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Zimmerman Named HHS Regional Director
January 27, 2003

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the appointment of former Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Robert S. Zimmerman, Jr., as the Secretary's Regional Director for Region III, based in Philadelphia.

In his new position, Zimmerman will be the Secretary's direct representative responsible for official dealings with state, local and tribal government organizations and will further enhance the Secretary's connection to state and local health agencies. The region includes the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

"Robert Zimmerman brings to HHS more than 30 years of experience in health and human services administration," Secretary Thompson said. "His sensitivities of the health issues facing the Philadelphia region, and his involvement in the implementation of key health programs will be a remarkable asset to the department."

Since 1999, Zimmerman has served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and as the primary public health advisor to former Governors Mark Schweiker and Tom Ridge. Overseeing an $800 million budget and 1,500 staff, Zimmerman initiated the first statewide comprehensive tobacco use prevention and cessation program; developed and directed the state's first bioterrorism preparedness and response program; implemented a statewide electronic disease reporting system and real-time biosurveillance; and facilitated major regulatory reform efforts for acute care, ambulatory surgical facilities, HIV, drug and alcohol, managed care and reportable diseases.

Prior to his position as secretary of health, Zimmerman filled several roles of increasing responsibility including deputy secretary for medical assistance programs at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, where he was responsible for $8 billion in Medicaid programs and a range of services for 1 million recipients. He previously served as director of the Bureau of Primary Care Resources for the Pennsylvania DOH.

Zimmerman received a master's of public health in community health education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. He begins his new post Janaury 27, 2003.

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