Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders to speak at SLU Sept. 28
Friday, September 17, 2010 - 5:00 pm

CANTON – Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon General, will give a talk called "Disparities in Health and Education in the 21st Century" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Eben Holden at St. Lawrence University.

When she was sworn in as surgeon general, Elders became the first African-American and the second woman to hold that post. As surgeon general, Elders initiated programs to combat youth smoking and teen pregnancy and to increase childhood immunizations. As a private citizen, she continues to lobby for the health needs of the young, the poor and the powerless.

A pediatric endocrinologist, Elders 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, “Joycelyn Elders M.D.: 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.

She was appointed as the 15th United States Surgeon General by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Her forthright style proved too controversial for many, and she stepped down the next year.

The event is part of SLU’s Contemporary Issues Forum, which brings experts and newsmakers to campus throughout the academic year. This year, the events will be centered around the theme of "Shifting Populations and Health."

The talk is open to the public, free of charge.