About Val

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh serves as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.   Val won election to a full four-year term in November 2015, after being appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in January 2015.  

As Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Val is dedicated to creating vibrant, sustainable, connected communities in Montgomery County, her long-time home. Val previously served as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Health and in 2012, she helped lead Josh Shapiro’s transition team when Democrats assumed County leadership for the first time in over 140 years.

Val is bringing innovative reforms to county government. She is improving services for children, Veterans, and seniors while ensuring an effective, transparent, and fiscally responsible government.  She has led the efforts to eliminate street homelessness of veterans, streamline delivery of human services, increase repairs for county roads and bridges, and open 10 new miles of trails across the county.  As a physician, Val is at the center of the County’s efforts to combat heroin and opioid addiction and overdose and is taking proactive steps, including issuing a “standing order” to enable participating pharmacies in Montgomery County to dispense the overdose antidote naloxone at the request of any member of the public.

Val serves as the first female Chair in the County Board’s history and is currently one of the highest-ranking female elected officials in Pennsylvania.  In a state where women are outnumbered 4-1 in the statehouse and with zero women in the Congressional delegation, she is committed to building the pipeline of female candidates in Pennsylvania.  She was honored to have the endorsements of EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and the Montgomery County Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Val chose to step up and serve in her first elected position because she believes that a healthy community is one where we all do better — where good jobs, healthy neighborhoods, and first-rate schools are available to everyone.

For Val, as a young girl in the 1960s, the idea of becoming a physician seemed impossible. But at just six years old, a medical scare forced her to undergo extensive testing. That experience made an impact. Val decided to become a doctor to one day help other families get the best care possible. Val has spent nearly three decades in southeastern Pennsylvania working with patients and families from every walk of life doing just that.

As a doctor, Val has led two local university medical school departments, supervised hundreds of employees, and returned a department with a multi-million dollar budget deficit to fiscal stability, all while improving patient care. Fed up with seeing too many of her patients fall through the cracks, she studied public health policy, entered public service and went on to lead a national coalition of physicians advocating for health care reform.

Prior to her appointment, she served most recently as Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Springfield Township with her husband, Jeff Harbison, and their three teenage children Ian, Trevor, and Olivia.

“I believe a healthy community is one where we all do better – where good jobs, first-rate schools and access to health care are available to everyone.”

News

'I couldn't believe I was doing it': Addicted towns of Pa.

Rather than seeing the number of deaths accelerate by 50 percent, as Montgomery had last year at this time, 2017’s mid-point total shows a slight yet significant 4 percent decrease.

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'We're a joke': Life in the nation's most gerrymandered district

“I just think it’s crazy; there’s no other name for it,” said Val Arkoosh, who chairs the powerful Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Whenever a major issue requiring congressional action arises, Arkoosh’s staff has to coordinate with five separate offices on Capitol Hill because the county is split among five districts. 

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With less local news coverage, who'll keep an eye on government officials?

“Not too long ago, the press room in our courthouse had, on any given day, 12 to 16 reporters filing stories every day. Today that number is two,” says Commissioner Val Arkoosh of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown.

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These awards will help many great projects move forward! t.co/J3lSFSjk9o

RT @Wyndmoor82: Thank you very much, you and your family are always welcomed in our house. t.co/2lNBsSgpGW

RT @MontcoPA: #PRESSRELEASE #MontcoPA Dept. of Health & Human Serivces would like to alert the owners of restaurants and other establishmen…

Great time tonight with @JeffHarbisonPA & our kids delivering Thanksgiving pies to @Wyndmoor82 from… t.co/tX1WOvDTpi

RT @JoshShapiroPA: Insightful reporting from @PennLive about how @MontcoPA under leadership of @VAArk, @MontcopaDA, local police like @Abin…

We are making progress in the battle against opioid overdose deaths. Read about our all-hands-on-deck integrated and comprehensive approach. You can get more info at www.montcopa.org/overdoseprevention

What are your thoughts on gerrymandering? I enjoyed being interviewed for this article.

First stop today is Senator Bob Mensch’s Annual Veterans Day breakfast at Upper Perk High School. I was honored to speak with 400 Veterans and their families to share tangible expressions of Montgomery County’s gratitude for our Veterans service. Through our Veterans Affairs Office so far in 2017 we have obtained nearly $2.5 million of earned benefits for Veterans, provided 488 rides to VA medical care through our County Veterans shuttle, helped 50 families transition from homelessness or avoid homelessness. MontCo’s Recorder of Deeds, Jeanne Sorg records discharge papers at no cost to the Vet so the papers are secure and the Vet gets a free Veterans discount card for use around the County. Thank you to all Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

Honored to thank 51 Vets at Take A Vet to School Day at Whitemarsh Elementary School with Rep Mary Jo Daley @ColonialNews @Colonial_CSDEF #VeteransDay2017

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