U.S. Surgeon General Stepping Down
This week U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD announced she would be leaving the position in July. Benjamin was named Surgeon General and Medical Director by President Barak Obama in 2009 and was a leader in establishing the Accountable Care Act. Benjamin was and remains an advocate for health care reform and health IT.
In an email to her staff, Benjamin wrote, “My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun.”
Benjamin has been highly valued by her colleagues including Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Jeremy Lazarus, MD, president of American Medical Association. They speak of her leadership and service and her strong advocacy in public health.
Benjamin is an Alabama native and was also the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association in 1995. In July she plans to return to Alabama to volunteer at her nonprofit primary care medical clinic in Bayou La Batre.
Deputy Surgeon General Boris Lushniak will serve as acting surgeon general following her departure until a new one is named.
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