Health - October 5, 2012

PA Secretary of Health resigns

Secretary Eli Avila resigned from his position yesterday afternoon.  The licensed physician and attorney stated that he wanted to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family.  When Avila accepted the job his family remained in Albany, NY.  Avila accepted the position last year and since then has been involved in several incidents that the media preyed heavily upon.  Governor Corbett noted that Avila had been a strong advocate for children’s health issues.

Executive Deputy Secretary Michael Wolf will serve as acting secretary until the Governor names a replacement.


Also leaving their posts…

State Parks Director John Norbeck is leaving his post today.  Norbeck has been with the park system since 2006 and had previously been with the Maryland state parks system for almost 30 years.  Under Norbeck’s direction the Pennsylvania state parks system won a “national award for being the best-managed park system in the United States.”  Park visitation also increased under his management.  There is speculation that Norbeck was forced out and that the quick departure could mean that the moratorium of drilling on state park land could be lifted in the near future.  A spokesperson for the Governor said there is no truth to that rumor. 

A PA Liquor Control Board (LCB) member has also resigned effective today.  Patrick Stapleton’s term expired back in May but could have served up until November 14.  Stapleton was the Chairman of the LCB and managed two major initiatives; one of which was the failed wine kiosks in grocery stores the other the renovation of state stores.   Just last week, Governor Corbett nominated Ken Trujillo as Stapelton’s successor. Tujillo is an attorney from Philadelphia and previously served on the Gaming Control Board. The Senate needs to confirm the nomination by a two-thirds vote and with only four scheduled session days left the nomination may not be confirmed until sometime next year.  The LCB can continue to function with just two board members indefinitely.