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Jerome M. Adams        

20th U.S. Surgeon General & Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; Health & Wellness Advocate

Dr. Jerome M. Adams served as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States from September 5, 2017, until January 20, 2021. His mission as the “Nation’s Doctor” was to advance the health of the American people. During his tenure, he prioritized tackling pressing health issues such as the opioid epidemic, oral health, and the connections between community health, economic prosperity, and national security. Dr. Adams also addressed untreated mental illness as a major priority during his term.

As the Surgeon General, Dr. Adams held the rank of Vice Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, overseeing the operations of approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who served in nearly 800 locations around the world. Prior to this, he served as the Indiana state health commissioner from 2014 to 2017. He is also an American anesthesiologist and is board-certified in this field. He has several academic papers and book chapters to his credit.

Dr. Adams was particularly active in responding to the opioid crisis in the United States. He issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory in thirteen years, urging Americans at risk of overdosing on opioids to carry naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. He also released "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids" and led a campaign to promote seasonal flu vaccinations in September 2018.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Dr. Adams was appointed to the task force addressing the crisis in February 2020. His public health recommendations evolved over time based on the changing situation and new knowledge about the virus. Initially, he advised against the general public's use of face masks, stating they were "NOT effective" in preventing the spread of the virus. However, this advice was later retracted due to new information about the virus's asymptomatic spread.

Dr. Adams received bachelor’s degrees in both biochemistry and psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a master of public health degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He has been a leader in numerous professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Indiana State Medical Association, and the Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Adams' service has been recognized with several awards, including the Field Medical Readiness Badge and the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal, among others.

In October 2021, following his resignation from the position of Surgeon General, Dr. Adams joined Purdue University as a Presidential Fellow and its first executive director of health equity initiatives. He also serves as a professor of practice in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Public Health and is a faculty member of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. Throughout his diverse career, Adams has pledged to lead with science, and facilitate locally-led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems.


U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams Discusses Opioid Alternatives ...
... patient needs, today hosted a fireside chat with the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. It was a familiar venue for Dr. Adams, ...

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