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Surgeon General receives 2012 Distinguished Public Service Award from internal medicine physicians

Washington Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, the U.S. Surgeon General, is the recipient of the 2012 Joseph F. Boyle Award for Distinguished Public Service by the American College of Physicians (ACP). Dr. Benjamin accepted the annual award at a ceremony this morning as part of ACP's Leadership Day program.

"This award is given each year to a government official or physician acting in an official capacity (state or federal, executive or legislative) who has provided outstanding public service toward improving the delivery of health care," David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of ACP said. "Dr. Benjamin was selected to be the 2012 recipient due to her leadership as Surgeon General in the development of a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy."

Dr. Benjamin's comprehensive plan seeks to transform the U.S. health care system to focus on prevention and wellness instead of sickness and disease. As America's Doctor, Dr. Benjamin provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. She also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote and protect the health of the American people.

"We applaud you for being a strong advocate for building healthy and safe community environments, expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings, empowering people to make healthy choices, and eliminating health disparities," Dr. Bronson said as he presented the award. "We also strongly support your work to reduce teenage smoking rates and your recent report Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults that detailed the health risks and medical costs associated with this habit."

From her early days as the founder of a rural health clinic in Alabama which she kept in operation despite damage and destruction inflicted by hurricanes Georges (1998) and Katrina (2005) and a devastating fire (2006) to her leadership role in the worldwide advancement of preventive health care, Dr. Benjamin has forged a career that has been recognized by a broad spectrum of organizations and publications.

Dr. Benjamin earned her MD degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga. Dr. Benjamin holds 18 honorary degrees.

Dr. Bronson reminded Dr. Benjamin that she is among a highly-distinguished group of recipients who have received the distinguished public service award. "Awardees the last 10 years have included: Sen. Max Baucus (2011); Rep. Allyson Schwartz from Pa. (2010); Sen. Blanche Lincoln from Ark. (2009); Rep. Marcy Kaptur from Ohio (2008); Gov. Mark Warner from Va. (2006); CMS Administrator Mark McClellan (2005); Sen. Jeff Bingaman from N.M. (2004); Rep. Michael Bilirakis from Fla. (2003); and Gov. John Kitzhaber from Ore. (2002).

Contact: David Kinsman
American College of Physicians

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