HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Senate on June 9 confirmed a transgender physician as the commonwealth’s next physician general.
Rachel Levine — who has nearly three decades of experience in pediatrics and psychiatry — is the first trans person ever appointed to a Pennsylvania governor’s cabinet. The former member of the Equality Pennsylvania board of directors will serve under Democrat Tom Wolf.
“She is an excellent physician and we look forward to her tenure as the physician general of Pennsylvania,” said Jessica Rothchild, president of Equality Pennsylvania’s board of directors, in a statement.
State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Alleghany County), who co-chairs the Pennsylvania Legislature’s LGBT Equality Caucus, also applauded Levine’s confirmation.
“This is a history-making cabinet first for Pennsylvania,” said Frankel.
Sean Meloy, director of LGBT engagement for the Democratic National Committee, praised Levine’s confirmation in a statement to the Washington Blade.
“It is a historic moment in Pennsylvania, with the confirmation of the first transgender person ever in the governor’s cabinet,” said Meloy. “Governor Tom Wolf showed leadership in appointing Rachel Levine to this post, and we are thrilled to see such a qualified candidate rise to this position in Pennsylvania.”
Wolf nominated Levine in January shortly before taking office.
“I was thrilled,” Levine told the Washington Blade shortly after learning the then-governor elect had nominated her. “I was very excited to serve the commonwealth.”