State and Territorial Health Leaders Commend Nomination of Dr. Jerome Adams for U.S. Surgeon General

June 29, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) commends the Administration for nominating Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams to the position of U.S. Surgeon General. Adams has served as commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health since 2014, where he oversees the public health protection and laboratory services, health and human services, healthcare quality and regulatory, and tobacco prevention and cessation commissions.

“The Administration has nominated a true public health leader to serve as U.S. Surgeon General,” says Dr. Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO. “Dr. Adams understands the healthcare landscape, has first-hand experience dealing with serious public health issues, and will be a strong advocate for state public health, bringing a unique and valuable set of skills to the nation’s healthcare system. His knowledge of public health challenges and opportunities as Indiana State Health Commissioner will serve our nation well in the months and years ahead.”

As a member of ASTHO, Adams has worked nationwide to address public health issues, including the challenges presented by the current opioid crisis. His clinical acumen combined with strong clinical and community-based experience make him a uniquely qualified candidate for the nation’s top physician. “Our nation needs a strong, experienced, and articulate public health champion, and Jerome is the right person at the right time to serve as our Surgeon General,” says Dr. Jay Butler, ASTHO president and chief medical officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. “This nomination recognizes his state and national leadership experience, his broad perspective, and his clinical expertise—he brings all this to the very important job of Surgeon General.”

Adams earned a B.S. in biochemistry and a B.A. in biopsychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has been a researcher at medical schools in both the Netherlands and Zimbabwe and has worked under Nobel Prize winner Dr. Tom Cech. He earned his Medical Doctorate at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and his Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.  He has been an active member of ASTHO, including representing ASTHO at the American Medical Society House of Delegates and participating in national initiatives to address significant public health challenges.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.