Gov. Wolf Names New DOH Secretary, Names Interim State Physician General


Left to right: Alison Beam, Dr. Wendy Braund

Governor Tom Wolf announced his intention to nominate Alison Beam to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and named Dr. Wendy Braund Interim Acting Physician General.  By law, when the DOH Secretary is not a physician, the state must also have a physician general.  The positions became vacant with the resignation of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine to become Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden Administration.

Beam currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf, coordinating initiatives and resources across Pennsylvania’s departments of Health, Human Services, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Aging and Insurance.  She has helped coordinate the administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response; the rollout of Pennie, Pennsylvania’s health insurance marketplace; the Reach Out PA campaign; and the Wolf Administration’s health care reform plan. Prior to moving to the Governor’s Office, Beam served as Chief of Staff to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. She previously served as Director of Public Policy and Associate Counsel for Independence Health Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  PA-ACP has worked with Beam on many policy and legislative initiatives.

Beam graduated from Drexel University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

Braund, MD, MPH, MSEd, FACPM, currently serves as the COVID-19 Response Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and has played a key role in planning and implementation of state prevention and mitigation programs internally.

Previously, she was the Director of the Center for Public Health Practice, Associate Dean for Practice, and a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Braund has also served as the Wyoming State Health Officer and Public Health Division Administrator for the Wyoming Department of Health. Before working at the state level, Dr. Braund was employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, first in the Office of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and then at the Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions.

Dr. Braund has a BA from Duke University, MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and MD from the Penn State College of Medicine. She is a 2007 graduate of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Preventive Medicine Residency Program and is board certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.  Dr. Braund will assume the role of Interim Acting Physician General effective January 23, 2021.