Dr. Jerome Adams was appointed as a presidential fellow and the executive director of Purdue’s Health Equity Initiatives on October 1, 2021. He is also a distinguished professor of practice in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Public Health.
As the 20th U.S. Surgeon General and a prior member of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Adams has been at the forefront of America’s most pressing health challenges.
Dr. Adams is a licensed anesthesiologist with a master’s degree in public health and ran the Indiana State Department of Health prior to becoming surgeon general. In the state health commissioner role, he managed a $350 million dollar budget and over 1000 employees and led Indiana’s response to the Ebola, Zika, and HIV crises. Notably, Dr. Adams helped convince the governor and state legislature to legalize syringe service programs in the state and to prioritize $13 million in funding to combat infant mortality. As Surgeon General, Dr. Adams was the operational head of the 6000-person Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and oversaw responses to three back-to-back, category-5 hurricanes and to a once-in-a-century pandemic.
In addition to his recent COVID-19 work, Dr. Adams has partnered with and assisted organizations as they navigate the opioid epidemic, maternal health, rising rates of chronic disease, the impacts of rising suicide rates in our nation, and how businesses can become better stewards and stakeholders in promoting community health.