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Pennsylvania’s acting health secretary Alison Beam resigning at end of year

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Acting Secretary Alison Beam will resign at the end of the year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday.

“I am proud to have worked with Acting Secretary Beam over the past several years, and the commonwealth has been fortunate to have had the benefit of her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic -- especially as the Department of Health oversaw a massive vaccine roll-out over the course of the past year,” Wolf said in a statement.

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down Beam’s mask mandate in schools and childcare centers. The justices ruled that Beam did not have legal authorization to impose the mandate.

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Before serving as acting secretary, Beam served as deputy chief of staff to Wolf. Prior to working for the governor’s office, she served as chief of staff to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner.

“Thank you to Governor Wolf, his leadership team, and the incredibly dedicated Department of Health employees,” Beam said in a statement. “Serving as Acting Secretary during such a critical time in public health has been the most humbling honor of my career. Under the governor’s leadership the administration has made critical strides in ensuring access to health care for all Pennsylvanians and in turn created a healthier, more equitable commonwealth for generations to come. I could not be prouder to have worked alongside such devoted public servants during my tenure with the Wolf Administration.”

Wolf said he intends to name Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter to serve as acting secretary.