Obama nominates Ala. physician as next surgeon general

Published 11:36 am Monday, July 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama nominated for surgeon general a rural family physician who has faced hurricanes, flood and fire to care for impoverished patients along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Obama says Dr. Regina Benjamin understands the needs of the poor and uninsured, making her uniquely qualified to be America’s doctor as his administration tries to revamp the health care system.

For her part, Benjamin on Monday ticked off preventable diseases that have claimed nearly all her relatives — diabetes, high blood pressure, lung cancer.

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She pledged to fight so that, in her words, “no one falls through the cracks as we improve our health care system.”