When David Satcher, M.D., was U.S. Surgeon General from 1998 to 2002, he
crusaded tirelessly to focus the federal government and the rest of the nation
on the unmet need for mental health care among minorities and children.
In landmark reports such as "Mental Health: a Report of the Surgeon
General," "Action Agenda for Children's Mental Health,""
Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity," and "Call to
Action to Prevent Suicide," Satcher tried to awaken his country to the
wide-ranging causes and consequences of mental illness, the effective
treatments for it, and the barriers that keep so many from taking advantage of
Now, a very well-known american couple who has long admired his efforts
have announced a fitting tribute to Satcher.
Comedian and activist Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, have endowed the
Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health at Morehouse School of Medicine
in Atlanta. The "Poussaint" in the title honors psychiatrist Alvin
Poussaint, M.D., who is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard and served as an
advisor on "The Cosby Show."
The chair, which the Cosbys endowed at a June 5 ceremony with a $3 million
gift for mental health research, is to be part of the Satcher Health
Leadership Institute at Morehouse. The Institute's mission is to spotlight
issues and research in "mental health, sexual health, the health of the
black family, and related issues impacting the community," according to
a press release announcing the endowment.
Satcher, who is a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse and before
becoming surgeon general chaired its Department of Community Medicine and
Family Practice. Also at the June 5 ceremony, Satcher was named president of
Morehouse School of Medicine.
In 2002 APA acknowledged Satcher's efforts with its Patient Advocacy