(Hip, hip, hooray!! – promoted by mooncat)
From AL.com, Bayou La Batre’s Dr. Regina Benjamin has finally been confirmed as our new Surgeon General!
Dr. Benjamin was first chosen in July, and her nomination went to the full Senate for a vote on October 7th – where it was held up by Senate Republicans over an unrelated dispute regarding an insurance company ‘gag order’ intended to prevent Medicare recipients from receiving disingenuous information about health care reform.
Senate Republicans finally allowed her nomination to come to a full vote today after Senator Reid (thanks!) lambasted them for preventing the confirmation of officials key to combating the H1N1 epidemic.
Dr. Benjamin is an incredible medical professional and this is fantastic news. A reminder on some of her many qualifications for the position, from Shakesville:
President Obama has chosen to serve as surgeon general Dr. Regina Benjamin, a rural, Gulf Coast family physician, MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient, a Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights recipient, the first black woman to head a state medical society, and the first woman, first African-American woman, and first person younger than 40 to sit on the board of trustees of the American Medical Association.
Thankfully the concern trolling about her weight died down pretty quickly too – here’s hoping her confirmation doesn’t reinvigorate it.
Definitely a double-whammy of (rare) positive news from Congress this week!