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.