Deputy Secretary Bev Mackereth Named Acting Secretary HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander has resigned his cabinet post, saying his last day will be Feb. 15. Alexander is leaving state government to pursue private-sector opportunities and spend more time with his wife and children who reside in Rhode Island. As secretary, he holds the top post in the Department of Public Welfare, which employs approximately 17,000 workers and has a budget of more than $26 billion in state and federal dollars. The department provides services and supports approximately 2.2 million low-income, elderly and disabled Pennsylvanians. "Secretary Alexander has been a tremendous asset in prioritizing our funding and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in our welfare programs,'' Corbett said. "He has saved millions of dollars in making our programs more efficient and effective, while still allowing us to deliver core services to those who need it most in Pennsylvania." Alexander is credited with creating and implementing a national model for eradicating fraud, waste and abuse. Titled the "Enterprise-wide Program Integrity Initiative," or EWPI, the program won a 2012 Innovation Award from the Council of State Governments. Alexander also helped establish a county block grant program, which gives counties the flexibility to direct funding where it is most needed in local communities; implemented an expansion of the state's highly successful HealthChoices program to the entire Commonwealth; and enhanced services for intellectually and physically disabled individuals. "As he departs for this next chapter in life and professional service, I thank Gary for his time and the commitment he gave to Pennsylvania and its residents," Corbett continued. Alexander says his decision to resign was not easy.