Gov.-elect Tom Corbett today announced that he intends to nominate Eli Avila, 51, of Hampton Bays, N.Y., as Secretary of Health.
Corbett said that Avila currently serves as Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Suffolk County, N.Y., Department of Health Services, where he oversees a staff of more than 1,600 employees and manages an annual budget of more than $400 million.
Avila is also the Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Medical Research and Biotechnology Committee and is a lecturer in Employment Law at St. John's University School of Law.
"Eli Avila's expansive education and experience as an executive, a doctor and a lawyer will serve him well in this new endeavor," Corbett said. "His expertise and leadership will be a valuable resource to the Corbett-Cawley administration and to the people of Pennsylvania."
Corbett explained that as Pennsylvania's top health regulator, Avila will be responsible for carrying out the Health Department's mission to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease and to provide top-quality programs and services that benefit the health, safety and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.
The Department is also responsible for planning and coordinating health resources throughout the Commonwealth. It licenses and regulates a variety of health facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical facilities and other in-patient and out-patient facilities. In addition, the Department supports outreach, education, prevention and treatment services across a variety of program areas.
Avila received his bachelor's degree in biology from Brown University, his M.D. from the Brown University School of Medicine, along with a J.D. from the St. John's University School of Law and a Master of Public Health from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine - New York University.
Avila and his wife have been married for 24 years and have two sons.