Said President Obama: "Health care reform is about every family’s health and the health of our economy. And if there’s anyone who understands the urgency of meeting this challenge in a personal and powerful way, it’s the woman who will become our nation’s next Surgeon General, Doctor Regina Benjamin. I look forward working with her in the months and years ahead."
Regina M. Benjamin, nominee for Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services, is Founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. She is the Immediate Past-Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, and previously served as Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.
In 2002, she became President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, making her the first African American woman to be president of a State Medical Society in the United States.
Dr. Benjamin holds a BS in Chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans. She was in the 2nd class at Morehouse School of Medicine and received her MD degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, as well as an MBA from Tulane University.
She completed her residency in family medicine at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.
Dr. Benjamin received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 1998, and was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees in 1995, making her the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected.
Dr. Benjamin was previously named by Time Magazine as one of the "Nation's 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under." She was also featured in a New York Times article, "Angel in a White Coat", as "Person of the Week" on ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and as "Woman of the Year" by CBS This Morning.
She received the 2000 National Caring Award which was inspired by Mother Teresa, as well as the papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope Benedict XVI. She is also a recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award.