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Former Indiana health commissioner, US surgeon general joining Purdue faculty

The former Indiana state health commissioner and U.S. surgeon general will become the university's first director of health equity initiatives.
Credit: Purdue University/John Underwood
Dr. Jerome Adams, former Indiana state health commissioner and the 20th U.S. surgeon general, will lead the health equity initiative at Purdue University on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — After serving as the Indiana state health commissioner and the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams will join the faculty at Purdue University Friday, Oct. 1.

Adams will act as the university's first executive director of health equity initiatives, along with being a professor in the pharmacy practice and public health departments. He will also become a faculty member of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.

"Dr. Adams represents the highest level of excellence through decades of caring for patients and service to the nation in public health," Purdue President Mitch Daniels said Thursday. "He has consistently demonstrated commitment for health equity prior to, during and subsequent to his time as surgeon general. We are thrilled to have him provide leadership at Purdue and represent Purdue globally in this important strategic area."

Adams served at U.S. surgeon general from September 2017 to January 2021. He was Indiana's state health commissioner from 2014 to 2017.

He said he hopes to promote health equity, particularly in rural communities.

"Never before in American history has the need been greater or the community been more desirous of such an effort," Adams said. "I'm excited to combine my experiences in public health and public policy with the resources and opportunities afforded by Purdue to help coordinate, amplify and innovate in the health equity space."

Adams earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as an associate professor of anesthesia at Eskenazi Health and still sees patients and helps train medical students and residents.

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