Dr. Antonia Novello
14th Surgeon General of the United States
When Dr. Antonia Novello grew up in the small city of Farjardo, Puerto Rico, she never dreamed she would spread her wings beyond its borders. As a child, she suffered from a medical condition that could only be corrected with surgery, but her family’s humble means could not afford the costs. It was only after…
When Dr. Antonia Novello grew up in the small city of Farjardo, Puerto Rico, she never dreamed she would spread her wings beyond its borders. As a child, she suffered from a medical condition that could only be corrected with surgery, but her family’s humble means could not afford the costs. It was only after two surgeries, at age 18 and 20, that the condition was finally corrected.
This life changing experience drove her decision to become a doctor. Through determination and hard work, Dr. Novello was named Surgeon General of the United States by President George Bush in 1990. This appointment made history, as she became the first woman and the first Hispanic ever to hold that office. Her selection came after nearly two decades of public service at the National Institutes of Health, where she took a role in drafting national legislation regarding organ transplantation.
Dr. Novello earned her B.S. degree in 1965 and an M.D. degree in 1970 from the University of Puerto Rico. She later completed her medical training in nephrology, the study of the kidneys, at the University of Michigan, where she was first woman to be named Intern of the Year.
Dr. Novello gained experience in pediatrics in Michigan until 1974 and, after postgraduate work at Georgetown University and several years in private practice, she joined the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1978, working with the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Disorders at the National Institutes of Health. She became deputy director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she focused on pediatric AIDS.
Dr. Novello continued to work in pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital and in 1982, earned her Master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and in May 2000, she received a Doctor of Public Health. On assignment with the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, she helped draft legislation for the Organ Transplantation Procurement Act of 1984.
Through the prestige and authority of this office, the Surgeon General can more effectively exhort and educate the public on pervasive health issues. As Surgeon General, Dr. Novello focused on health matters such as smoking, AIDS, especially among women and adolescents, diet and nutrition, environmental health hazards, and the importance of immunization and disease prevention.
One of her most visible and effective campaigns was against tobacco industry advertising aimed at children, especially evident in posters and billboard advertisements that featured the cartoon character “Joe Camel.” In addition, Dr. Novello alerted the nation to the rising incidence of AIDS among women and adolescents. Her 1993 report on AIDS, while counseling against promiscuity and drug use, also included instructions on using condoms and cleaning intravenous needles. During the Gulf War, Dr. Novello expedited the Federal Drug Administration approval of vaccines for military personnel, for which she was later awarded the Legion of Merit, a military honor, by General Colin Powell.
After serving as Surgeon General, Dr. Novello was a Special Representative to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), where she expanded her efforts to address the health and nutritional needs of women, children, and adolescents on a global scale. From 1996 to 1999, she was visiting professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins School of Health and Hygiene, where she advised on health services for poor communities.
Dr. Novello currently serves as the Executive Director of Public Health Policy at Florida Hospital, where she is in charge of advocating, translating, and implementing public health issues across the board, as well as directing and organizing a lecture series involving the top medical professionals in the nation. With extensive knowledge on health, wellness, and fighting for what you believe in, the former Surgeon General can share her insights into the current healthcare system. She is sure to inspire audiences to follow their dreams, no matter what their background.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Hispanics – More Than Statistics
Health Policy Management
Improving Healthcare for Minorities
Health & Nutritional Needs of Women and Children
DREAM BIG- Dr. Antonia Novello 10 Tips for success
Dr. Antonia Coello Novello
DREAM BIG- Dr. Antonia Novello 10 Tips for success
Antonia Novello Speaker - PDA Speakers
1 HOUR OR LESS