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VIVEK H. MURTHY, THE US SURGEON GENERAL

The 37-year-old Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy was confirmed on December 15, 2014, as the 19th United States Surgeon General. He is the youngest ever to be in charge of the country's health and the first Indian-American to serve as Surgeon General.

What is the role of US Surgeon General?

The Surgeon General is "America's Doctor," responsible for communicating the best scientific information available on how to improve your health. He is also a three-star 

Vice Admiral who oversees operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,700 uniformed 

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health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world.

Five things to know about Vivek Murthy:

  1. Education: He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale.  He completed residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He later joined the faculty as an internal medicine physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School.
  2. When he was 17 years old, Dr. Murthy and his sister co-founded VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States, which he led for eight years. 
  3. He also co-founded the Swasthya project (“health and wellbeing” in Sanskrit), a community health partnership in rural India designed to train women to be health providers and educators. 
  4. He is also an entrepreneur who launched a successful software technology company, TrialNetworks, which improves research collaboration and enhances the efficiency of clinical trials around the world. 
  5. Most recently, Dr. Murthy served as the president of Doctors for America, a non-profit organization comprised of more than 16,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states who work with patients and policymakers to build a high quality, affordable healthcare system for all.
The 1977-born Surgeon General plans to focus his efforts on building partnerships within communities and across numerous sectors of society to address the epidemics of obesity and tobacco-related disease, to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, to improve vaccination rates and to make prevention and health promotion the backbone of a strong and healthy America. 

In case you hadn't already guessed, this young democrat is the son of Indian immigrant parents from Karnataka, India. He was born in the UK and was three-year old when his family moved to Miami, FL.

(Source: www.surgeongeneral.gov/; AllGov.com)

Obstacles in his path:

According to an article in Washington Post, when the young doctor was first nominated by President Obama for the role of US Surgeon General in Nov 2013, he faced opposition on two grounds-

1. Lack of experience- Senators in both parties had questioned whether he was too inexperienced for the job

2. His support for tighter gun-control laws- National Rifle Association called him a “serious threat to the rights of gun owners and opposed him vehemently. That animosity in part dates to a tweet Murthy sent out in 2012: "Tired of politicians playing politics w/guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue."

Murthy's appointment was finally approved in Dec 2013. The swearing in ceremony was in Apr 2015. Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to him. On the occasion, he shared the picture below on social media (below, left). Today he shared another picture of Joe Biden with his granmother (below, right) with the message seen below.

 "My family’s strength, love, support, and faith have led to this moment. It means everything to share this with them. It's an honor to be your #SurgeonGeneral.#SGLaunch"

"That amazing moment when Vice President Biden knelt down in front of my grandmother to credit her -- and all #grandmothers, really -- for what they do to strengthen our nation by building #StrongFamilies. The VPOTUS gets it!" 

WE SAY ....

Vivek Murthy is undoubtedly a trail-blazer not only for the Indian-American community but for every minority community whose members are willing to work hard, dream big and achieve high. We are proud of him. Lead the way, Mr. Murthy. You have a huge fan base following you right behind.

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