Vice President Pence swore in the new surgeon general, Jerome Adams, who was previously appointed by Pence in 2014 to serve as Indiana’s health commissioner.
At the ceremony Tuesday afternoon, Adams said his motto as surgeon general will be to create better health through better partnerships in an effort to address wide-ranging health issues, such as the opioid epidemic, mental health and childhood obesity.
“To borrow a phrase from our president, let’s all work together to make American health great again,” he said, according to a pool report.
The Senate confirmed Adams in early August, right before the chamber headed into a monthlong recess. In April, the Trump administration ousted Vivek Murthy, who had served in the position since 2014 as an appointee of President Obama.
Pence praised Adams for his work on cutting Indiana's infant mortality rate, addressing Ebola and helping curb an HIV outbreak stemming from injection drug use.
“It was Dr. Adams who led from the front,” Pence said, according to a pool report. “I saw that empathy for which he is so widely known.”
The surgeon general is viewed as the “nation’s doctor,” and also oversees the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, comprised of more than 6,700 people who serve in public health and clinical service roles for federal agencies.