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Allegheny County Names Karen Hacker New Health Department Director

After a national search, Allegheny County officials announced Friday that Dr. Karen Hacker has been chosen as the new director of the Allegheny County Department of Health.

An Illinois native, Hacker is currently the senior medical director for public and community health at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Mass., according to a news release from the Allegheny County Executive's Office. Hacker is also an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, chief medical officer for the Cambridge Public Health Department and executive director of the Institute for Community Health.

"I’m excited about her appointment and believe that she will be able to lead the Health Department forward with a true focus on community health,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said via a news release. “We have many challenges before us as we work to improve air quality and infant mortality stats, and reduce obesity and violence in our community. I am positive that Dr. Hacker is the right person to meet those challenges.”

Dr. Ronald Voorhees has been acting Director of the ACHD since the dismissal of Bruce Dixon.

Voorhees is expected to return to his post at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Epidemiology and will continue to serve as the head of the County’s Office of Epidemiology and Biostatistics following confirmation of Hacker, who is expected to start in September.