#417: Dr. Vivek Murthy — Former Surgeon General on Combatting COVID-19, Loneliness, and More
“All of us, regardless of what stage of life we’re at, we’ve got three basic needs: we all want to know that we matter, we want to be seen for who we are, and we want to know that we’re loved.” — Dr. Vivek Murthy
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy (@vivek_murthy, vivekmurthy.com) served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States between 2014-2017. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers globally. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy launched the TurnTheTide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for recognizing addiction as a chronic illness, not a character flaw.
In 2017, Dr. Murthy focused his attention on chronic stress and loneliness as prevalent problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. He has co-founded a number of organizations: VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India; Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India training women as health providers and educators; software company TrialNetworks; and the grassroots physicians organization Doctors for America.
Since leaving government service, Dr. Murthy has continued to focus on loneliness and social connection. His book Together: the Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World will be published this spring by Harper Collins.
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