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Alabama doctor confirmed as surgeon general

Associated Press/Boston Globe, October 30, 2009

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, elevating a well-known Alabama family physician to be the nation's top doctor. Benjamin, 53, was approved by voice vote. Benjamin was the first black woman to head a state medical society, received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, and just last fall received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." But she made headlines in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with her determination to rebuild her rural health clinic, Bayou La Batre, AL, which serves 4,400 patients who would be hard-pressed to find care elsewhere.