Surgeon General to Head Morehouse Center
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher announced last month that he will become director of a new center at historically Black Morehouse College that will press for better access to health care for minorities.
Accepting the new job on the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Satcher invoked the civil rights legend’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“We can certainly share in Dr. King’s dream,” Satcher said. “We dream of eliminating disparities in health among racial and ethnic groups in this country, of a time when all people in this country have adequate access to health care.”
Satcher, 60, was appointed the nation’s top health official by President Bill Clinton. He announced last year that he would step down Feb. 13 at the end of his four-year term.
Satcher clashed with the Bush administration last year over a sex education report he released that challenged the success of programs that teach only abstinence and, further, urged the promotion of birth control. But Satcher says he leaves with “no harsh feelings” toward the Bush administration.
Satcher’s boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, said in a statement: “His efforts to deal with a wide range of important public health problems, especially disparities in health among various populations, have had a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of our nation.”
President Bush has not nominated a replacement.
Satcher will become director of the National Center for Primary Care, which will seek to close racial and ethnic gaps in health care.
Satcher rose from an impoverished childhood in Anniston, Ala., received a bachelor’s from Morehouse and earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1970. He was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before becoming surgeon general. He also is a former president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville.
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