Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders

When she was sworn in as Surgeon General, Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders became the first African American and the second woman to hold that post. As Surgeon General, Dr. Elders initiated programs to combat youth smoking and teen pregnancy and to increase childhood immunizations. As a private citizen, she continues to lobby tirelessly for the health needs of the young, the poor and the powerless. A pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Elders has a deep concern for the welfare of children. She believes that violence, sexually transmitted diseases, poverty and substance abuse are the biggest threats to the health and wellness of our children. She advocates public health over profits in health care reform, openness over censorship in sex education, and rehabilitation over incarceration in the war against drugs. Her presentations on sexual health and education are both frank and informative. In her lectures and in her book, From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States, she addresses the importance of good prenatal care, the future of healthcare reform, women’s health concerns, current treatments for HIV/AIDS, and meeting the needs of older Americans.