, 32 faculty members and 15 labs from existing areas on campus, including the College of Health, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences were moved into the building. An open house and campus-wide celebration are planned for the fall.