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PA Senate Confirms Bogen For Health Secretary

Dr. Debra Bogen

The Pennsylvania State Senate confirmed Governor Josh Shapiro’s nomination of Dr. Debra L. Bogen as Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday.

Bogen was appointed to her post by Shapiro following more than three decades as a primary care pediatrician and nearly three years at the helm of the Allegheny County Health Department.

“Secretary Bogen has done incredible work leading the Department of Health since the beginning of my Administration – she is working to ensure every Pennsylvanian has access to the care they need as they grow and age, has built strong relationships across the Commonwealth, and has helped keep Pennsylvanians safe in emergencies,” said the governor “I’m grateful for her leadership and proud she was confirmed by the Senate last night.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled by Governor Shapiro’s unwavering confidence and the bipartisan support of the Pennsylvania Senate,” said Bogen. “I look forward to continuing to focus on improving health and wellness of Pennsylvanians and working with the incredible team of public health professionals at the Department of Health and in collaboration with our sister state agencies.”

Since taking office, Secretary Bogen has traveled across the Commonwealth to hear directly from health professionals, stakeholders, and legislators to identify public health priorities and challenges. Under Secretary Bogen’s leadership, among other things, the Department of Health:

  • created the Long-Term Care Transformation Office (LTCTO) to help address the long-term care industry’s challenges and distributed $14.2 million to allow long-term care communities to invest in numerous projects to improve their respective facility’s infrastructure and provide staff access to advanced training;
  • created the Division of Maternal Health Services, after a bipartisan funding in last year’s budget, to focus on improving maternal health across Pennsylvania, especially for Black women who are nearly two times more likely to die or experience unexpected complications during pregnancy or in the first year after pregnancy, or have a serious health condition during delivery;
  • actively engaged with EMS partners across the state to find solutions to challenges they face and launched a $1 million tuition assistance program to help recruit and retain EMS professionals;
  • worked with local physicians and led the public health response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, OH, that impacted Pennsylvania residents;
  • took formal action to limit access to xylazine — a powerful sedative approved for veterinary use but increasingly found in Pennsylvania’s illicit drug supply; and
  • worked with Special Supplemental Nutrition Program local agencies for Women, Infants, and Children — better known as WIC — to add mobile clinics to expand access to services.

 

Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Dr. Bogen was the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department, where she and her staff stayed on top of the COVID-19 pandemic and provided consistent, measured, and common-sense information to the public while working closely with many stakeholders in the county.

Dr. Bogen earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency and general academic pediatrics fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was one of the founders of the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank and served as the organization’s Volunteer Medical Director until assuming her role at the state.

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