Vivek Hallegere Murthy, 37-year-old
Indian-American physician, has been confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General of
America by US Senate.
He is the youngest and the first Indian-origin to hold the highly responsible
Dr. Murthy's confirmation also
marked a major defeat for the powerful gun lobby spearheaded by the National
Rifles Association, which had lobbied hard with senators to block a vote, and
nearly succeeded, delaying a vote for 10 months.
Democrats pushed the nomination
through in the dying days of their leadership of the upper chamber, which
passes into Republican hand next month following recent polls.
Dr. Murthy was confirmed by a 51-43
Welcoming the confirmation, President Barack Obama said he
will "hit the ground running" and "build on the progress we've
made combating Ebola".
Senator Dick Durbin also praised Murthy for his dedication
to fighting obesity, tobacco related diseases and other chronic diseases that
are major causes for death in America and make up for 84 per cent of the US's
health care costs.
"I believe Dr Murthy understands the significance of the national crises
before him. His experiences, his training, and his tenacity have provided him
the qualifications he needs to tackle these issues, and the many more he's sure
to face, head-on," Durbin said.
"Not only is Dr Murthy an outstanding physician and public health expert,
but he also remains closely connected to his community and family," he
Murthy's nomination was supported by over 100 public health and medical
organisations and they include: the American College of Physicians, the
American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the
American Public Health Association, the American Hospital Association, the American
Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes
About Dr. Murthy
President and co-founder of Doctors
for America, a position he has held since 2009, Vivek Hallegere Murthy is a
Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and
Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 2006.
He was appointed as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health
Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health in 2011.
Murthy has been the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks,
formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007.
He co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on
HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as president
from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003.
He received a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of
Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.
He was born to parents who are originally from South India. He came to the
United States when he was three years old and grew up in Miami, Florida.
Indo-Americans Hail the Confirmation
Indo-Americans have hailed the
confirmation of Dr. Murthy, a 37-year-old physician of India descent, to the
position of United States Surgeon General.
Rajan Zed said, "Indo-American community is delighted and thrilled and feels
honored by this confirmation. A smart choice," Zed remarked.
Zed, who is Chairperson of
Indo-American Leadership Confederation, added that, "We applaud Murthy's
confirmation, an outstanding physician who has demonstrated to be a sincere and
innovative health leader and visionary, committed to improving the health of
Americans. We thank US Senate for approval of his nomination."