U.S. surgeon general to deliver Wayne State School of Medicine commencement addressJune 4, 2010
Dr. Regina Benjamin, surgeon general of the United States Public Health Service, will address graduates at the Wayne State University School of Medicine commencement ceremony on Tuesday, June 8, at 2 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave. in Detroit. Dr. Benjamin will be available to the media for 15 minutes immediately following the ceremony at approximately 4 p.m.
There are 277 candidates for degrees. Dr. Benjamin will also receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
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 oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health of the American people.
Dr. Benjamin is founder and former CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, former associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and immediate past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and chair 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 has a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Xavier University in New Orleans, a medical degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, a master's in business administration from Tulane University and five honorary doctorates. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga. She established a clinic in a small fishing village in Alabama to help its uninsured residents. Dr. Benjamin persevered through Hurricane Georges in 1998, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and a devastating fire in 2006, often putting up her own money to cover expenses. She also became nationally prominent for her business acumen and humane approach to preventive medicine.
Dr. Benjamin was the 1998 United States recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. She was named by Time Magazine as one of the "Nation's 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under." She was featured in the New York Times article "Angel in a White Coat" and was "Person of the Week" on ABC World News with Peter Jennings, "Woman of the Year" on CBS This Morning, and featured in People magazine. She was on the December 1999 cover of Clarity Magazine, received the 2000 National Caring Award, which was inspired by Mother Teresa, was on the January 2003 cover of Reader's Digest, received the papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope Benedict XVI and was awarded a MacArthur Genius Award Fellowship.
Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.
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