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Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Announces Departure of Health Secretary

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Secretary of Health Dr. Eli N. Avila has resigned his cabinet post.

Avila, 51, a practicing physician and attorney, served as a chief deputy commissioner of health for Suffolk County, New York, before joining the Corbett administration. Avila tendered his resignation today, saying that he planned to pursue other interests, Corbett said.

Additionally, Avila's wife and children were unable to relocate to Pennsylvania and remained at their home in Albany, N.Y. during the secretary's service to the commonwealth. Avila said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.

"Dr. Avila's education and experience has been an asset to the department,'' Corbett said. "He has been a strong advocate for the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's children, especially in his efforts to make sure our students have the required immunizations for schools.

"In addition, Dr. Avila was also vigilant in educating our citizens and monitoring and preventing the spread of West Nile and other viruses among the residents of our state. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him well in all his future endeavors.''

In his role as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health, Avila supervised an agency of 1,700 employees with a $1 billion budget. The department coordinates health resources in the state, and regulates hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities.

Avila holds a medical degree from Brown University, a law degree from St. John's University and a master's degree in public health from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University.

Michael Wolf, the department's current executive deputy secretary, will serve as acting secretary until Corbett names Avila's successor.

Media contact: Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor