Closing General Session

Achieving Equity: The Key Ingredient For A Healthier Nation

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 | 2:30 - 4 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Health equity and improving the health of all groups has become a cornerstone of U.S. national health objectives. This session features a keynote address from David Satcher, the former Assistant Secretary for Health and the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, and a fireside chat with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

The session will kick off APHA’s 150th Anniversary, leading up to the capstone event, APHA 2022 in Boston. The yearlong celebration will be dedicated to the 2022 meeting theme, "150 Years of Creating the Healthiest Nation: Leading the Path Toward Equity." 

Vivek MurthyVice Admiral Vivek Murthy

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States as a returning role. As the Nation’s Doctor, the Surgeon General’s mission is to restore trust by relying on the best scientific information available, providing clear, consistent guidance and resources for the public, and ensuring that we reach our most vulnerable communities As the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Murthy commands a uniformed service of 6,000 dedicated public health officers, serving the most underserved and vulnerable populations domestically and abroad.

During his previous tenure as 19th Surgeon General, Murthy has created initiatives to tackle our country’s most pressing public health challenges. Prior to his tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS, a global HIV/AIDS education organization; the Swasthya Project, a rural health partnership that trained women in South India to become community health workers and educators; TrialNetworks, a technology company dedicated to improving collaboration and efficiency in clinical trials; and Doctors for America, a nonprofit mobilizing physicians and medical students to improve access to affordable care. His scientific research has focused on vaccine development and the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials.  And as an internal medicine doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School, Murthy cared for thousands of patients over the years and trained undergraduates, medical students, and medical residents.  

David SatcherDavid Satcher

David Satcher, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist and public health administrator with an extensive track record of leadership, research, and community engagement. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College and holds MD and PhD degrees from Case Western Reserve University, where he was also elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He is a renowned champion for healthy lifestyles and for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. His newest book, “My Quest for Health Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading,” is a fascinating expose of lessons learned during his lifetime commitment for racial justice and health for all.

Satcher served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States (1998-2002) and the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services (1998-2001). He also served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He has also held top leadership positions at the Charles R. Drew University for Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has received over 50 honorary degrees and has received numerous awards from diverse organizations and agencies. Currently, Satcher is the Founding Director and Senior Advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.