President Barack Obama nominated an Alabama country doctor who has three times resurrected her clinic in a fishing village after disasters to be U.S. Surgeon General on Monday and help him advocate for healthcare reform.
Dr. Regina Benjamin promised to advocate for Obama’s healthcare agenda as “America’s doctor” if she gets the job as chief public spokesperson on health issues, saying her own family and patients have been victims of the failing U.S. system.
“Through floods and fire and severe want, Regina Benjamin has refused to give up. Her patients have refused to give up,” Obama said in a White House Rose Garden announcement.
U.S. surgeons general in the past have issued influential reports on topics including smoking, AIDS and mental health. Benjamin said she not only wanted to serve in the traditional role of surgeon general, encouraging healthy habits, but press to make medical care more easily available.