ISMA member thanks Hoosiers for support after confirmation as U.S. surgeon general

ISMA member Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, thanked the people of Indiana, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Holcomb’s predecessor, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, for their support leading up to his confirmation as the nation’s new surgeon general Aug. 3.

Dr. Adams is Indiana’s current state health commissioner. After he is sworn in to his new post, he will lead the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps for a four-year term.

"To be confirmed as the 20th US Surgeon General is truly an indescribable honor,” Dr. Adams tweeted after the vote. “The wonderful people of Indiana trusted and supported me, and ultimately this appointment is about what we've all accomplished together."

"I will be forever grateful to @VP Pence and @GovHolcomb for the opportunity to serve this great State, and I am confident Indiana is well situated to take health to the next level!

"Dr. Adams, whom Pence first appointed to lead the Indiana State Department of Health in 2014, drew bipartisan support from members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during his confirmation hearing Aug. 1. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., also issued a joint letter of endorsement for Dr. Adams.

“As our Indiana State Health Commissioner and a highly regarded anesthesiologist, he has the experience and demonstrated leadership to promote the public health and bring awareness to some of our more pressing public health challenges as our nation’s top physician,” the letter said.

"Dr. Adams has worked tirelessly to combat the opioid epidemic, reduce infant mortality, and lower Indiana’s high smoking rates."

At his confirmation hearing, Dr. Adams spoke repeatedly of his goal to pursue science-based solutions to public health problems, while also empathizing with those affected. He said that approach was key to implementing measures, including a syringe exchange program, that helped control an outbreak of HIV linked to injectable drug abuse in Scott County.

"I always want to lead with science ... but I also want to listen to what stakeholders are saying and what patients are saying,” Dr. Adams told the panel. “That’s the lesson that I learned."

Dr. Adams succeeds Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who has served as acting surgeon general since the previous appointee, Vivek Murthy, MD, stepped down in April.