Meet America’s top public health official

Man fist-bumping his son with mother, daughter and Vice President Pence looking on (© AP Images)
Vice President Mike Pence, right, watches as Dr. Jerome Adams, second from right, gives his son, Eli, 11, a fist bump after being sworn-in as the 20th U.S. surgeon general. Adams' wife, Lacey, and daughter, Millie, 7, watch. (© AP Images)

The United States has a new top physician.

Dr. Jerome M. Adams was sworn in this month as the new U.S. surgeon general, the U.S. official responsible for issues affecting public health.

Close-up of Jerome Adams (© AP Images)
Jerome Adams (© AP Images)

Adams — who earned his medical degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he also completed his anesthesia residency — pledges to take on America’s opioid epidemic, an issue he tackled as an official in Indiana.

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office for Adams and praised him for his efforts when the two men worked together in Indiana. “As I saw firsthand, Dr. Jerome Adams has an extraordinary gift for empathy, and he brought that gift to his years in public service,” said Pence, who as governor of Indiana appointed Adams as the state’s health commissioner.

Adams says his motto as surgeon general will be “better health through better partnerships,” particularly joint projects with the business and law enforcement communities.