HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 9 Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced the resignation of Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, who has served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health since April 2003.
"Dr. Johnson has been a passionate voice for protecting and improving the health of all Pennsylvanians," said Governor Rendell. "Calvin has distinguished himself as an effective leader, addressing a variety of issues from preventive health and health disparities to patient safety and preparedness for pandemic influenza. I know that he will take the same energy and commitment he has given here into his future endeavors, and I wish him well."
As Secretary of Health, Dr. Johnson served as an advisor to the Governor and directed nearly 1,800 employees in carrying out the department's mission to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease, and assure the safe delivery of quality health care. During his tenure, Dr. Johnson led the Department of Health in successfully addressing significant, public health issues, which include:
-- Managing the largest single-source Hepatitis A outbreak in U.S. history in 2003, which garnered the department national recognition.
-- Responding to Governor Rendell's call to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians by creating the Office of Health Equity, which takes a coordinated approach to eliminating health disparities through continued collaboration with community-based organizations, other state agencies and the public.
-- Implementing several pieces of Governor Rendell's health care reform initiative, including decreasing the rate of health care-associated infections that have been shown to significantly increase both hospital in-patient stays and related costs.
-- Promoting and championing the need to protect Pennsylvanians from the deadly health effects of secondhand smoke culminating in the enactment of the Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in most public places.
-- Creating an innovative and comprehensive intervention and surveillance initiative, entitled Pennsylvania Injury Reporting and Intervention System, to address gun violence.
-- Increasing primary health care services to underserved areas, which allow more Pennsylvanians to receive quality health care.
-- Implementing a department-wide performance-based management initiative to ensure public health programs are effectively meeting the needs of Pennsylvanians.
-- Using $505 million in Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funds to focus on biomedical and clinical investigations and health services research.
"Improving and protecting the public's health is critically important," said Dr. Johnson. "It has been my privilege to serve Governor Rendell and the people of Pennsylvania, and I appreciate having been entrusted with this significant responsibility."
A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Johnson attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating with a degree in chemistry. He earned his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Governor Rendell is expected to announce Dr. Johnson's successor in the near future.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit: www.governor.state.pa.us.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Offic