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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.

As physician general, Dr. Levine made significant strides combating the opioid epidemic and advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ population. She spearheaded the efforts to establish opioid prescribing guidelines and establish opioid prescribing education for medical students. She also led an LGBTQ workgroup for the governor's office which has worked to create programs and processes that are fair and inclusive in healthcare, insurance, and many other areas. Recently, Dr. Levine was recognized as one of NBC's Pride 30, a national list of 30 people who are both members of and making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ community.

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 Children's Hospital-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in pediatrics at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City and then did a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Mt. Sinai. She then practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine in New York City and was on the faculty of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. She came to Central Pennsylvania in 1993 as the director of Ambulatory Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Polyclinic Medical Center. She joined the staff at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 1996 as the director of Pediatric Ambulatory Services and Adolescent Medicine.

Her accomplishments at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center include the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. In addition, she started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. She was the Liaison for the LGBT community for the Office of Diversity at the Penn State College of Medicine. In that role, she established a LGBT faculty and staff affinity group and was the facilitator for the LGBT student group.

Dr. Levine teaches at the Penn State College of Medicine on topics in adolescent medicine, eating disorders and transgender medicine. In addition, she has lectured nationally and internationally and has published articles and chapters on these topics.


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
Dr. Lauren Hughes

Dr. Hughes serves as the deputy secretary for Health Innovation. She is responsible for several bureaus, including: Health Planning; the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program; Managed Care; the Office of Health Innovation; and the Office of Health Research.

Before joining the department, Dr. Hughes served as a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, as a clinical lecturer at the Department of Family Medicine for the University of Michigan, and completed residency in family medicine at the University of Washington.

Dr. Hughes also served as a visiting scholar in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, The Commonwealth Fund, the ABC News Medical Unit in New York City and at The Robert Graham Center in Washington, DC. She is a former national president of the American Medical Student Association.

She also has studied abroad in Tanzania as a visiting medical student providing care for women and families and in Botswana where she cared for AIDS patients as part of the Baylor University International Pediatric AIDS Initiative.
Dr. Hughes is also an author and national speaker and serves on a number of nationally recognized boards, including as a current member of the Family Medicine for America's Health and the American Board of Family Medicine boards of directors.

Deputy Secretary, Health Planning and Assessment
Raphael (Ray) Barishansky

Ray serves as the deputy secretary for Health Planning and Assessment 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
Nancy J. Lescavage

Nancy is the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  In this role, she plans and directs the policy, operations and execution of the Bureau of Facility Licensure and Certification and the Bureau of Community Program Licensure and Certification.

She served on active duty in the United States Navy for over 35 years and rose to the rank of rear admiral while holding a variety of leadership, business, education, clinical and legislative liaison roles. She gained significant experience and expertise in business and health care administration, policy development, congressional testimony, the legislative process, budget execution, human resources, reinvention and start-ups, construction planning and leading large organizations resulting in great success.

Appointed by the Governor, Nancy additionally serves on the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission, where she is responsible for initiating recommendations to increase the value and relevancy of military bases and organizations in the state. Her particular area of responsibility is the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, which has been transformed into a regional hub of economic activity. She is a member of the board of directors for the Women In Military Service for America Memorial.

Nancy earned her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania along with a Certificate of Management from the Wharton School of Business. She obtained a baccalaureate degree from the University of Maryland and a diploma in nursing from Saint Joseph Hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of numerous military, civic, academic and leadership awards including the Outstanding Federal Health Care Executive Award.

Chief Counsel
Alison Taylor

Director, Office of Communications
April Hutcheson

Director, Office of Legislative Affairs
Neil Malady


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
Jen Swails

Jen is the Fiscal Management Director for the Shared Services Budget office that includes the Departments of Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health and Human Services. Jen has over 18 years of human service fiscal and policy experience, spending time in several program offices within the Department of Human Services, the DHS budget office, the Governor’s Budget Office and the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee.  She most recently was the Special Advisor to the Secretary of Budget focusing on Health and Human Services related issues.