Kaiser Health News, July 7, 2017
Emily Forman

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Several weeks before President Donald Trump nominated Indiana’s state health commissioner Jerome Adams to be the next U.S. surgeon general, Adams toured the Salvation Army Harbor Light detox center in Indianapolis, the only treatment facility in the state for people without insurance.

Adams’ supporters say the visit is an example of how he has prioritized the opioid epidemic during his tenure as Indiana’s top health official. Addiction specialists and advocates say he has led important progress in implementing lifesaving policies. They believe that if confirmed, Adams would use his on-the-ground experience to guide national policy.

“I believe that Dr. Adams understands the value of community grass-roots efforts, that they should be included at the table with decision-makers,” said Justin Phillips, founder of the prevention-focused group Overdose Lifeline, who toured the detox center with Adams. “They need to understand what’s realistic in the field.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Adams would be the second health official from Vice President Mike Pence’s home state to join the Trump administration. Seema Verma, who helped shape Indiana’s Medicaid expansion, now heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. [...]

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