President Trump on Thursday nominated Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams to be the next U.S. surgeon general.
Adams graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine and is a staff anesthesiologist at Eskenazi Health. He has served as Indiana's health commissioner since being appointed by former Gov. Mike Pence (R) about two and half years ago.
During his time as health commissioner, Adams has overseen the state's response to its ongoing opioid epidemic. Adams has supported the use of needle exchanges to stem the spread of disease among intravenous drug users and worked to expand the availability of the anti-overdose medication naloxone in the state.
If confirmed by the Senate, Adams would succeed Vivek Murthy, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama and dismissed from his post in April after he refused to resign when Trump requested his resignation. Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, who served as Murthy's deputy, has been serving as acting surgeon general.
Sara Johnson of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who has worked with Adams, called the position the "perfect fit" for Adams, saying, "He's a trusted partner in working with clinicians and public health officials."
Johnson said Adams has prioritized public health issues including reducing the use of tobacco and lowering Indiana's infant mortality rate.
Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said Adams "has extensive experience in health care and has worked on the front lines of public health in Indiana and his status as a working physician will serve him well in leading our nation's health promotion and disease prevention efforts" (Joseph, STAT News, 6/29; Politico, 6/29; Thomas, AP/ABC News, 6/29).
New: Three imperatives to reduce opioid misuse and abuse
Opioid misuse and abuse is one of the most pressing public health issues in the U.S., and hospitals and health systems are on the front lines. Currently, most health systems focus their opioid management efforts on select medical specialties, and providers typically intervene only after the patient has shown signs of misuse and addiction. Clearly, this is not enough.
This research report outlines three imperatives to guide hospitals and health systems in their efforts to reduce the impact of inappropriate opioid prescribing and misuse.