Project RACE Helps Welcome New U.S. Surgeon General

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PR Kids President, Karson Baldwin (that’s me!) with my new hero, the new U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy!

Fort Myer, VA –

Yesterday was a day I will never forget. It was an awesome honor to be invited to the Swearing-In and Change of Command Ceremony for the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.

The Surgeon General is considered “America’s Doctor” and his job is improving personal and public health for the USA. Dr. Murthy gave a really inspiring speech about his childhood and what made him decide to become a doctor. In his speech he also talked a lot about health care being a basic civil right for all and not a privilege for some and he talked about racial and economic health disparities.  At Project RACE, one of the main things we care about is equal rights in health care for multiracial people.  I think Dr. Murthy is now one of the most important people in our country, because he has the power to help with that.

But he was not the only big time government person there. Health and Human Service Secretary Burwell introduced Vice President Biden who was there to read the commission and lead Dr. Murthy in the Oath of Office. There were lots of other officials in the ceremony and in the crowd and I got to talk to three pharmacists at the FDA about including multiracial people in medical research!

The ceremony was at Fort Myer in Virginia and included all kinds of military activities because the Surgeon General leads the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps of 6,700 uniformed health officers “who serve around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world.” There were bells, medals, frocking, marching and more. One of the coolest moments was when the Deputy Surgeon General announced to Dr. Murthy that they were “awaiting his command” and the new Surgeon General declared, “POST MY COLORS!” (like a BOSS!)

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Dr. Murthy went to Harvard for undergrad and Yale for Med School so we had to talk a little Harvard-Yale sports rivalry.

The highlight, of course, was when my mom and I got to talk with Dr. Murthy and his fiance, Dr. Alice Chen, after the ceremony.  All that Dr. Murthy has accomplished is crazy impressive. Being the youngest Surgeon General ever is crazy impressive. Being the first Indian Surgeon General ever is crazy impressive. But welcoming a 13 year old advocate to share in such a special day and taking the time to be so warm and humble is most impressive of all!

 

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Mom, Dr. Murthy, Me and Dr. Chen

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Dr. Murthy started his first non profit when he was 17 years old!