After four years of service, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced late Wednesday that she will step down next month.
"My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health-care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun," Benjamin wrote in an email to her staff, reports CNN.
An Alabama native, Benjamin was appointed by President Obama to the post of surgeon general in November 2009. Throughout her service, “America’s Doctor” has worked to increase the accessibility of health care as chair of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council, all created under the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to her appointment, Benjamin founded the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama in 1990 and served as CEO until she went to Washington.
Reflecting on Benjamin’s work, "Regina has served as America's doctor since 2009 and has impacted the health and lives of Americans across the country. I am deeply grateful for her leadership and service. The surgeon general's road to prevention has touched the lives of millions of Americans and has had a positive impact on the health of this nation," wrote U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius in an email to staff, reported CNN.
Along with her many achievements in health care, Benjamin is also the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, for which she also served for a term as chairwoman of the association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.
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