19th Surgeon General of the United States and Wellness Advocate Dr. Vivek H. Murthy Teams Up With Actor and Activist Maulik Pancholy to Fight Bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Dr. Murthy Joins Advisory Council of Asian American and Pacific Islander Anti-Bullying Nonprofit Act To Change

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, 19th Surgeon General of the United States

During National Bullying Prevention Month, anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change is pleased to announce that Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, 19th Surgeon General of the United States, joins its inaugural Advisory Council. Act To Change, which became a nonprofit in 2018, aims to stop and prevent bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. It is co-founded by actor, activist, and children’s book author (The Best At It) Maulik Pancholy.

“We are so thrilled to have Dr. Murthy join Act To Change’s Advisory Council. Since the very beginning, Dr. Murthy has been an avid supporter of our mission to end bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” says Pancholy. “With a rise in bullying and hate crimes across the country, our work is more important now than ever. With Dr. Murthy’s exceptional background and passion for emotional wellness and public health, he will be an invaluable partner in our movement to ensure that all youth feel proud of who they are, supported in the development of their identity, and empowered to share their stories.”

Says Dr. Murthy, “I’ve seen firsthand how bullying can have harsh consequences for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children and adults. Bullying is a significant public health challenge facing our country. We need to advocate for and support the victims of bullying while also seeking to understand and address the perpetrators who are often struggling themselves.  I look forward to working with Act To Change to build more inclusive spaces for youth and communities.”

Act To Change initially launched in 2015 as a public awareness campaign under President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in which Dr. Murthy served as co-chair and Pancholy served as a Commissioner. “On a personal note, I am excited to partner with Dr. Murthy to continue the work we started during our time together in the Obama Administration,” says Pancholy.

Since its launch, the nonprofit has organized nationwide events — including a Los Angeles-based Strength in Solidarity Youth Conference this month; led the first-ever national AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate with participation from major cities and organizations throughout the country; and collaborated with celebrities, research groups, and leaders across all sectors to grow awareness of the need for bullying prevention. 

During his tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy launched the TurnTheTide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for recognizing addiction as a chronic illness, not a character flaw. Dr. Murthy continued his office’s legacy on preventing tobacco-related disease, releasing a historic Surgeon General’s Report on e-cigarettes and youth. In 2017, Dr. Murthy focused his attention on focused loneliness and chronic stress  as prevalent problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. An internal medicine physician and entrepreneur, he has co-founded a number of organizations: VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India; Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India training women as health providers and educators; software company TrialNetworks; and Doctors for America. 

Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his MD and MBA degrees from Yale. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and later joined Harvard Medical School as faculty in internal medicine. His research focused on vaccine development and later on the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials. Dr. Murthy’s book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, will be published by HarperCollins in April 2020. Dr. Murthy resides in Washington DC with his wife Dr. Alice Chen and their two young children.

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