HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that Health Secretary Everette James will resign effective Oct. 1 to accept the newly created position of associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Everette James has led the Department of Health through a period of significant public health challenges, and he met every one of those challenges with skill, compassion and professionalism," Governor Rendell said. "His effectiveness at regulating Pennsylvania's hospitals and nursing homes has ensured the safe delivery of quality healthcare for our citizens. He managed the unprecedented H1N1 vaccination program, developed innovative child health programs and implemented health reforms that will lower the cost of care."
During his two years leading the Department of Health, James has overseen an agency that is responsible for regulating all hospitals, nursing homes and managed care plans in Pennsylvania. Under his leadership, the department successfully implemented the statewide smoking ban and instituted the most comprehensive program in the nation to eliminate healthcare acquired infections (HAIs). The new HAI law, known as Act 52, was a centerpiece of Governor Rendell's Prescription for Pennsylvania health care reform.
James also worked across agencies to strengthen the role of schools in the health of Pennsylvania children. Partnering with the departments of Education and Agriculture, he spearheaded the creation of programs to improve nutrition environments in Pennsylvania schools and increase physical activity among students. Bringing together health insurers, foundations and professional sports teams, the department's Active Schools program has become a nationally recognized model for childhood obesity prevention.
"I am delighted that Everette is joining the University of Pittsburgh, where he will be working to advance health research and delivery in one of the premier integrated health systems in the nation," the Governor added.
The Governor will name an acting secretary before James departs.
Holli Senior, Health; 717-787-1783
Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor