Gallagher Lecture

SAHM was honored to present our
2022 Gallagher Lecturer:  

Rachel L. Levine, MD

Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service
Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Credit Hour(s): 1

Challenges and opportunities facing adolescent health perspectives from the Assistant Secretary for Health

Today’s adolescents live in a complex and uncertain world. The COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest public health crisis that our nation and the world has seen in more than 100 years, has increased social isolation, experiences of fear and loss, and uncertainties and anxiety for all of us. We are just beginning to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on our youth’s mental health from changes in routine, breaks in continuity of learning, missing significant life events, loss of security and safety, and having to cope with death and disease from an earlier stage. Understanding why some young people have thrived during this challenging time, while others have experienced increased psychological distress, is one of the many issues to be explored by further research.  Ensuring access to affordable health care, including mental health services, is a critical component of enabling them to have a healthy future as adults. 
In this session, ADM Levine will draw on her experience as pediatrician and adolescent medicine subspecialist to discuss adolescence as a critical life stage in which clinicians can take crucial steps to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will gain knowledge of:
1. Summarize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commitment to protecting and
expanding access to quality, affordable health care for all, including our nation’s youth.

2. Discuss the importance of delivering adolescent health services in a manner that is
comprehensive, gender-affirming, youth-friendly, and aligned with the adolescent health
objectives included in Healthy People 2030.

3. Explain the impact that COVID-19 has had on our youth, both directly and indirectly.

Admiral Rachel L. Levine serves as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She fights every day to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. She’s working to help our nation overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger foundation for a healthier future - one in which every American can attain their full health potential.

Adm. Levine’s storied career, first, as a physician in academic medicine focused on the intersection between mental and physical health, treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Then as Pennsylvania’s Physician General and later as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, she addressed COVID-19, the opioid crisis, behavioral health and other public health challenges.