Dr. David Satcher speaks at Meharry Medical College 140th Commencement

Dr. David Satcher

Dr. David Satcher

Meharry Medical College has served the nation’s health care needs for 139 years. The school’s reunion and commencement activities will span the week of May 11-17, culminating in the college convening its 140th Commencement exercise on Saturday, May 16. It is the 140th because it held two graduation ceremonies in one academic year during World War II. Be mindful that this year’s ceremony will be held on Gaylord’s vast Resort and Convention Center properties. For attending guests, suitable, yet comfortable attire and footwear are advised. The commencement begins at 10 am in Delta Ballroom A of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center on May 16. Doors open to the public at 9 am.

Commencement speaker Dr. David Satcher was President of Meharry for over a decade. He established The Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) at Morehouse School of Medicine in 2006 as a natural extension of his experience in improving public health policy for all Americans and his commitment to eliminating health disparities for minorities, poor people and other disadvantaged groups. Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1998 as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Satcher served simultaneously in the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, holding the rare rank of full Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Corps.

As Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1993-1998), Surgeon General, director of various government agencies, president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee (1982-1993), and as president of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia (2004-2006), Dr. Satcher has had the opportunity to experience and model effective leadership around health and health policy. Based on his unique set of experiences, his decision to build an institute based on leadership development for minorities is a new and critically necessary approach to addressing our national and global health crises.

Dr. Satcher was a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and Macy Faculty Fellow. Recipient of over 30 honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors, he received the Breslow Award in Public Health and the New York Academy of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award, the Benjamin E. Mays Trailblazer Award, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, among many other accolades too numerous to list here.

Dr. Satcher graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1963 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1970 with election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed his residency/fellowship training at Strong Memorial Hospital, the University of Rochester, UCLA and King/Drew. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American College of Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Learn more about Meharry and the 140th Commencement at www.mmc.edu