Shapiro nominates Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro has nominated Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). Shapiro previously served with Dr. Arkoosh on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

Dr. Arkoosh via Montgomery County’s communication office issued a statement on her nomination.

“I am extremely honored to accept the nomination as the next Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. I look forward to serving alongside Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro and supporting his vision to create a government reflective of the Commonwealth. I thank Governor-Elect Shapiro for his support and trust in me to continue my track record of delivering equitable, efficient, and data-driven programs and services to the people of Pennsylvania.”  

“DHS provides services to care and support Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable individuals and families. As Secretary I will continue the Department’s critical work to help Pennsylvanians lead safe, healthy, and productive lives through trauma-informed services. As a physician of more than two decades in Philadelphia teaching hospitals, an advocate for the Affordable Care Act, and the head of Pennsylvania’s third-largest county for nearly 8 years, I am fully prepared to lead the Commonwealth’s largest government agency.” 

“My experience as both a physician and public health professional continues to inform my work. It was front and center as I shepherded Montgomery County’s efforts to combat the COVID 19 pandemic through a data and science driven response, focusing on clear communication and transparency. Throughout my career I have worked in partnership with communities, service providers and other stakeholders to create policies to improve services for children, Veterans, and seniors; tackle the opioid epidemic; address maternal health disparities; and protect reproductive rights. As Secretary of DHS, I will continue to work in service to all Pennsylvanians.”   

Dr. Arkoosh did not address whether she will resign as a county commissioner prior to her being approved by the state senate. Her term in office is set to expire at the end of the 2023.

All three seats on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioner are up for election in 2023. Arkoosh’s likely move to Harrisburg means there will be at least one seat that does not have an incumbent running for re-election. Commissioners Ken Lawrence and Joe Gale have not publicy made their intentions on seeking re-election known.

Photo: Dr. Val Arkoosh