Monday, July 13, 2009

Dr. Regina Benjamin, a MacArthur "genius grant" recipient who founded a clinic to serve the poor along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, was named by President Barack Obama as his choice for U.S. surgeon general. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Benjamin has focused on health-care delivery in areas that are underserved by medical facilities, according to a biography on the Web site of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthurFoundation, which awarded her a $500,000 fellowship grant in 2008.

She is the founder and chief executive officer of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, according to the MacArthur Foundation. The clinic and the town of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, were ravaged by both Hurricanes Georges in 1998 and Katrina in 2005. Benjamin worked in emergency rooms and nursing homes to earn extra money to keep the clinic running.


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