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Surgeon General Regina Benjamin To Step Down

WASHINGTON,  (UPI) –  U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced she is stepping down next month after four years in the position.

Benjamin made her announcement through an email to her staff Wednesday, CNN reported Thursday.

“My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun,” she wrote.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Benjamin “has been passionate about changing our health care system.”

“Regina has served as America’s doctor since 2009 and has impacted the health and lives of Americans across the country. I am deeply grateful for her leadership and service,” Sebelius wrote in an email. “The surgeon general’s road to prevention has touched the lives of millions of Americans and has had a positive impact on the health of this nation.”

Prior to her role as surgeon general, Benjamin was the chief executive officer of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, a facility she founded in 1990.

She was also the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association and chaired the organization’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, CNN said.

Until a new permanent pick is nominated, Deputy Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak will serve as interim surgeon general, CNN reported.

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