On November 1, 2009, Regina Benjamin, MD, was appointed U.S. Surgeon General. Originally from Alabama, Benjamin was the first black woman to head a state medical society. She is a past recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and has also received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

“My hope . . . is to be America’s doctor, America’s family physician,” stated Dr. Benjamin, on hearing of her nomination.