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.”


2017 State of the County

As we begin 2018, Montgomery County residents are served by a county government that is data-driven, transparent, and efficient. We measure our success in the vibrancy of our economy, the health of our communities and the thoroughness with which we meet the needs of the people we serve. By these measures, and many more, the state of Montgomery County is strong.

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Year End Dish from the Commish

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank you for the privilege of serving as Chair of the…

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'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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RT @newskag: On a @CeaseFirePA bus to #marchforourlives in DC is Montco Commissioner @VAArk, a doctor who told her fellow passengers: “This…

On our way to #MarchForOurLives DC! I march with my daughter & her friends for a safer future. #Gunsense

On our way to #MarchForOurLives DC! I march with my daughter & her friends for a safer future. #Gunsense t.co/qkepLIehMY

RT @Emma4Change: I have absolutely no words... Thank you not only for your service but for standing with us as we #MarchForOurLives tomorro…

RT @HartmanForPA: We asked their families to pray every day that they’d come home safe, so that they could keep us safe. Now, we need to do…

RT @UMTownship: A 150-acre prescribed fire will be conducted in @ValleyForgeNHP as soon as March 27. During this controlled burn, you can e…

Governor Wolf is seeking your feedback on how to make our schools safer. Please use the link below to submit your suggestions on: 1) How should Pennsylvania improve school safety by addressing the healthcare needs of students who need help? 2) How should Pennsylvania further strengthen protections in school buildings?

Today we announced that Montgomery County is establishing a new grant program using revenues from the $5 County Vehicle Registration Fee to expand the reach of transportation investment and achieve the goals of the county’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. Approximately $1 million will be available each year to fund transportation projects throughout the county. The 2018 round of grants will assist municipalities in matching PennDOT’s Green Light - Go program funding. www.montcopa.org/countytransportationprogram

Additional thanks to Anne Martin-Montgomery and ACLU's local People Power volunteers who convened this important and meaningful Community Conversation on Gun Violence prompted by the student organized #NationalWalkoutDay

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