Pennsylvania's acting health secretary, Alison Beam, to step down

Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. (The Office of Governor Tom Wolf)

Pennsylvania's acting health secretary will resign her post and depart the Wolf administration at the end of December, the governor's office announced Monday.

Alison Beam had served in an acting role since January, when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf tapped her to replace Dr. Rachel Levine, who left for the Biden administration.

Beam, who had previously served as Wolf's deputy chief of staff, guided the state's COVID-19 pandemic response over the past year. She oversaw vaccine distribution and imposed a mask mandate for schools that was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week.

The mandate was thrown out after the court ruled that Beam lacked authority to require masks, did not follow state laws about enacting regulations and acted without a required existing disaster emergency declared by the governor in place.


Keara Klinepeter, the Health Department's executive deputy secretary, will take over as acting secretary, Wolf said.

The administration did not give a reason for Beam's resignation. Wolf is heading into the last year of his governorship.



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