For Immediate Release
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APHA recognizes contributions of Surgeon General Regina Benjamin

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2013 — On behalf of the nation’s public health professionals, the American Public Health Association today expressed its deep gratitude to outgoing Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who announced her resignation as the nation’s top doctor.

"Regina Benjamin taught America how to walk again," said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, reflecting on one of her many contributions during the past four years. "She elevated walking as a simple yet important form of physical activity available to most Americans. Through her walks, she brought communities together and worked to make being healthy fun again."

Her "Every Body Walk" campaign asked Americans to walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week to promote health and prevent disease. The initiative included walking maps, tips for finding walking groups and personal pledge forms to start walking.

"She continued the long tradition of surgeons general serving as a major advocate for reducing tobacco use," said Benjamin, referring to two of the reports released under her watch, one on how tobacco smoke causes disease and another on preventing tobacco use among youth.

"She has been a remarkable advocate in promoting the value of prevention as a national health priority," said Benjamin. "She forged the way as leader of the National Prevention Council, created under the Affordable Care Act, to help transform our nation’s health system from one that focuses on treating disease to one that focuses on prevention and staying well."

"We are extraordinarily grateful for her strong public health leadership," Benjamin said.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest 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