Gov. Dunleavy names new Department of Health commissioner

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Monday the elevation of his acting Alaska Department of Health commissioner to a permanent position.

Heidi Hedberg, who also chairs the Governor’s Advisory Council on Opioid Remediation, will be the department’s permanent commissioner. Hedberg’s name will be sent to the legislature for a confirmation vote in the next session.

Hedberg served in similar roles before being named as the acting commissioner of the health department last month, including the director for the Division of Public Health. Adam Crum, the commissioner of the health department before Hedberg, now heads up the Alaska Department of Revenue.

“After working with Commissioner Hedberg the past four years, she has impressed me with her management skills, and ability to enact public health policies that make Alaskans healthier and safer,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “Alaskans can be confident that the department responsible for their health and welfare is in good hands.”

In a statement, Hedberg highlighted the breadth of services provided by the department, which includes five divisions: public health, public assistance, behavioral health, health care services and senior and disabilities services. Formerly the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency split into the Department of Health and the Department of Family and Community Services in July.

“… This department aids every single Alaskan at every stage of life,” Hedberg said. “Our over 1,500 employees are the backbone of the work we do, and I am thankful for their dedication to serving the people of Alaska.”

“Bringing renewed energy and a unified vision for this new department, I look forward to working across divisions to support operations, improve system efficiencies, and support the Healthy Families initiative which recognizes the importance of prevention and strong families as the foundation for a strong economy.”


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