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PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine

LGBTQ advocate to receive honor

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Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, and noted LGBTQ advocate will receive an honorary degree from Lebanon Valley College on May 12.

As physician general, Levine made significant strides combating the opioid epidemic and advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ population. She spearheaded efforts to establish opioid prescribing guidelines and 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, Levine was recognized as one of NBC's Pride 30, a national list of 30 people who are members of and making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ community.

Levine's previous posts include 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.

A graduate of Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine Levine 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.

In 1993, Levine came to Central Pennsylvania as director of Ambulatory Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Polyclinic Medical Center. She joined the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 1996 as 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. Also, 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.

Levine was the liaison for the LGBT community for the Office of Diversity at the Penn State College of Medicine. In that role, she established an LGBT faculty and staff affinity group and was the facilitator for the LGBT student group.

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