Valerie Arkoosh

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Valerie Arkoosh
Val Arkoosh.jpeg
Candidate for
U.S. House, Pennsylvania, District 13
President of the National Physicians Alliance
Bachelor'sNorthwestern University, 1982
Master'sJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2007
M.D.University of Nebraska Medical College, 1986
Date of birthAugust 24, 1966
Place of birthWashington, D.C.
ProfessionProfessor, Physician
Campaign website
Valerie Arkoosh campaign logo
Valerie Arkoosh was a 2014 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 13th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.[1] She lost the Democratic nomination in the primary on May 20, 2014.[2]

While her 2014 congressional bid marked Arkoosh's first attempt at running for public office, she is no stranger to campaigns and is well-connected within the Democratic party. Her husband is the former congressional campaign treasurer for Rep. Allyson Schwartz, whom Arkoosh hoped to succeed in the U.S. House, and Arkoosh herself has been an active fundraiser for Schwartz in the past.[3] Schwartz decided to seek the position of Pennsylvania Governor.


Arkoosh is a medical physician and university professor who serves as the president of the National Physicians Alliance. In her capacity as president of the organization, she has been able to boost her public profile and name recognition through various television appearances -- most notably on Martha Stewart and MSNBC -- where she spoke in support of the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care reform bill commonly referred to as "Obamacare," as well as on the subject of Medicaid.[3]

After graduating from Northwestern University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in economics, Arkoosh attended the University of Nebraska Medical College, where she received her M.D. in 1986. Her post-graduate training consisted of one year at Philadelphia's Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Hospital, from 1986-1987, followed by three years as an anesthesiology resident at Jefferson Medical College. Arkoosh also holds a master's degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, having returned to school nearly 20 years after earning her M.D. to pursue a master's in public health.[4]

As described on her faculty profile, Arkoosh also considers herself an expert in health policy and state-based health care reform.[4]


Campaign themes


Arkoosh's campaign website listed the following issues:[5]

  • Creating Jobs & Growing Our Economy
Excerpt: "Creating good jobs in our communities with good benefits that pay a family wage and ensuring economic security for all Pennsylvania families must be our top priority."
  • Quality, Affordable Health Care
Excerpt: "As a practicing physician in Philadelphia over the past decade, I’ve seen too many families struggling to afford the basic health care they deserve. I’ve seen too many families forced to forgo checkups, screenings, and vital medication so they can put food on the table. And I’ve seen our health care system let down those who need it most."
  • Improving Our Education System
Excerpt: "The economic downturn has put the American Dream in jeopardy for many families. And, unless we act now, our children will be worse off than we are. Over the last two years over $1 billion has been cut from our schools, leaving teachers without the resources they need to educate and train our children to build a strong and successful 21st century workforce."
  • Protecting Reproductive Rights
Excerpt: "In Congress, I will use my background as a physician to improve access to quality, affordable health care for women, including family planning and cancer screenings. I strongly support Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, along with her family, physician and faith, what is best for her in any given situation."
  • Equality for All Pennsylvanians
Excerpt: "Growing up, my parents always taught us that all people should be treated equally with rights and respect, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or background. Everyone deserves a fair shot at the American dream."
  • Reducing Gun Violence
Excerpt: "In Congress, I will fight for commonsense laws to reduce gun violence, including expanding background checks, renewing the ban on military-style weapons and banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines."



See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2014 or See also: Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District elections, 2014

Arkoosh ran for election to the U.S. House, representing the 13th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Arkoosh lost the Democratic nomination in the primary on May 20, 2014. She was defeated by Brendan Boyle.[2][6]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 13 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrendan Boyle 40.6% 24,524
Marjorie Margolies 27.4% 16,528
Valerie Arkoosh 16.7% 10,066
Daylin Leach 15.4% 9,313
Total Votes 60,431
Source: Results via Associated Press

Race background

On February 26, 2013, PoliticsPA and The Hill previewed three Pennsylvania races that were showing early promise of a competitive primary or a possible partisan switch. The 13th District was included in their list. Of the eighteen total House seats up for election in 2014, Republicans held thirteen.

The 13th District seat was held by a Democrat, Allyson Schwartz. Schwartz vacated her seat in 2014 because she ran for governor against incumbent Tom Corbett (R).[7]

Democratic primary - U.S. House, Pennsylvania, District 13
Poll Marjorie Margolies Brendan BoyleDaylin LeachValerie ArkooshMargin of ErrorSample Size
Global Strategy Group (internal poll)
August 13-15, 2013
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Arkoosh's congressional campaign was endorsed by:

  • The Women's Campaign Fund[8]


"Val Arkoosh for Congress."

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Valerie Arkoosh's reports.[9]


Arkoosh and her husband, Jeff Harbison, live in Springfield Township with their three children.[15]

Recent news

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See also

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