Important news! President Obama has nominated Regina Benjamin, MD to be our nation's next Surgeon General. Her acceptance comments indicate a strong personal commitment to enhance prevention to improve health outcomes.
Benjamin said the position would be more than just a job.
"My father died with diabetes and hypertension. My older brother died at age 44 of HIV-related illness. My mother died of lung cancer because as a young girl she wanted to smoke, just like her twin brother could. My family's not here with me today, at least not in person, because of preventable diseases. While I can't change my family's past, I can be a voice in the movement to improve our nation's health care and our nation's health for the future."
These personal experiences yield an attitude strongly supportive of prevention. If approved, her agenda as Surgeon General will likely be very aligned with those who support creating a National Nurse
to help drive prevention efforts.
Dr. Benjamin graduated from Xavier University, Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and her medical training was paid for by the National Health Service Corps, a federal program in which medical students promise to work in areas with few doctors in exchange for free tuition. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her outstanding career and untiring efforts to provide care in her home community of Bayou la Batre, Alabama (a small shrimping village along the gulf coast). Dr. Benjamin converted her medical office into a small rural health clinic there dedicated to serving the large indigent population in her community.
Her extraordinary dedication and self-sacrifice have already won Dr. Benjamin national recognition. In 1995, she became the first African-American woman, and the first person under 40, to be elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees. Dr. Benjamin also serves on the Board of Physicians for Human Rights.
Dr. Benjamin is a 1998 Mandela Award Winner, a former Kellogg National Fellow, has been featured as ABC Television's Person of the Week, and in 1996 was chosen by CBS This Morning as Woman of the Year.
The Board of Directors of the National Nursing Network Organization
wishes the very best to Dr. Benjamin during her Senate confirmation hearings, scheduled later this year.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, July 27, 2009