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About Dr. David Satcher

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., for whom the awards are named, was the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and former Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. He was the second person in history to hold both posts simultaneously. His tenure of public service also includes serving as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1993 to 1998. A four-star admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he is a renowned champion for healthy lifestyles and for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. He is founder of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. In addition to his distinguished career nationally, he has served since 2005 on the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Dr. Satcher's latest book My Quest for Health Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading takes a close look at his 50-year career and what he has learned along the way. 

While Dr. Satcher has played, and still plays, a prominent role nationally and internationally, he has always taken the time to return to Rochester, where his medical career began, and, in doing so, has left his mark on this community. Dr. Satcher performed his residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the early 1970s. Since then he has continued to be involved in community health efforts here, including serving as a senior advisor to the medical center. Dr. Satcher received the University of Rochester’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2014.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Satcher received his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in 1963. He went on to earn his medical degree and his doctor of philosophy in cytogenetics at Case Western Reserve University in 1970. Upon completing his internship in pediatrics and his residence in medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1972 to launch his medical career as a Macy Foundation fellow in community medicine at King Drew Medical Center. Over the next decade, Dr. Satcher concurrently served as a physician and professor while advancing to top leadership positions at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College.

Born in Anniston, Alabama, on March 2, 1941, Dr. Satcher resides in Maryland and has four grown children.