Trump appoints nurse to serve as acting surgeon general

Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, was installed as acting surgeon general Friday after the Trump administration asked Vivek Murthy, MD, to resign, according to The New York Times.

Dr. Trent-Adams is one of the first nurses to be appointed surgeon general and is the first non-physician to be appointed. During the Bush administration, the surgeon general — Richard Carmona — was both a physician and a nurse, according to the report.

Dr. Murthy was asked to resign after assisting with the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations, an HHS spokeswoman told The New York Times in an emailed statement. However, Alice Chen, MD, Dr. Murthy's wife, told the newspaper he was asked to resign, refused and was fired. On Facebook, Dr. Murthy said, "Many have asked why I chose not to resign as Surgeon General when I was asked to do so. My reason was simple: because I would never willfully abandon my commitment to my Commissioned Corps officers, to the American people, and to all who have stood with me to build a healthier and more compassionate America."

Dr. Trent-Adams "is the right person to step into this role," he added. Dr. Trent-Adams was serving as Dr. Murthy's deputy prior to her appointment as acting surgeon general. "She has dedicated the past 30 years to our nation serving in the Army and in the U.S. Public Health Service. Her deep wealth of experience is matched only by the immense size of her heart," Dr. Murthy wrote on Facebook.

Prior to her role as deputy surgeon general, Dr. Trent-Adams served as CNO of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, according to her profile on the HHS website. Before that, she was deputy associate administrator for the HIV/AIDS bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration. She served as a nurse officer in the U.S. Army and a research nurse at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, where she earned her PhD.

Read the full story in The New York Times here.


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