Dr. David Satcher, the former U.S. Surgeon General, was named to the Board of Directors of UsAgainstAlzheimers (UsA2), where he will contribute his voice and influence to the non-profit organization as it advocates for greater urgency and action against Alzheimer’s disease.
Satcher, who was a four-star admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, served as the 16th U.S. Surgeon General and as Assistant Secretary for Health from February 1998 through January 2001 at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His recent focus has been as founding director and senior advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
As an UsAgainstAlzheimers director, Satcher will play an integral role in shaping the advocacy organization’s efforts to increase investments in Alzheimer’s research, in working to create a more robust and streamlined clinical trial infrastructure, and in addressing the higher relative impact Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have on minority communities.
“From both a personal and professional perspective, I am deeply engaged in the struggle to find a treatment and a cure for Alzheimer Disease,” Satcher said in a UsA2 press release. “I am especially concerned about the disproportionate impact of this disease on people of color, and I believe that we must find a way to better support caregivers, whether they be family members or professionals.”
Satcher, who earned an MD and PhD from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, will draw on his expansive expertise and career experiences, which also included service as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as an administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“We are honored to be joined by Dr. Satcher, who brings to our organization an impeccable track record of public service and a passionate commitment to improve the health of all Americans,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimers co-founder and chairman. “To defeat Alzheimer’s, we need exceptional leadership and big-league thinking. Dr. Satcher, who has already been a champion of this cause, will provide that and more to this fight.”
UsAgainstAlzheimers, founded in 2010, works to promote and quicken government, industry and the scientific efforts to find an Alzheimer’s cure through leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments. The organization has as its target a national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 (part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act), and has helped to raise nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past several years. It has also participated in global efforts to persuade leaders of developed nations to embrace the 2025 goal, and in calling for greater research spending and collaboration, and a quicker drug discovery and approval process.
UsAgainstAlzheimer has set its own goal — outside of the national goal — of stopping Alzheimers by 2020. “While we support the national plan and its goals, we believe, as most every family touched by Alzheimers disease believes, that preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is simply too long a wait for concrete progress,” it said in a statement. “There are promising avenues of drug discovery and development that will, if successful, deliver a means of slowing or deferring Alzheimer’s symptoms by 2020. By voicing the urgency felt by so many families, we will pressure researchers and industry to do all in their power to make that happen.”
Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine