BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. - Outstanding, incomparable, and genius. These were just a few ofthe adjectives used to describe Dr. Regina Benjamin Monday, aftershe was nominated for Surgeon General by President BarackObama.
Dr. Benjamin founded the Bayou la Batre Rural Health Clinic. Sheis now President Barack Obama's choice for surgeon general.President Obama held a news conference Monday afternoon andofficially announced the nomination. He said Dr. Benjamin knowsfirst hand about the needs of the poor and uninsured making herexceptionally qualified to be America's doctor. This moment wasalso a big day for the city.
He may not have gotten the name of the city right, but manyfolks think President Barack Obama did get his pick right.
President Obama said, "Let me introduce you to the next surgeongeneral of the United States, Dr. Regina Benjamin."
Dr. Regina Benjamin stood proudly as President Obama spoke ofthe reasons he chose her as the nominee. He said she's anoutstanding candidate who has a long list of qualifications.
"In 1995 she became the first physician under 40 and the firstAfrican American woman to be named to the American MedicalAssociation's Board of Trustees. In 2002, she became president ofthe Alabama State Medical Association. She received numerous awardsand recognitions including the MacArthur genius award," headded.
During the Rose Garden News conference, Dr. Benjamin spoke ofher family's health issues, which were an inspiration for her toimprove health care for Americans. Public health is near and dearto her heart. She said she wants to be the voice of the people.
"I'm honored and I'm humbled to be nominated to serve as U.S.surgeon general. This is a physicians dream, but for me it's morethan a job," said Dr. Benjamin.
Many said Dr. Benjamin is a selfless person who always puts herpatients first even when they can't afford to pay. The impressionshe left on folks here is priceless. Now Americans get to see whyshe and her clinic are a pillar in this community.
Dr. Benjamin said, "I would like to thank my staff and patientsat the Rural Health Clinic in Bayou la Batre; all the work over thepast 20 years had been for them and patients like them, this is nodifferent. Thank you Mr. President for having the confidence in me.And if confirmed, I promise to give America my best."
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