Archive for the ‘Regina Benjamin’ Category

>Weekly wrap

October 30, 2009

>If you’ve missed me…I’ve been at a loss for words since Larry Langford was convicted. It’s not the conviction that has me baffled, its what his wife, Melva said:

Only in Alabama can a black man not get a fair trial.

Then her husband agreed:

They struck as many blacks off that jury as they could.

Oh, well, my response to that will be forthcoming, probably in the form of a Western Tribune column. I’m trying to avoid a letter writer’s bait that has been dangled in front of me. You know…if not, see the notes on my facebook page.

So on to other subjects.

This has to be just about the quickest response to one of my columns I have ever seen. This column was printed on Tuesday and posted on Wednesday, and then the next day the Senate voted to confirm Dr. Regina Benjamin as U. S. Surgeon General.

Glad to know that Senate republicans are reading my column.

Of course their quick action may have also been because they got a tongue lashing from Senate majority leaders Harry Reid.

Late last week, President Obama declared a national emergency because of the flu
outbreak, Mr. Reid noted, adding: “Unfortunately, though, right now we have no
permanent surgeon general in place. And the reason is as simple as it is
mind-boggling: Republicans in the Senate refuse to confirm President Obama’s
exceptionally qualified nominee for this job.”

In addition to Dr. Benjamin, Mr. Reid singled out Dr. Tara O’Toole, who would oversee bioterrorism defense at the Department of Homeland Security. “For that position, President Obama nominated an expert in combating both pandemics and bioterror attacks,” Mr. Reid said, adding: “Imagine that: Americans are bracing against a flu epidemic here at home and threats of terrorism from abroad, the President nominated someone highly experienced in both of those areas, and Republicans are saying no.”

Congratulation to Dr. Benjamin.

In Bessemer, the Western Tribune is reporting that city attorney Charlie Waldrep has fired two of its attorneys, Aaron Killings and Denise Blue Poe.

That might throw a wrench into…well, let’s just wait and see.

Update: Aaron Killings and Denise Blue Poe Are back on the job.

>Surgeon General Nominee Regina Benjamin

July 13, 2009

>In a rose garden ceremony today President Obama nominated Bayou La Batre physician Regina Benjamin as Surgeon General.

Photo credit Paula Burch

Dr. Benjamin probably wouldn’t know me from Adam’s house cat but we served together on Governor Riley’s Black Belt Action Commission, (she as technical advisor, me as commissioner)and in fact, probably more than any one person she would be responsible for my interest in rural medicine which led to my interest in Public Health.

For an informative story about her clinic and what happened following hurricane Katrina click here.

In this video she talks about Health Information Technology, or electronic records, and how the need was demonstrated after Katrina and again after the fire that destroyed her clinic.

These are just some of her accomplishments.

Dr. Benjamin is former Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile where she administered the Alabama-AHEC program and USA Telemedicine Program. In 1998 she was the United States recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. In 1995, she was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees, making her the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected. She also served as President of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation (AMA-ERF) and is a current member of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. In 2002 she became President of the Medical Association State of Alabama, making her the first African American female president of a State Medical Society in the United States. Dr. Benjamin is also co-author of the book “How’s Your Health? What You Can Do To Make Your Health and Health Care Better.”

Her proposed solution for our health care problems include societal change: an overhaul of policies, broader insurance systems, and better distribution of physicians nationwide.

But of course, as Surgeon General, she will be promoting President Obama’s ideas, but I’m sure hers are in line with his.

Update: I just listened to her remarks and yes, her policies reflect his.

She was described on CNN as a “rural, way rural” doctor. I like that. She described the way preventable health issues affected the lives of her family members, including a brother who died of HIV related illness. She also spoke of the effort she puts into serving a population with many uninsured people, and noted that it should not be that difficult.

She will help to bring the change that is needed to our health care system, and I predict that we will be proud of her.

Bayou Clinic is her clinic web site. Congratulations, Dr. Benjamin.