First Openly Transgender Top U.S. Official Is Set to Tackle Inequity

First Openly Transgender Top U.S. Official Is Set to Tackle Inequity

“COVID-19 has shown us the tip of the iceberg of the lack of health equity,” Levine told Nature last September, while still head of Pennsylvania’s health department. “She thought about rural Pennsylvanians, LGBTQ, disabled people, incarcerated citizens,” says David Saunders, director of the department’s Office of Health Equity. “Without the Health Equity Response Team, we wouldn’t be as far along as we are.” Other states launched similar task forces. Levine has also urged the state’s health department to tackle problems outside its usual remit, which is more typically limited to issues such as childhood immunization and nutrition. Saunders notes that policies in support of health equity can be controversial, such as raising the minimum wage.

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