If, during APHA’s 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition, someone had a question about public health, there was no better time to get an answer than during Monday’s session with the surgeons general.

The Nov. 17 event featured six current and former leaders from the Office of the Surgeon General, who traced the modern history of the office and rallied attendees for public health. Their words had a profound effect: As the session went past its advertised ending time, few left the auditorium, and when the doctors were done speaking, the audience rushed the stage.

Current acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, who opened the session by announcing his predecessors and lauding their work, called himself “a kid in a candy store” for being surrounded by leaders in the field and their wealth of knowledge.

To continue reading this story from the January 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health, visit the newspaper online.