David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

profile photo of David Satcher

Known across Nashville and beyond as a dedicated physician and scientist, Dr. David Satcher has devoted his career to advocating for the health and safety of all Americans by tackling issues not previously addressed nationally including obesity, health disparities among minority populations and mental illness. Satcher served as President and CEO for Meharry Medical College where he oversaw the merger of Hubbard Hospital and Metro Nashville Hospital, changing the provision of health care for Nashville’s underserved populations. During his tenure as president of Meharry, he also led the plan for academic renewal which included a national fundraising campaign and the rebuilding of faculty. Dr. Satcher would then go on to serve as Director of the Center of Disease Control, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Throughout his career, Dr. Satcher has received a number of top awards including the Ronald Davis Special Recognition Award from the American College of Preventative Medicine, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases and Nashvillian and Tennessean of the Year. Satcher also received more than 50 honorary degrees from universities and colleges including Emory University, Harvard University and Georgetown University, among others. Dr. Satcher, his wife Nola and their four children have been active in the Nashville community as he served as a deacon at First Baptist Capitol Hill Church and taught youth in Sunday School.

Committed to making public health work for all people, Dr. Satcher believes in the power of strong leadership saying “ethical leaders are needed who will take on the problems of poverty, racism and lack of access to health care.”

A dedicated public servant, celebrated advocate and lifelong educator, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D. is an inaugural inductee of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.

David Satcher at a Meharry Medical College graduation
David Satcher with scholarship recipients