Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 02:20 pm

Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum today welcomed the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, as a guest of honor on the second day of the 2019 Main Street ND Summit at the Bismarck Event Center.

Dr. Adams delivered the morning’s keynote address to more than 1,000 people in attendance at the summit, including more than 250 middle and high school students. Dr. Adams spoke about his Community Health and Economic Prosperity initiative and how it aligns with the governor’s Main Street Initiative, and also participated in a question-and-answer session with the governor and first lady.

“The State of North Dakota is fortunate and so grateful to have Dr. Adams join us this morning,” First Lady Burgum said as she introduced the surgeon general. “He is leading the way through initiatives surrounding the opioid epidemic, oral health, and the links between community health and both economic prosperity and national security. Dr. Adams leads with science and facilitates locally led solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing health problems.”

Efforts to reinvent recovery in North Dakota have been supported by the accomplishments and leadership of Dr. Adams, the first lady said, noting he’s taken a stand that addiction is a chronic disease that requires a public health approach and that stigma can be eliminated through personal stories, and he issued an important national advisory encouraging everyone to carry and administer naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversing agent.

As surgeon general, Dr. Adams holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, overseeing approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world.

The three-day interactive Main Street ND Summit serves as a forum for information on the community planning principles behind the three pillars of the governor’s Main Street Initiative: a skilled workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities.

The summit continues this afternoon and evening with the Main Street Awards and concludes tomorrow. Live streaming is available for those not attending the event at