View Full Version : New Surgeon General from Bayou La Batre, Alabama

14th July 09, 01:07 PM
Obama chooses Ala doctor as next surgeon general
WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama turned to the Deep South for the next surgeon general, choosing a rural Alabama family physician who made headlines with fierce determination to rebuild her nonprofit medical clinic in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Regina Benjamin is known along Alabama's impoverished Gulf Coast as a country doctor who makes house calls and doesn't turn away patients who can't pay even as she's had to find the money to rebuild a clinic repeatedly destroyed by hurricanes and once even fire.
"For all the tremendous obstacles that she has overcome, Regina Benjamin also represents what's best about health care in America, doctors and nurses who give and care and sacrifice for the sake of their patients," Obama said Monday in introducing his choice for a job known as America's doctor.
He said Benjamin will bring insight as his administration struggles to revamp the health care system:
Saying she "has seen in a very personal way what is broken about our health care system," Obama said Benjamin will bring important insight as his administration tries to revamp that system.
Benjamin called the job "a physician's dream," and pledged to be a voice for patients in need and to fight the preventable diseases that claim too many lives each year, including nearly her entire family.
Her father died with diabetes and high blood pressure, her only brother of HIV, her mother of lung cancer "because as a young girl, she wanted to smoke just like her twin brother could" an uncle now on oxygen as a result, she noted.
"I cannot change my family's past. I can be a voice in the movement to improve our nation's health care and our nation's health," Benjamin said. "I want to be sure that no one falls through the cracks as we improve our health care system."
The surgeon general is the people's health advocate, a bully pulpit position that can be tremendously effective with a forceful personality. Benjamin has that reputation.
Pushed by the need in her own shrimping community of Bayou La Batre, Ala., and its diverse patient mix white, black and, increasingly immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Benjamin, 51, has emerged as a national leader in the call to improve health disparities. She became the first black woman and the first doctor under age 40 elected to the American Medical Association's board of trustees, and in 2002 became the first black woman to head a state medical society.
"She's always been very ambitious from a political standpoint. She has always, always been motivated by that ambition," said Dr. James Holland, CEO of Mostellar Medical Center in nearby Irvington, Ala., where Benjamin spent about three years in the early 1980s as a National Health Service Corps scholar.
Holland said Benjamin's selection as surgeon general "doesn't surprise me at all. The only thing that surprises me is that it hasn't happened before now."
Medical groups welcomed her ability for straight-talk, whether to patients or politicians, about the dire health needs of much of the country.
"We want to emphasize prevention, primary care and early intervention, and we have somebody now who does that for a living," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, no relation, of the American Public Health Association.
Added AMA President Dr. James Rohack, who has known Benjamin for more than two decades. With "her recognition that if you don't have health insurance, you live sicker and you die younger, she can bring the real-world perspective as surgeon general of the things as a nation we need to do to keep ourselves healthy."
Benjamin made headlines in the wake of Katrina, as photographs showed her laying patient charts out to bake in the sun and lamenting the lack of pricey but more hurricane-resistant electronic records. Her nonprofit clinic was rebuilt by volunteers only to burn down just as it was about to reopen. Benjamin later told of her patients' desperation that she rebuild again, recalling on woman who handed her an envelope with a $7 donation to help.
"If she can find $7, I can figure out the rest," Benjamin said last fall as she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "genius award," money she said she'd use to help finish that job.
Her nomination for surgeon general requires Senate confirmation.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

I've heard of this woman before, she tends the poor in the town about three miles west of where I grew up. I remember my grandmother had sort of the same story, being a nurse practicing during WWII and the fifties (except, you know, as a nurse). I mean, I'm a little suspicious of her political agenda, but she legitimately cares about patient's rights, so that's a step in the right direction.

14th July 09, 01:19 PM
I love how all these people have "insight" into the plight of the people. Apparently our plight is that the govt. needs to fix our problems.

I can only hope that her fight against preventable illnesses means she'll try to get the message out to people to prevent them in their lives, instead somehow thinking national healthcare will stop us from killing ourselves.

David Koresh Jr.
14th July 09, 01:36 PM
Thats why fat people should have to pay more taxes.

14th July 09, 07:43 PM
She's the second most famous person from Bayou La Batre, Alabama.


14th July 09, 07:48 PM

I didn't realize you had an interest in cosmetic surgery, Ka-Bar.

14th July 09, 07:52 PM

I didn't realize you had an interest in cosmetic surgery, Ka-Bar.


17th July 09, 05:38 AM
Shrimp etc etc

17th July 09, 05:48 AM
Hey fuck you guys, my grandfather was killed in a shrimping accident. Goddamn I hate those little bastards, good thing they're so delicious. You guys just don't know.. the smell of mud and cheap booze permeating every moment of your day. When you get to your maw maw's house after a long day of learning about creationism at school you have to fucking chuck oysters and clean mullet. There isn't ONE SINGLE FUCKING TCBY for like 20 miles. I mean, you may get shrimp gumbo for every meal but you still have to fucking eat all your West Indes salad before you can have any Blue Bell icecream. And then there's the Vietnamese! Sure sure they're hard working, relatively clean and will gamble with you over anything. Yes, the woman may be attractive, love to cook, and willing to pleasure you with the French arts. But have ANY of you mother fucking, cock sucking cumquats ever tried to beat a Vietnamese kid at Tekken 5? Jesus Christ, it's like they have an extra invisible hand. The horror... the horror...

17th July 09, 06:16 AM

Your sig and pic makes me want to exclaim "BAM!!! WHAT'S UP, EVAN STONE!?!?!?!"