March 26, 2021

Around the nation: Senate confirms Rachel Levine as HHS' assistant secretary for health

Daily Briefing

    The Senate on Wednesday voted 52-48 to confirm Rachel Levine as HHS' assistant secretary for health, making her the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Maryland.

    • California: BetterUp, a mental health startup, in a blog post Tuesday announced Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has joined the company as its first chief impact officer. In his new role, Harry will help shape BetterUp's resources on mental fitness, elevate global conversations on mental health, and expand the company's global community of coaches and members, among other responsibilities (Rana/Richwine, Reuters, 3/23; Mitchell, Becker's Health IT, 3/23).
    • District of Columbia: The Senate on Wednesday voted 52-48 to confirm Rachel Levine as HHS' assistant secretary for health, making her the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate. Levine previously was appointed as Pennsylvania's physician general in 2015 and became the state's health secretary in 2017. In a statement, Levine said she looks forward "to working under the leadership of [HHS] Secretary [Xavier] Becerra and ensuring that we promote policies that advance the health and wellbeing of all Americans" (Crary, Associated Press, 3/25; Diamond/Schmidt, Washington Post, 3/24).
    • Maryland: The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center has named Kathleen McCollum as president and CEO, effective April 5. McCollum currently serves as SVP of clinical integration and COO of the hospital and previously served as VP and executive director of the Tate Cancer Center at the hospital. McCollum will succeed Neel Vibhakar, who has been serving as the hospital's interim president and CEO since Karen Olscamp retired in January (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/23).
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