U.S. Surgeon General Satcher to Speak at Yale School of Medicine

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher will address the 51st annual meeting of the Associates of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library on Wednesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. in the Yale School of Medicine Medical Historical Library, 333 Cedar St.

His keynote lecture, titled “Toward a Balanced Community Health System: Opportunities and Challenges,” is free and open to the public. The talk will also be tele-conferenced nationally to key medical Centers of Excellence.

Satcher’s lecture is sponsored by the board of trustees of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, under the chairmanship of Dr. Martin E. Gordon, clinical professor of medicine. The trustees and the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates, together with the Yale Alumni in Medicine Association, have invited Connecticut alumni of the School of Medicine and its department of epidemiology and public health to a reception in honor of Dr. Satcher, which will be held following his talk at 5 p.m.

As assistant secretary for health and human services, Satcher serves as the senior adviser on issues that involve the U.S. Public Health Service. He is the 16th surgeon general in a line dating back to 1871, when the Marine Hospital Service was transformed into a broader uniformed Commissioned Corps service that can be reassigned to medical trouble spots worldwide when needed.

Prior to his appointment in February 1998, Satcher was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1993 to 1997. While in that post, he spearheaded initiatives that have increased childhood vaccinations to 78 percent. He also upgraded the nation’s capability to respond to emerging infectious diseases and laid the groundwork for a new early warning system to detect and prevent food-borne illness.

A strong supporter of prevention research, he also became known for his skills at building a consensus among different groups and for fostering joint initiatives among the corporate sector, minority organizations and religious groups.

Satcher was president of Meharry Medical College from 1982 to 1993. He also served as professor and chair of the department of community medicine and family practice at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he encouraged a stronger link between clinical medicine and public health. While a faculty member at the UCLA School of Medicine and the King-Drew Medical Center, Satcher developed and chaired the department of family medicine and directed the King-Drew Sickle Cell Center. From 1977 to 1979, he served as interim dean of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical Center.

Satcher has received numerous prestigious awards, including the John Steams Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medicine and the Surgeon General’s Medallion for significant and noteworthy contributions to the health of the nation. On March 4, he was honored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind. That day, Satcher also launched a new initiative to reduce colon cancer called “Screen for Life,” a joint campaign of the CDC, the National Cancer Institute and the Health Care Financing Administration.

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