Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2014

National Organizations Demonstrate Strong Support for Dr. Vivek Murthy as the next Surgeon General

Washington, D.C., May 16, 2014 – Today, more than 70 national organizations – including the American Public Health Association (APHA) and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) – sent a letter to members of the Senate urging them to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as the next surgeon general.

“I have seen Dr. Murthy’s highly skilled work firsthand—he is an inspirational leader who can bring the medical and public health communities together to create a culture of health in America,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH and chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. “The avalanche of support from the public health community for Dr. Murthy’s nomination demonstrates the importance of confirming him.”

The letter, in part, reads: “As state and national public health organizations dedicated to protecting and improving the health of all Americans, we write to voice our strong support for Dr. Vivek Murthy’s nomination as surgeon general of the United States. Dr. Murthy is a well-qualified, forward thinking and innovative leader with a strong commitment to public health. We are confident that he will play an important and leading role in improving the health of the American public, and we urge you to support his nomination.”

Past surgeons general have successfully brought attention to critical health issues such as the addictiveness of tobacco use and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Dr. Murthy has stated his intention to make the obesity epidemic one of his top priorities.

As noted in the letter: “During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Dr. Murthy stated that educating the public about the obesity epidemic would be one of his top priorities as surgeon general. Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent. Addressing the obesity epidemic is essential to improve health and reduce the growing rates of chronic disease, which now make up 75 percent of America’s health costs. National leadership from the surgeon general can help to build the cross-sector partnerships in communities which are essential to reversing this epidemic.”

The letter comes just months after leading public health experts and organizations – including Dr. David Satcher, APHA, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and many others – released individual letters in support of Dr. Vivek Murthy becoming the next surgeon general.

Dr. Satcher, surgeon general under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, wrote, in his letter of support: “Dr. Murthy’s impressive track record of accomplishments as an innovative and well-respected thought leader in health care will prove to be invaluable to the American people." 

Today, TFAH joined the 71 other national organizations in supporting the nomination of Dr. Murthy in signing today’s letter, including:

  1. AIDS United
  2. Alaska Public Health Association
  3. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  4. American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  5. American College of Physicians
  6. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  7. American Council on Exercise
  8. American Diabetes Association
  9. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  10. American Medical Student Association
  11. American Podiatric Medical Association
  12. American Public Health Association
  13. American Sexual Health Association
  14. Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  15. Association of Public Health Laboratories
  16. Boston Public Health Commission (MA)
  17. Boston University School of Medicine (MA)
  18. Bronx Health REACH (NY)
  19. Buncombe County Health and Human Services (NC)
  20. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  21. Center for Active Design
  22. Center for Science in the Public Interest
  23. ChangeLab Solutions
  24. Claudia Smith Public Health Nursing Consultation
  25. Community Action Partnership
  26. Connecticut Public Health Association
  27. Cuyahoga County Board of Health (OH)
  28. Delaware Public Health Association and Delaware Academy of Medicine
  29. Directors of Health Promotion and Education
  30. Families USA
  31. Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurse Association
  32. Hawaii Public Health Association
  33. Health Resources in Action, Inc. (MA)
  34. Healthy Kinder, Inc
  35. Iowa Public Health Association
  36. Jefferson County Health Department (MO)
  37. Louisiana Public Health Association, Inc.
  38. Minnesota Public Health Association
  39. Missouri Public Health Association
  40. Montana Public Health Association
  41. National AHEC Organization
  42. National Association of County and City Health Officials
  43. National Black Nurses Association
  44. National Center for Healthy Housing
  45. National Coalition of STD Directors
  46. National Health Care for the Homeless Council
  47. National Hispanic Medical Association
  48. National Recreation and Park Association
  49. National WIC Association
  50. New Jersey Public Health Association
  51. New Mexico Public Health Association
  52. New York State Public Health Association
  53. NYU College of Nursing
  54. Ohio Public Health Association
  55. Oregon Public Health Association
  56. Partnership for Prevention
  57. Prevention Institute
  58. Public Health Association of Nebraska
  59. Public Health Institute
  60. Rx-SafeNet (IN)
  61. School-Based Health Alliance
  62. Society of General Internal Medicine
  63. South Dakota Public Health Association
  64. Spokane Regional Health District (WA)
  65. The AIDS Institute
  66. UMMA Community Clinic (CA)
  67. United States Breastfeeding Committee
  68. University of Hartford (CT)
  69. University of Utah College of Nursing
  70. Vermont Public Health Association
  71. Wisconsin Public Health Association

Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.



Media Contacts: Albert Lang (202) 223-9870 x 21 or or Laura Segal (202) 223-9870 x 27 or