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Regina Benjamin nominated as Surgeon General


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President Obama on Monday nominated Alabama family practice physician Regina Benjamin — known for her efforts to rebuild a nonprofit medical clinic destroyed by hurricanes and fire — to serve as the U.S. surgeon general.

During an appearance before reporters in the Rose Garden, Obama praised Benjamin's dedication to serving impoverished Gulf Coast residents in the fishing community of Bayou La Batre, Ala., saying she opted to open a nonprofit clinic on the Gulf Coast rather than moving to an area where she could make more money.

"If there's anyone who understands the urgency of meeting this (health care reform) challenge in a personal and powerful way, it's the woman who will become our nation's next surgeon general," Obama said.

Benjamin, 53, said she was "honored" and "humbled" at the prospect of becoming the nation's chief health advocate.

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