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Former Surgeon General Joins The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force

ATLANTA, GA...David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., former U.S. Surgeon General, will join the Carter Center's Mental Health Task Force in September. Chaired by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the task force works to identify mental health issues of major concern, convene diverse constituencies, and develop initiatives to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses.

Of his new role with The Carter Center, Dr. Satcher said: "Mrs. Carter and I share a vision for mental health in this country that centers on parity of access to mental health services in our health care system and the need to erase the stigma against mental illness.

I look forward to working with a distinguished and dedicated group of professionals who share the same goals." Dr. Satcher is currently a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C. This fall, he will assume the post of director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dr. Satcher served simultaneously in the positions of U.S. surgeon general and U.S. assistant secretary for health from February 1998 through January 2001 and continued as Surgeon General until February of this year. During that time, he raised public awareness immeasurably with the first-ever report of a surgeon general on mental health.

That report was the cornerstone of the Carter Center's 1999 Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy. Dr. Satcher also held the posts of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998. Until being named director of CDC, he was president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville since 1982.

Among his many prestigious awards and recognitions are the Surgeon General's Medallion, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the New York Academy of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. A native of Alabama, Dr. Satcher graduated from Morehouse College in 1963 and received his master's and doctoral degrees from Case Western University in 1970.

The nonprofit, nongovernmental Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. In partnership with Emory University, the Center works to wage peace, fight disease, and build hope for millions of people around the world. Led by Mrs. Carter since its inception, the Center's Mental Health Program will host the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy November 6-7, titled Status Report: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of the Country in the Wake of September 11, 2001.

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