Pennsylvania health secretary Avila resigns

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HARRISBURG -- State Department of Health Secretary Eli Avila has resigned his post, the governor's office announced this afternoon.

The news release did not indicate what Mr. Avila, who previously served as a deputy commissioner of health in Suffolk County, N.Y., will be doing next, saying only that he plans to "pursue other interests."

Mr. Avila said in the release that he looks forward to spending more time with his family, who have remained in Albany since he took the position in Gov. Tom Corbett's administration last year.

During his tenure, Mr. Avila drew some unflattering attention following an incident at a Harrisburg diner over the freshness of an egg sandwich he ordered and steps he later took to ensure the owner did not receive a state contract.

In a statement, Mr. Corbett described the departing secretary as a strong advocate for children's health issues, such as immunizations, and in educating Pennsylvanians about West Nile virus. His department of 1,700 employees regulates hospitals and other medical facilities within the commonwealth.

The agency's executive deputy secretary, Michael Wolf, will serve as acting secretary until a replacement is named. breaking - state

Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254.


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