March 24, 2021

Around the nation: Senate confirms Vivek Murthy as surgeon general

Daily Briefing

    The Senate on Tuesday voted 57-43 to confirm Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, a post Murthy previously held under former President Barack Obama, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, the District of Columbia, and Texas.

    • Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Monday announced Arizona is opening up Covid-19 vaccine appointments to all residents ages 16 and older at vaccination sites operated by the state in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties starting Wednesday. Steve Elliott, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said pharmacies and federally qualified health centers throughout Arizona will follow the state's new vaccination guidelines (Innes/Steinbach, Arizona Republic, 3/22; Office of Gov. Ducey release, 3/22).
    • District of Columbia: The Senate on Tuesday voted 57-43 to confirm Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, a post Murthy previously held under former President Barack Obama. Murthy also previously served as co-chair of President Joe Biden's transition team's coronavirus advisory board, and founded Doctors for Obama, now Doctors for America, a group aimed at expanding health care access for Americans. Murthy has been vocal about the opioid epidemic in the United States, saying he is most proud of his efforts to raise awareness around that issue during his previous stint as surgeon general. "We cannot neglect the other public health crises that have been exacerbated by this pandemic, particularly the opioid epidemic, mental illness, and racial and geographic health inequities," Murthy said (Stolberg, New York Times, 3/23; Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 3/23).
    • Texas: The Texas Heart Institute last week announced it has named Joseph Rogers as president and CEO, effective May 17. Rogers currently serves as CMO of Duke University Health System and as a professor of medicine in cardiology at Duke's School of Medicine (Carbajal, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/19; Samora, Houston Business Journal, 3/20).

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