Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Georges Benjamin, executive director of APHA, join Jerome Adams, right, during his swearing-in ceremony as the 20th U.S. surgeon general. Photo courtesy Michael Fraser, ASTHO

Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Georges Benjamin, executive director of APHA, join Jerome Adams, right, during his swearing-in as the 20th U.S. surgeon general. Photo courtesy Michael Fraser, ASTHO

Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, began his tenure as U.S. surgeon general today after being sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence during a White House ceremony.

Adams starts a four-year term as the nation’s doctor, serving an important advisory role in disseminating the latest science on improving health and preventing disease. He also serves as chair of the National Prevention Council, which coordinates prevention and wellness activities across federal agencies, and oversees the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

An anesthesiologist by training, Adams most recently served as Indiana state health commissioner.

“We look forward to working with Dr. Adams as he assumes the critically important office of U.S. surgeon general,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, who attended the ceremony with other health leaders. “His leadership will be vital as we work to strengthen the public health work force and tackle a broad range of pressing public health challenges.”

Adams becomes the 20th surgeon general to hold the office. Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been serving as acting surgeon general since April 21. He succeeds former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.