Jerome Adams

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Jerome Adams
20th Surgeon General of the United States
Assumed office
September 5, 2017
President Donald Trump
Deputy Erica Schwartz
Preceded by Vivek Murthy
Health Commissioner of Indiana
In office
October 22, 2014 – September 5, 2017
Governor Mike Pence
Eric Holcomb
Preceded by William VanNess[1]
Succeeded by Kristina Box[2]
Personal details
Born 1974/1975 (age 44–45)
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Lacey Adams
Children 3
Education University of Maryland, Baltimore County (BA, BS)
Indiana University, Indianapolis (MD)
University of California, Berkeley (MPH)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service USPHS Commissioned Corps
Years of service 2017–present
Rank US Navy O9 infobox.svg Vice Admiral

Jerome M. Adams is an American anesthesiologist and a vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who serves as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2014–17. On June 29, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Adams to become Surgeon General of the United States.[3][4] Adams was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017.[5] He assumed office on September 5, 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 and the University of Maryland Baltimore County through a full-tuition Meyerhoff Scholarship, a grant dedicated to minority students interested in the sciences.[6] Adams received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and his Bachelor of Arts in Biopsychology. He studied in the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.[6]

Adams attended medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine as an Eli Lilly and Company Scholar.[6] He also received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000, with a focus on chronic disease prevention.[7] 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.[8]


Private practice and academia

After two years in private practice at Ball Memorial Hospital, Adams was named Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Indiana University.[9] He has written several academic papers and book chapters, including chapters in Anesthesia Student Survival Guide, A case-based approach,[10] and an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health, "Are Pain Management Questions in Patient Satisfaction Surveys Driving the Opioid Epidemic." [11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Surgeon General of the United States

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence swears-in Adams as U.S. Surgeon General on September 5, 2017.

On June 29, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Adams as the next Surgeon General of the United States.[3] He was confirmed to the position on August 3, 2017. Upon his confirmation, Adams noted that addressing the opioid epidemic along with untreated mental illness would be two of his major priorities.[5]

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.[14][15] In May 2018, Adams responded to an in-flight medical emergency on a flight to Jackson, Mississippi.[16]

In September 2018, Adams began a campaign along with other public health officials to promote seasonal flu vaccinations. The 2017 flu epidemic 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.[17]

Family Separation Controversy

The Trump administration family separation policy and treatment of migrant children drew universal backlash from medical groups, with organizations such as the American Medical Association[18][19], American Academy of Pediatrics[20], American Psychiatric Association[21], and the American Academy of Family Physicians[22] calling for an end to the practice due to the harms caused to children. Despite being called on to advocate against such policies[23], Dr. Adams has chosen not to speak out against this practice.

Awards and decorations

USPHSCC Surgeon General Badge.png
Office of HHS ID Badge.png
Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal
Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon
Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon


During his time as Indiana State Health Commissioner, Adams led Indiana's efforts to deal with the largest HIV outbreak related to injection drug use in the history of the United States. This resulted in interviews for Time magazine,[24] NPR,[25] The New York Times,[26] USA Today,[27] and MSNBC.[28]

Personal life

Adams and his wife Lacey have three children, Caden, Eli, and Millie.


  1. ^ "Pence names Adams Indiana's health commissioner". Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Indiana Names OB-GYN To Fill Vacated Health Commissioner Seat". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Jerome Adams nominated as new U.S. surgeon general". STAT. June 29, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  4. ^ "President Trump nominates Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams for U.S. Surgeon General". Fox 59. June 29, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Scutti, Susan (August 4, 2017). "Dr. Jerome Adams confirmed as surgeon general". CNN. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c 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.
  7. ^ Groppe, Maureen (August 1, 2017). "Jerome Adams promises to put science ahead of politics as surgeon general". USA Today. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "American Society of Anesthesiologists Congratulates Jerome Adams, M.D., for Surgeon General Nomination". American Society of Anesthesiologists. June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "Faculty | Anesthesia | IU School of Medicine". Indiana University School of Medicine. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ 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. Retrieved March 25, 2018 – via (Atypon).
  12. ^ "ISDH: State Health Commissioner". Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  13. ^ "Jerome M. Adams, MD". Indiana University School of Medicine. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  14. ^ CNBC (April 5, 2018). "Surgeon general urges Americans to carry overdose antidote". CNBC. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Press, Associated. "Americans urged to carry overdose antidote in effort to tackle drug deaths". Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "The campaign to prevent another deadly flu season". Axios. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Doctors oppose policy that splits kids from caregivers at border". June 13, 2018.
  19. ^ "Congress told impact of immigrant children's trauma may be lifelong". July 12, 2019.
  20. ^ "Detention of Immigrant Children". May 2017.
  21. ^ "APA Statement Opposing Separation of Children from Parents at the Border". May 31, 2018.
  22. ^ "Separation of Families". July 2018.
  23. ^ "The surgeon general needs to step up for migrants". August 6, 2018.
  24. ^ Worland, Justin (April 17, 2015). "". At Least 120 Now Infected in Indiana HIV Outbreak. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  25. ^ Bloc k, Melissa (April 24, 2015). "". HIV Outbreak in Indiana Grows With Nearly 140 Confirmed Cases. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  26. ^ Hoffman, Jan; Tavernise, Sabrina (August 4, 2016). "". Vexing Question on Patient Surveys: Did We Ease Your Pain?. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  27. ^ Ungar, Laura; Kenning, Chris (May 17, 2015). "". Indiana community's HIV outbreak a warning to rural America. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  28. ^ Roberts, Thomas (March 26, 2015). "". HIV outbreak in Indiana leads to health emergency. Retrieved October 5, 2016.

External links

  • Jerome Adams' Twitter
Military offices
Preceded by
Vivek Murthy
Surgeon General of the United States
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