For Immediate Release
Contact: Media Relations, (202) 777-2509

APHA Applauds Senate HELP Committee’s Nomination of Dr. Regina Benjamin as U.S. Surgeon General

Washington , D.C., October 7, 2009 – APHA applauds the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today for approving the nomination of Regina Benjamin, MD, as U.S. surgeon general. With the committee’s sign-off, Benjamin’s nomination will now go to full Senate for a final confirmation vote.

“The American Public Health Association is pleased with this step forward and believes that Dr. Regina Benjamin will be a strong voice for public health,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin MD, FACP, FACEP (E), who is not related to the nominee. “We urge a vote in the full Senate so that Dr. Benjamin can begin working to improve the health of the American people.”

President Barack Obama first announced Dr. Benjamin’s nomination on July 13, commenting that she has been “a relentless promoter of prevention and wellness programs, having treated too many costly diseases and complications that didn’t have to happen." Founder and chief executive officer of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in La Batre, Ala., Dr. Benjamin 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 addition, in 2002, she became president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, making her the first black woman to be president of a U.S. state medical society.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at