A Conversation With Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General

2019_surgeongeneral1.jpgOn February 19, Agnes Scott College welcomed Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General to campus to engage in a dialogue with students, faculty and Atlanta-area health professionals about the progress and challenges in public health. The U.S. Surgeon General detailed how his personal life has informed much of his professional approach to health and health equity and noted the value of drawing upon personal experiences to be more compassionate and understanding within the health field.

In the conversation, “Public Health For All: Progress and Challenges”  Dr. Adams focused on the opioid epidemic that affects 2.1 million people across the United States.  Dr. Adams detailed how imperative it is that communities reshape their perspectives on substance abuse and the need to fight the stigma surrounding substance abuse in order to truly address the crisis.  The U.S. Surgeon General shared a personal story about his brother, who is battling addiction, to illustrate how addiction can happen to anyone and to reiterate the widespread effect of the opioid crisis. The surgeon general also candidly acknowledged how, in the past, health officials have disregarded communities of color in the opioid epidemic and indicated that now was the opportunity to move forward and ensure that health equity applied to all communities.

In the Q & A portion of the discussion, students asked a myriad of questions including the disparities of reproductive health among African-American women, healthy sexuality and how to address mental health issues. Dr. Adams explained that communities are key in addressing and resolving health equity issues and empowered the audience with: “you’re the leaders of right now, you have the ability to change health within your communities.”

 

Watch the full conversation below! 

 

 

*A special thanks to Dr. Kendra Outler for bringing Dr. Jerome Adams to campus.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.