HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton University has produced some of the most influential leaders in American history. Now, HU is adding another name to its list of outstanding alumni, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams. As of Friday, April 21, Admiral Trent-Adams will serve as the acting Surgeon General of the United States, the first African-American Nurse to fill the position. During the Bush administration, Dr. Richard Carmona, a nurse and a physician, served as the Surgeon General and often referred to himself as the first nurse.
The Surgeon General is “America’s Doctor,” responsible for communicating the best scientific information available on how to improve your health.
Admiral Trent-Adams graduated from HU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1987 before pursuing an M.S. in Nursing and Health Policy and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She was a nurse officer in the Army and also served as a research nurse at UM. She joined the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service in 1992 and served as the deputy associate administrator for the HIV/AIDS bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration before joining the surgeon general’s office.
Admiral Trent-Adams is replacing Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, who served during the Obama administration. Alleigh Marré, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement on Friday that Dr. Murthy was asked to step down “after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration.” Ms. Marré said Dr. Murthy would continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
On Facebook, Dr. Murthy posted a farewell letter to the American public late Friday. He said, “While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served. The role of the Surgeon General is traditionally to share wisdom with others, but it was I who learned so much by listening to your stories in town halls and living rooms.”