Monday General Session

The NEW Monday General Session brings together America's top docs for a discussion on the future of health in America and how they used the U.S. surgeons general platform to make our world healthier. Join us Monday, Nov. 17 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm at the Morial Convention Center.

The Doctors are In
Five former Surgeons General will take the stage. Find out more about Regina Benjamin, Joycelyn Elders, Steven Galson, Antonia Novello and David Satcher.

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA (Surgeon General 2009-2013) specializes in prevention policies and health promotion among individuals and large populations, especially concerning obesity and children’s health. She has special interest in rural health care, health disparities among socio-economic groups, suicide, violence, and mental health. Benjamin was the first person under the age of 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. Over the years Benjamin has received a number of accolades for her work and served on a number of boards.

Joycelyn Elders, MD, MS (Surgeon General 1993-1995) received her B.A. in biology at the age of 18. After graduation she joined the Army where she was trained as a physical therapist. She then attended the University of Arkansas Medical School, where she obtained her MD and MS in Biochemistry. She has been a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical Center since the 1970s. Elders is a certified pediatric endocrinologist and is an an expert on childhood sexual development. She was appointed Director of the Arkansas Department of Health, elected as President to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and has won a number of awards for her work. The University of Minnesota Program in Human Sexuality established The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education in her honor.

Steven Galson, MD, MPH (Acting Surgeon General 2007-2009) has dedicated 23 years service in various Federal Agencies. He served as Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and has held senior-level positions at the EPA, Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services. Galson's began his Public Health Service (PHS) career as an epidemiological investigator at CDC. He holds a BS from Stony Brook University, an MD from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Surgeon General's Medallion and three Secretary of Energy Gold Awards.

Antonia Novello, MD, MPH, DrPH (Surgeon General 1990-1993) was the first woman and the first Hispanic Surgeon General. Before entering the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), Antonia worked in a private practice of pediatrics and nephrology where she rose to deputy director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She made major contributions to the Organ Procurement Transplantation Act of 1984 and was successful in drafting warning labels concerning the health risks of cigarette smoking. She served as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Special Representative for Health and Nutrition and was nominated to be the New York State Health Commissioner where she managed a third of the New York state budget. Dr. Novello currently serves as the Executive Director of Public Health Policy at Florida Hospital. 

David Satcher, MD, PhD, FAAFP, FACPM, FACP (Surgeon General 1998-2002) is Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine where he is a professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Family Medicine, and Psychiatry. He is the School's founding Director of the National Center for Primary Care (NCPC) and Interim President. Satcher served as Director of the CDC and Assistant Secretary for Health. He is the second person in history to serve simultaneously as Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health. In those roles he released the first ever Surgeons General Reports on Mental Health, Oral Health, Sexual Health, and Overweight and Obesity and led the development of Healthy People 2010. Dr. Satcher has received over 50 honorary degrees and numerous leadership awards.