Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, will discuss health care reform for the annual Casper Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Miami University Middletown's Miriam G. Knoll Community Center.
Elders, the first African-American woman to hold the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in July of 1993. She argued the case for universal health care coverage and was a spokesperson for Clinton’s health care reform act.
Upon joining the United States Army in 1953, following her work as a nurse’s aid in a Veterans’ Administration hospital n Milwaukee, Elders was trained as a physical therapist. She then obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1960.
In 1967, Elders received a National Institutes of Health career development award while serving as an assistant professor in pediatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical Center. She was promoted to associate professor in 1971 and professor in 1976. Her research focused on endocrinology, and in 1978 she received certification as a pediatric endocrinologist.
Elders was appointed to director of the Arkansas Department of Health by then-Governor Bill Clinton in 1987. During her time in this position, the number of annual early childhood screenings increased ten-fold, and the immunization rate for 2-year-olds doubled in Arkansas.
Elders is now a distinguished professor of public health at the University of Arkansas and a distinguished professor at the Clinton School of Public Policy.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets are required. RSVP by calling 513-727-3471.