Hero: David Satcher, MD, PhD
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Hero:
David Satcher, MD, PhD

David Satcher, MD, PhD is the founder of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, the premier journal on health and related topics on low-income and medically underserved populations. Dr. Satcher is a physician scholar with a legacy of excellence in public health, clinical medicine, and health policy. In 1998, he was appointed the 16th Surgeon General by President Clinton.

Dr. Satcher served simultaneously in the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health from February 1998 through January 2001. He also held the posts of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998. Before joining the Administration, he was President of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1982 to 1993. It was during his tenure as President of Meharry that he founded the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Since 2006, he has served as Director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of the Institute parallels Dr. Satcher’s commitment to and experience in fostering leadership in public health. The Institute supports the development of a diverse group of public health leaders, fosters and supports leadership strategies, and influences public policies related to the reduction and ultimate elimination of disparities in health. The Institute’s programs reflect Dr. Satcher’s experience in improving public health policy and his commitment to eliminating health inequities for underserved groups while at the same time shedding light on neglected issues, such as mental and sexual health.

Under his leadership as Surgeon General, significant and landmark public health policy transformed the nation. He focused national attention on the importance of mental health as a legitimate health concern. Surgeon General Satcher’s reports and related documents are listed below.

Surgeon General Satcher’s Reports and Related Documents

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David Satcher, MD, PhD

2001  
January Report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on Children’s Mental Health: A National Action Agenda
January Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General
March Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General
May National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
June The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior
August Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
December Call to Action to Decrease and Prevent Overweight and Obesity
2000  
August Reducing Tobacco Use: A Report of the Surgeon General
May Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General
October HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding
1999  
June The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide
December Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.

In addition to serving as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States in 1998, Dr. Satcher also served as Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services from February 1998 to January 2001, making him only the second person in history to have simultaneously held both positions. As noted above, his tenure of public service also includes serving as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998. He was the first person to have served as Director of the CDC and then Surgeon General of the United States. During his tenure leading the CDC, some highlights of Dr. Satcher’s leadership include these:

  • • Led the National effort increasing childhood immunization by age two from 50% in 1993 to 78% in 1996.

  • • Led expansion of breast and cervical cancer screening programs from 18 states in 1993 to all 50 states, six territories and 15 American Indian Reservations by 1998. [End Page 2]

  • • Led establishment of strategy for control of emerging infectious diseases. Including: 1) Launching of Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases as the first scientific journal to be launched electronically or online and 2) Chaired Committee of the State Department that developed A Global Strategy for the Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases—Presidential Directive #96.

  • • Led establishment of centralized HIV/AIDS...


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