|20th Surgeon General of the United States|
September 5, 2017 – January 20, 2021
|Deputy||Sylvia Trent-Adams |
|Preceded by||Vivek Murthy|
|Succeeded by||Vivek Murthy|
|Health Commissioner of Indiana|
October 22, 2014 – September 5, 2017
|Preceded by||William VanNess|
|Succeeded by||Kristina Box|
Jerome Michael Adams
September 22, 1974
Mechanicsville, Maryland, U.S.
|Education||University of Maryland, Baltimore County (BA, BS)|
Indiana University School of Medicine (MD)
University of California, Berkeley (MPH)
|Branch/service||PHS Commissioned Corps|
|Years of service||2017—2021|
Jerome Michael Adams (born September 22, 1974) is an American anesthesiologist and a former vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 20th surgeon general of the United States from September 5, 2017 until January 20, 2021. Prior to becoming Surgeon General, he served as the Indiana state health commissioner, from 2014 to 2017. On June 29, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Adams to become Surgeon General of the United States. Adams was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017.
Early life and education
Adams is the son of Richard and Edrena Adams of Mechanicsville, Maryland, and grew up on the family farm. He attended Chopticon High School, graduating in 1992, in the top 5% of his class. He then attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County through a full-tuition Meyerhoff Scholarship, a grant dedicated to minority students interested in the sciences. Adams received his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and his Bachelor of Arts in biopsychology. Additionally, Adams studied abroad in the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.
Adams attended medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine as an Eli Lilly and Company Scholar. He also received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000, with a focus on chronic disease prevention. Adams completed his internship in internal medicine (2002–2003) at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital and his residency in anesthesiology (2003–2006) at Indiana University. He is board certified in anesthesiology.
Private practice and academia
After two years in private practice at Ball Memorial Hospital, Adams was named assistant professor of anesthesiology at Indiana University. He has written several academic papers and book chapters, including chapters in Anesthesia Student Survival Guide: A Case-based Approach, and an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health, "Are Pain Management Questions in Patient Satisfaction Surveys Driving the Opioid Epidemic?"
Following his service as surgeon general, Adams joined Purdue University in October 2021 as a Presidential Fellow and its first executive director of health equity initiatives, professor of practice in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Public Health, and a faculty member of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.
Indiana state health commissioner
In October 2014, Adams was appointed Indiana state health commissioner. He was originally appointed by Governor Mike Pence and re-appointed by newly elected governor Eric Holcomb in 2017. In this role, he oversaw the Public Health Protection and Laboratory Services, Health and Human Services, Health Care Quality and Regulatory, and Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commissions. He also served as Secretary of Indiana State Department of Health's Executive Board, as Chairman of the Indiana State Trauma Care Committee, as President of the Healthy Hoosier Foundation, and as Co-chairman of the Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative Governing Council. During an HIV epidemic in 2015, Adams initially opposed needle-exchange programs on "moral" grounds, but he later changed his position as cases continued to mount.
Surgeon General of the United States
On June 29, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Adams as surgeon general of the United States. He was confirmed to the position by the Senate on August 3, 2017. Upon his confirmation, Adams said that addressing the opioid epidemic along with untreated mental illness would be two of his major priorities. Adams was sworn in as surgeon general on September 5, 2017, and received his commission shortly after.
In April 2018, Adams urged Americans who are at risk of overdosing on opioids, as well as their family and friends, to carry an over-the-counter antidote to help combat rising fatalities. In May 2018, Adams responded to an in-flight medical emergency on a flight to Jackson, Mississippi.
In September 2018, Adams began a campaign along with other public health officials to promote seasonal flu vaccinations. The 2017 flu epidemic had resulted in the deaths of an estimated 80,000 Americans, the highest number of deaths in at least four decades, according to CDC director Robert Redfield. Of the 180 children who died, 80 percent were unvaccinated. 
In February 2020, Adams was appointed to the task force for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Adams initially downplayed the risk from COVID-19 by comparing it to the flu, which was criticized by experts. He also implored people not to buy or use face masks in public because he said they were not effective in preventing the general public from catching the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that wearing a mask could actually increase the risk of catching the virus.
Adams later retracted this recommendation because he said there was new information about the asymptomatic spread of the virus. After Adams made statements about the increased risks facing African Americans from COVID-19, health experts criticized his assertions as misleading and lacking adequate context.
Adams expressed concern that the George Floyd protests could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to Adams, "Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward."
Adams confirmed that he was asked to step down as Surgeon General by the incoming Biden administration. Former surgeon general Vivek Murthy took his place. He officially resigned on January 20, 2021 at the request of President Joe Biden.
Awards and decorations
- "Pence names Adams Indiana's health commissioner". Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "Indiana Names OB-GYN To Fill Vacated Health Commissioner Seat". Wfyi.org. September 18, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- "Nominee Report | U.S. Office of Government Ethics" (PDF). altgov2.org. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- Joseph, Andrew (June 29, 2017). "Jerome Adams nominated as new U.S. surgeon general". STAT. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- FOX59 Web (June 29, 2017). "President Trump nominates Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams for U.S. Surgeon General". Fox 59. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- Scutti, Susan (August 4, 2017). "Dr. Jerome Adams confirmed as surgeon general". CNN. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- McDaniels, Andrea K. (September 7, 2017). "New surgeon general's science background was nurtured in Maryland". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- Wapner, Jessica (July 6, 2017). "Who Is Jerome Adams? Surgeon General Pick Battled HIV Outbreak With Clean Needles in Indiana". Newsweek. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- McDaniels, Andrea K. (September 7, 2017). "New surgeon general's science background was nurtured in Maryland". baltimoresun.com. Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- Groppe, Maureen (August 1, 2017). "Jerome Adams promises to put science ahead of politics as surgeon general". USA Today. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- "American Society of Anesthesiologists Congratulates Jerome Adams, M.D., for Surgeon General Nomination". American Society of Anesthesiologists. June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Rudavsky, Shari (August 1, 2017). "He helped address Indiana's public health crisis. Can he do the same as surgeon general?". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
- Straehley, Steve; Wallechinsky, David (July 14, 2017). "Surgeon General of the United States: Who Is Jerome Adams?". AllGov. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
- "Jerome M. Adams, MD". Indiana University School of Medicine. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- "Faculty | Anesthesia | IU School of Medicine". Indiana University School of Medicine. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- Ehrenfeld, Jesse M.; Urman, Richard D.; Segal, Scott, eds. (2016). Anesthesia Student Survival Guide: A Case-based Approach (Second ed.). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. ix, 31–88. ISBN 978-3-319-11083-7. OCLC 944030400.
- Adams, Jerome; Bledsoe, Gregory H.; Armstrong, John H. (May 6, 2016). "Are Pain Management Questions in Patient Satisfaction Surveys Driving the Opioid Epidemic?". American Journal of Public Health. 106 (6): 985–986. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303228. PMC 4880256. PMID 27153016.
- "Purdue Today". Retrieved October 1, 2021.
- "ISDH: State Health Commissioner". in.gov. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- Schumaker, Erin (June 30, 2017). "How An HIV Outbreak Changed Trump's Surgeon General Nominee". HuffPost. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- "PN723 - Nomination of Jerome M. Adams for Public Health Service, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". Congress.gov. August 3, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
- Wallace, Amy (September 5, 2017). "New surgeon general to advocate for science, compassion as guides for policy". United Press International. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- CNBC (April 5, 2018). "Surgeon general urges Americans to carry overdose antidote". CNBC. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- "Americans urged to carry overdose antidote in effort to tackle drug deaths". TheJournal.ie. Associated Press. April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Leonard, Kimberly (May 16, 2018). "When the Delta crew asked if there was a doctor on board, they got a yes – from the surgeon general". Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- O'Reilly, Eileen Drage. "Last year's flu season killed the most people in the U.S. in 4 decades". Axios. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- Who are the Coronavirus Task Force members?
- Law, Tara (April 6, 2020). "Surgeon General Adams Warns of 'Saddest Week of Most Americans' Lives' as COVID-19 Pandemic Spreads". Time.
- Stieb, Matt (April 5, 2020). "As White House Tells States to 'Do Your Part,' Governors Ask What Trump Is Doing". Intelligencer. New York Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
- Cramer, Maria; Sheikh, Knvul (February 29, 2020). "Surgeon General Urges the Public to Stop Buying Face Masks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- Asmelash, Leah (February 29, 2020). "The surgeon general wants Americans to stop buying face masks". CNN. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- Perrett, Connor (March 2, 2020). "The US Surgeon General once warned against wearing face masks for the coronavirus but the CDC now recommends it". Business Insider. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- "Originally, @CDCgov, @WHO, and my office all recommended against the general public wearing facemasks based on the best available science at the time regarding whether or not they prevent wearers from catching coronavirus. But we are learning more about this disease every day..." Twitter. April 1, 2020.
- Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. (February 2020). "Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China". Lancet. 395 (10223): 497–506. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30183-5. PMC 7159299. PMID 31986264.
- Bunn, Curtis (April 15, 2020). "Black health experts say surgeon general's comments reflect lack of awareness of black community". NBC News. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Bowden, John (June 2, 2020). "Surgeon general: 'Every reason to expect' coronavirus clusters after protests". TheHill. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- Pitofsky, Marina (January 20, 2021). "Surgeon General Jerome Adams says Biden transition asked him to resign". TheHill. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- Diamond, Dan (January 20, 2021). "Surgeon General resigns at Biden's request". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- "VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H." HHS.gov U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- Remedios, Jesse (April 16, 2020). "Experts question surgeon general who talks God's 'plan' with pandemic". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
- "U.S. Surgeon General resigns at Biden's request: MSNBC | Reuters.com". www.reuters.com. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- "Presidential Unit Citation". Twitter - Assistant Secretary for Health. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
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