Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair

Meet Commissioner Arkoosh

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh was unanimously elected as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners on November 17, 2016 succeeding former Commission Chair Josh Shapiro. First appointed to fill a vacancy on the Commission in January 2015, Arkoosh won election to a full four-year term in November 2015 and served as Commission Vice Chair until her election as Chair. 

Montgomery County, located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, is the third most populous county in Pennsylvania with more than 823,000 residents. A three-member Board of Commissioners oversees a budget of $400 million and directs more than 2,400 employees. The Commission manages human services for more than 100,000 residents, the county court and criminal justice system, Voter Services, over 130 county bridges, 75 miles of roads and other infrastructure, seven county parks and nearly 100 miles of trails.

Dr. Arkoosh 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.

Commissioner Chairwoman Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh
As a physician, Arkoosh is at the center of the county’s efforts to combat the opioid overdose epidemic, overseeing a multi-pronged, integrated response. In 2015 she issued 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.

Upon obtaining her Master of Public Health in 2007, Arkoosh became deeply engaged in the national effort to achieve comprehensive health care reform. She led a national non-profit organization of physicians, who, putting their patients before profits, joined a broad-based nation-wide coalition for reform. During this time, she developed policy and legislative strategy, and promoted public engagement in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and throughout the country. Dr. Arkoosh maintains a comprehensive knowledge of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its impact on individuals and the health care system.

While much of her career has been in medicine and public health, Arkoosh has substantial experience in dealing with many of the same challenges governments face. She has significant leadership experience managing complex organizations during times of fiscal challenge. Arkoosh served for five years as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Drexel University College of Medicine where she successfully drew upon her undergraduate training in economics to restore her department to fiscal solvency following the Allegheny University bankruptcy. During this challenging time, she also served as Interim Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and was actively involved in the financial oversight of the medical school clinical practice plan.

Prior to stepping into public service, Dr. Arkoosh was Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Arkoosh is a graduate of the University Of Nebraska College Of Medicine and received a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She performed her residency at Jefferson Medical College in Anesthesiology with a special focus on Obstetrics. She has an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University.

Arkoosh lives in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, with her husband, Jeff Harbison, and their three children.

To contact Commissioner Arkoosh, please email val@montcopa.org.