PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department has a new director.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald introduced her Wednesday morning at a news conference.

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Dr. Debra Bogen is a pediatrician.

WATCH: Allegheny County Exec. Rich Fitzgerald’s News Conference —


She said her family has lived in the Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years.

Dr. Bogen currently works as the Vice Chair for Education at UPMC Children’s Department of Pediatrics.

She was recommended to the Health Board, who worked with a search firm to find the best candidate.

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dr. debra bogen

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The search took seven months to find a replacement for Dr. Karen Hacker who stepped down as director of the Health Department last August.

Dr. Bogen says she wants to be a community advocate, and that she plans to make maternal and child health a top priority. She also wants to put a heavy focus on air quality.

Of course, Dr. Bogen was also asked about Coronavirus and her plans for the health department. She deferred questions to current health department staff, but did say she is keeping abreast of the latest developments.

“I have been reading extensively on Coronavirus,” she said. “We get notices every day from the CDC as physicians and I have been reading those all with interest, including the New York Times and other national journals, trying to keep up. I will be in touch with people at the Health Department over the next two months.”

Members of the Board of Health also attended the announcement, the head of the search committee said Dr. Bogen is very well qualified for the position and described her as a smart and seasoned physician, administrator and public health leader.

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The Board of Health will formally appoint Dr. Bogan to the position, and she is expected to take charge of the department on May 4.