Surgeon general to address opioid crisis, health partnerships


As opioid addiction and overdoses continue to take a horrific toll on America, a national leader with personal and professional experience on the issue will speak about it at the University of Michigan on March 22.

Jerome Adams

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams will headline a 90-minute event titled “Better Health Through Better Partnerships” at 2 p.m. at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business’ Robertson Auditorium.

Presented by the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for both in-person attendance and online viewing. A reception will follow.

Adams took office in September after serving as Indiana health commissioner and as a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine. An anesthesiologist by training, he has spoken publicly of his brother’s struggle with substance use disorders and how addiction has impacted his life.

The U-M event will begin with an introduction from Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Then, Adams will sit down with IHPI director John Z. Ayanian to answer questions in a “fireside chat” format.

They’ll then be joined onstage by Joneigh Khaldun, director of the Detroit Health Department, and two U-M professors who have led research and public policy efforts on opioids: Chad Brummett of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing and Engagement Network, and Rebecca Cunningham, director of the U-M Injury Prevention Center and associate vice president for research for health sciences.

An aspect of the nation’s opioid crisis — dependency by those who were prescribed opioids to manage pain from an injury — is the focus of the first project being tackled by U-M’s new Precision Health initiative, which President Mark Schlissel announced last fall.

Members of the audience will also have a chance to ask Adams and the panelists questions. Twitter users can follow highlights, and contribute observations and questions using the hashtag #ihpi18.

While at U-M, Adams also will meet with faculty, students and community leaders in closed sessions during the day. The title of the public talk is also his motto as surgeon general, as he seeks to maintain strong relationships with the public health community while forging new partnerships with non-traditional partners including business and law enforcement.

A Maryland native, Adams holds degrees from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of California, Berkeley; and the Indiana School of Medicine.

In addition to his role as a public leader on important health issues, Adams oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 600 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of the nation and world.


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