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Acting Health Secretary to depart Wolf Administration

Dr. Denise Johnson is taking the place of Keara Klinepeter

Source: Office of Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that Department of Health Acting Secretary Keara Klinepeter resigned from her position with the commonwealth on April 22. The governor also announced his intention to name Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson to serve as Acting Secretary.

“Keara has been an asset to the Department of Health and the Wolf Administration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing necessary leadership and guidance to prepare for the endemic phase of the pandemic,” said Wolf. “Thank you, Acting Secretary Klinepeter, for your leadership. You have helped develop policies, guidance and best practices to support Pennsylvania’s public health system throughout the pandemic and during this transition that have made the lives of Pennsylvanians better.”

Prior to Acting Secretary, Klinepeter served as the Executive Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health and as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Health, where she worked extensively on COVID-19 response, including helping to lead the state’s successful vaccine rollout and working closely with hospitals to manage patient surges. Klinepeter also served as the Director of Rural Health Innovation for the department, where she was responsible for designing, implementing and expanding population health initiatives that focus on social determinants of health.

“Thank you to Gov. Wolf, the Wolf Administration’s leadership team and the incredibly dedicated Department of Health employees,” said Klinepeter. “Working alongside the Department of Health’s devoted staff during a global once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has been an absolute honor. I am proud of the work we have accomplished to better the lives of all Pennsylvanians.”

Following Klinepeter’s departure, Johnson assumed the acting position.

“Thank you to Gov. Wolf and Acting Secretary Klinepeter for their steadfast leadership, especially during this trying time for all Pennsylvanians,” said Johnson. “The pandemic has changed many aspects of public health here in Pennsylvania and nationwide. I am honored to lead the department during this transformative time in public health and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the tremendous employees at the Department of Health and ensuring our health remains a top priority throughout the commonwealth.”

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