Dr. Bogen confirmed as Secretary of Health


The state Senate has voted 42-8 to confirm Debra Bogen, MD, FAAP, FABM as Secretary of Health. Bogen has been serving as Acting Secretary of Health since early 2023.

Secretary Bogen was appointed to her post by Governor Shapiro following more than three decades as a primary care pediatrician and three years at the helm of the Allegheny County Health Department. Last June, Shapiro withdrew Bogen's nomination before the Senate voted on it, out of concern that she would not get the needed 2/3 vote for confirmation.

“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,” Governor Shapiro said. “I’m grateful for her leadership and proud she was confirmed by the Senate.”

"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 Dr. Bogen took office, 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;
  • 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.  She previously was a member of the Pittsburgh region medical and research community for more than two decades. She held a primary academic appointment as Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, and secondary appointments in psychiatry and clinical and translational science. Dr. Bogen also served as the Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Pediatrics at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Her clinical research focused on the impact of mental health and substance use on families.

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.