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Pennsylvania health chief James leaving for Pitt |

Pennsylvania health chief James leaving for Pitt

| Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:00 a.m

State Health Secretary Everette James resigned to take a job as associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning at the University of Pittsburgh, Gov. Ed. Rendell and school officials said Tuesday.

James, the top health official for two years, is the second person in recent weeks to leave a government post for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Former state senator Sean Logan started working at UPMC Sept 1. as a vice president.

James will start the job Oct. 1. In addition to his role as associate vice chancellor, he will hold the title of professor of health policy and management at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. He will teach, advise students and collaborate in research at Pitt’s schools of the health sciences. A former corporate and regulatory lawyer, he will advise the university on legal issues related to health reform.

James, 48, said he is pleased with his accomplishments as health secretary, including the creation of stringent nutrition and physical education standards in state schools. New rules, which should be implemented in about a year, will require all children to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

“We will see healthier children in the state,” he said.

During his two years at the Health Department, James implemented the statewide smoking ban as well as a program to eliminate hospital-acquired infections. He also oversaw the licensing of hospitals and nursing homes.

“We have done an effective job of protecting patients and citizens when they go into these health facilities by making sure there’s quality care being provided,” he said.

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