ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today announced its strong support for the nomination of Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H., to be the nation’s next surgeon general. As the “nation’s doctor,” the surgeon general provides the public with the best available scientific information about how to improve their health and prevent illness or injury.
The APA Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Saturday to endorse Adams, who has served as the Indiana state health commissioner since 2014.
“Dr. Adams is highly qualified to meet the demands of this post,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “As a former D.C. health director, I believe Dr. Adams will capably meet the task of integrating mental health and substance abuse challenges into the broader public health conversation. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm him.”
Adams holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley and a medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. An anesthesiologist, Adams also serves as an associate professor of clinical anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
As state health commissioner, Adams addressed the opioid crisis by expanding access to the overdose intervention medication naloxone. Naloxone is a non-narcotic drug used to reverse the respiratory failure that is often the cause of deaths from overdoses of common opioid drugs including heroin, OxyContin, and Percocet. In July 2016, Adams issued an order allowing a variety of entities—including pharmacies, local health departments, and addiction treatment facilities—to register with the state as authorized naloxone dispensers; individuals seeking treatment with naloxone can obtain it from one of these registered entities without a prescription.
“The APA appreciates Dr. Adams’ practical approaches to complex substance use disorder problems,” Levin said.
The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.