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Former surgeon general to speak at medical convocation

Dr. David Satcher served as U.S. surgeon general from 1998 to 2002. Contributed photo
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Apr. 28, 2005)   —   A former U.S. surgeon general will present the convocation address to the East Carolina University medical school class of 2005 on May 6.

The Brody School of Medicine convocation honoring the 74 members of the class will begin at 9 a.m. in Wright Auditorium with Dr. David Satcher giving the featured address.

Satcher served as the 16th surgeon general from 1998 to 2002. He also served as assistant secretary for health from February 1998 to January 2001, making him the second person in history to have held both positions simultaneously.

This will be Satcher's second address to ECU medical graduates; he also delivered the convocation address in 1998 shortly after becoming surgeon general. In 1994, Dr. Jocelyn Elders also addressed the graduates while serving as surgeon general.

As surgeon general and assistant secretary for health, Satcher spearheaded the development of Healthy People 2010, which included the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health as one of its two goals. He also released 14 surgeon generals reports on topics including tobacco and health, mental health, suicide prevention, oral health, sexual health, youth violence prevention and obesity.

Since December he has been serving as interim president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he has been director of the National Center for Primary Care since January 2002. Before joining the Morehouse faculty, he served as a senior visiting fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he wrote about his experiences in government and consulted on public health programs.

From 1993 to 1999, Satcher also served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. And for more than 10 years prior, he was president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

A native of Alabama, Satcher graduated from Morehouse College in 1963 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1970, he received his medical degree and doctorate in cytogenetics from Case Western Reserve University with election to Alpha Omega Alpha. Satcher trained in internal medicine and pediatrics.

Satcher has received more than 40 honorary degrees and numerous honors. In 2004, he received the Voice of Conscience Award from Aetna for his work toward eliminating health disparities. In 2002, he received the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health and the City of Medicine Award.

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Contact: Jeannine Manning Hutson | 252-744-2481