Minnie Joycelyn Elders (1933–)
Minnie Joycelyn Elders, known as Joycelyn Elders, is a pediatrician and professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1953, Elders began to work with the US Army, where she trained as a physical therapist, being the only African American woman in her training class. Elders eventually became a medical doctor in 1956, specializing in pediatric endocrinology. In 1993, then US President Bill Clinton appointed Elders as the Surgeon General for the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which she served as until 1994. At that time, Elders was the first African American to hold the position of Surgeon General in the US. Throughout her career, Elders often spoke about controversial topics, like comprehensive sexual health education and abortion. During her time as Surgeon General, Elders advocated for universal health care coverage, promoting comprehensive sexual health education and bringing awareness to teen pregnancy in the US.