Wolf eyes Pa. insurance commissioner to head new Pa. health dept.

Wolf Consolidating Agencies
Teresa Miller accompanied by Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Wolf says he'll nominate his insurance commissioner, Miller, to lead a new agency overseeing public health and human services programs.

HARRISBURG -- Gov. Wolf said Tuesday that he intends to nominate Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller to serve as the first secretary of his proposed Department of Health and Human Services.

The new department would combine the Departments of Aging, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services. The administration has said the proposed consolidation would improve the delivery of services.

A Democratic senator and a Republican state representative have said they will introduce legislation to merge the agencies.

Wolf said Miller has worked on efforts to target the opioid epidemic and in assisting seniors. And he said he was impressed with Miller’s work at the Insurance Department. “It seemed to me that she pulled her team together there in a way that was beyond compare,” Wolf said.

Miller has been the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner since January 2015. Previously, she worked at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and as administrator of the Oregon Insurance Division.