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David Satcher

16th US Surgeon General


Sworn in on February 13, 1998, Dr. David Satcher became the second person in history to ever hold the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health simultaneously. A recipient of more than 40 honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors, Dr. Satcher brought to the office a wealth of public health experience and encouraged public debate about such varied topics as mental health, bioterrorism, sex education, AIDS, suicide, cloning, and achieving a balanced community healthcare system.

Serving under both Democratic and Republican parties as Surgeon General, he led the Department’s efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. He also released Surgeon General’s reports on tobacco and health, mental health, suicide prevention, mental retardation, sexual health and responsible sexual behavior, youth violence prevention, and obesity.

Prior to accepting his position as Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and president of Meharry Medical College. He currently occupies the Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and serves on the board of directors for Johnson and Johnson, MetLife, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Most recently, Dr. Satcher teamed up with Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school program dedicated to fighting childhood obesity by encouraging proper nutrition and exercise practices in schools.

Well-respected by the medical, business, and political communities, Dr. David Satcher continues to dedicate his life's work to promoting healthy lifestyles for all Americans.

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