Regina Marcia Benjamin from Bayou LaBatre – Nominated for Surgeon General
Posted Jul 13 2009 10:50pm
I have been to Bayou La Batre a number of years ago and from my small visit, I have to say the area builds people of character and strength, you have to be to survive there, and also I met some of the most genuine nicest people I have ever met. This is a refreshing change I do have to say and nice to see someone who has rolled up her sleeves get nominated. I think she will be able to give some “real” help and incentives with healthcare. There are parts of town where you feel as if you have gone back over 100 years too. Again, a nice welcome change from the suit and ties and some one with a heart. BD
WASHINGTON — There had been two television medical reporters, a Chicago neurologist, an Atlanta epidemiologist and a New York academic on President Obama ’s list, but on Monday he instead chose a family doctor from a battered town on Alabama’s Gulf Coast to be the next surgeon general.
In a Rose Garden ceremony, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin twice had to tell Mr. Obama how to pronounce the name of the town in which she worked. It is spelled Bayou La Batre, but locals run all three words together and say, Baylabatray. On his third try, the president still did not get it right, but Dr. Benjamin — quiet and unassuming, according to all reports — did not correct him.
When it was her turn to speak, Dr. Benjamin said: “It should not be this hard for doctors and other health care providers to care for their patients. It shouldn’t be this expensive for Americans to get health care in this country.”
Regina Marcia Benjamin was born on Oct. 26, 1956, in Alabama, the daughter of a maid. The government helped pay for her medical studies in exchange for a promise to serve the poor for a few years. So she helped build a clinic in a shrimping town about 25 miles south of Mobile, Ala.