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.”


Montco gains top credit rating as strong economy boosts tax collections

Moody’s Investors Service, New York, has boosted Montgomery County’s bond rating by a notch, to Aaa, its highest mark, pulling even with wealthy neighboring Chester County.

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Spring 2018 Dish From The Commish

With spring finally here, I am pleased to share some excellent news with you!

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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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Very honored by this recognition and pleased to be receiving this award along with my friend & colleague… t.co/Z0tMyc7CqL

I'm very honored to receive this award along with Commissioner Kichline!

Took this while riding the Delaware & Lehigh (D & L) Trail today. Yep- it has rained a lot in the Poconos too! Than… t.co/tOPOyn73MQ

Okay - I am finally(!) on Instagram (valarkoosh). Now I need advice (and follows) from all of you Instagram gurus. What makes for the best Instagram content??

RT @TimesHeraldPA: Norristown High student chosen for Bank of America's Student Leaders program. t.co/bQYFO6gjLn

RT @mariaforpa: I‘m proud to announce that I’ve been endorsed by @HRC_PA. I look forward to joining their fight for fairness in Harrisburg.…

RT @MontcopaDA: Keenan Jones, 30, of Philadelphia, arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder and multiple cou…

Jeff Harbison and I are dropping off our oldest son for his freshman year at Bucknell. What are the odds of two Ginges being roommates?? No- this was not a question on the roommate survey. 😄

I had a great time over the weekend at the Montco 4-H Farm, Home, and Youth Fair. Growing up, I was active in 4-H and I always look forward to this event. The County has now permanently preserved 162 farms (9,512 acres) with at total of 8 scheduled for preservation this year. Montco has about 30,000 acres of farmland that grow grains, fruits & vegetables, feed crops, and produce livestock and dairy products. This fall our Planning Commission is hosting two AgBrewCulture (get it?) events to bring brewers, distillers and ciderers together with farmers to discuss using more locally-grown products.

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