Virtual presentation to feature U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University will host a virtual presentation by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. The presentation is open to all and can be seen at https://tinyurl.com/y48dkmdo.

Burnis Morris, director of the Woodson Lyceum, said the surgeon general’s presentation comes at a time when our region and state are most concerned about health-related issues.

“As the nation’s doctor, Dr. Adams is busy with the pandemic and other issues, but he chose to spend his afternoon with us,” Morris said. “I first invited Dr. Adams more than a year ago, having seen him preside at a Black History Month event at the White House that was broadcast on C-SPAN. He was scheduled to speak in February during our Black History Month program, but he was stuck at the airport and couldn’t get a flight out. However, he generously put us back on the schedule, probably during his busiest time.”

The Woodson Lyceum and its cosponsors, Marshall Health and Mountain Health Network, also are using this event as an occasion to update and inform the surgeon general, as well as educate the community, about health-related issues our region and state are confronting. Dr. Joseph Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, will moderate a panel of leading experts who will provide information most people will be hearing for the first time, but need to know.

“We are very excited about the upcoming virtual visit of the surgeon general,” Shapiro said. “His earlier visit to Huntington pre-COVID [in May of 2018] was very, very well received, and it is wonderful that we have this second, albeit virtual visit, to our region. During this virtual visit, academic leaders will present a number of public health topics which will provoke interesting discussions with the surgeon general.”

Adams is the nation’s 20th surgeon general. He earned bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley. Adams studied medicine and earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, and is a board-certified anesthesiologist.

He previously served as the Indiana state health commissioner from 2014 to 2017, where he oversaw Indiana’s response to the state’s unprecedented HIV outbreak, a result of needle-sharing among users of injectable drugs.

Adams now oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has nearly 6,100 uniformed health officers who serve to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of the people of the United States.

As surgeon general, Adams’ motto has been “better health through better partnerships,” and he has been committed to maintaining strong relationships with the public health community and building partnerships with nontraditional partners.

The Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University was founded in 2016 as a forum on Black history, education and a free press. Its programs are inspired by the teachings of Woodson – a graduate and former principal of the Douglass school in Huntington, a former West Virginia coal miner, the Father of Black History and the creator of Black History Month. Woodson supported Black history and education throughout the year, as does the Woodson Lyceum. The program was founded as a collaboration between the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Drinko Academy.