Dr. David Satcher Receives 2018 William I Gardner Award
On Tuesday May 8, 2018, Dr. David Satcher was awarded the William I Gardner Award, the Center for START Service’s highest honor. The Garner award recognizes a national leader who has made significant contributions in the effort to improve the lives of people with intellectual/ developmental disabilities and mental health needs.
Dr. Beasley, CSS Director, made the following speech during the 2018 SNTI Awards Luncheon:
"David Satcher, MD, PhD is a physician-scientist and public health administrator with an extensive track record of leadership, research, and community engagement. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College and holds MD and PhD degrees from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Satcher served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States (1998-2002) and the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services (1998-2001). He also served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Dr. Satcher has also held top leadership positions at the Charles R. Drew University for Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has received over 50 honorary degrees and has received numerous awards from diverse organizations and agencies. Currently, Dr. Satcher is the Founding Director and Senior Advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. David Satcher has been a champion for the underserved in our country throughout his illustrious career. His work has helped to identify and overcome the financial and cultural barriers to effective health and mental healthcare for all. In doing so, he recognized the need to address barriers associated with developmental disabilities, in order to improve the public health approach to this underserved and misunderstood population.
In 2001, in his role as the 16th US Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher published “Closing the gap: a national blueprint to improve the health of persons with [intellectual disabilities]: report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on Health Disparities and [Intellectual Disability]” in which a priority was made to increase sources of quality healthcare for people with IDD.
The conference and subsequent paper advocated for mental health care for people with IDD, a group often overlooked and left out of mental health policy and practices. As part of the Surgeon General’s conference and report, START was identified as a national model to overcome disparities in access to mental health care. It was an important and pivotal moment in our history.
Dr. Satcher aims to foster the health and well-being of all of our citizens and to leave no one behind. His efforts have both highlighted problems and service gaps but also built upon proposed solutions and improved approaches. We still have a long road ahead, but the work of Dr. Satcher motivates us all to continue on this journey.
Dr. Gardner would have been very pleased that we are honoring Dr. David Satcher with the William I. Gardner award today."