HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that Department of Health Acting Secretary Keara Klinepeter will resign her position with the commonwealth on April 22.

The Governor’s office says Klinepeter is choosing to resign to take time to prepare for the birth of her first child in June.

Klinepeter was named Acting Secretary in December 2021 following the resignation of Alison Beam, who later joined UPMC as the hospital’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Chief Government Relations Officer.

“Keara has been an asset to the Department of Health and the Wolf Administration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing necessary leadership and guidance to prepare for the endemic phase of the pandemic,” said Gov. Wolf. “Thank you, Acting Secretary Klinepeter, for your leadership. You have helped develop policies, guidance, and best practices to support Pennsylvania’s public health system throughout the pandemic and during this transition that have made the lives of Pennsylvanians better.”

Prior to Acting Secretary, Klinepeter served as the Executive Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health and as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Health, where she worked extensively on the COVID-19 response and vaccine administration.

Klinepeter also served as the Director of Rural Health Innovation for the department, where she was responsible for designing, implementing, and expanding population health initiatives that focus on social determinants of health.

“Thank you to Governor Wolf, the Wolf Administration’s leadership team, and the incredibly dedicated Department of Health employees,” said Acting Secretary Klinepeter. “Working alongside the Department of Health’s devoted staff during a global once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has been an absolute honor. I am proud of the work we have accomplished to better the lives of all Pennsylvanians.”

The governor also announced his intention to name Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson to serve as Acting Secretary.

“Thank you to Gov. Wolf and Acting Secretary Klinepeter for their steadfast leadership, especially during this trying time for all Pennsylvanians,” said Dr. Johnson. “The pandemic has changed many aspects of public health here in Pennsylvania and nationwide. I am honored to lead the department during this transformative time in public health and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the tremendous employees at the Department of Health and ensuring our health remains a top priority throughout the commonwealth.”