ADEA is proud to welcome the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, Regina M. Benjamin, to the popular Evening Plenary on Gender Issues: Discourse and Dessert on Sunday, March 13, at the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Diego, California. Appointed to the position of Surgeon General in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Dr. Benjamin has had a career full of twists and turns that she often describes in bringing attention to the state of health care for the country's underserved populations.
Dr. Benjamin is founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. The clinic was destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998. Dr. Benjamin simply rolled up her sleeves and helped rebuild it while serving her patients by making house calls in her 1988 Ford pick-up.
The clinic was twice destroyed again in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by flood and then by fire; she rebuilt it each time to maintain the small community's health care. "Even in a small rural town, patients deserve quality care," Dr. Benjamin said in a 2008 U.S. News & World Report interview. "Trying to deliver the same outcomes as in downtown Manhattan isn't always easy, but it's worth trying."
In 1994, Dr. Benjamin was been named by Time magazine as one of the "Nation's 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under." In 2008 she was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as the "genius grant," and in 2009 she received an American Medical Association Foundation Excellence in Medicine Award.
She has spoken out as Surgeon General about her dissatisfaction with the current health care system with regard to cost and accessibility. In January 2010, Dr. Benjamin released The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, highlighting alarming trends in excess weight and obesity among Americans and offering a blueprint for changes that promote the health and wellness of families and communities.
There are still seats available for this year's Evening Plenary on Gender Issues with this unique opportunity to connect with a prestigious and dynamic leader in U.S. health care. Visit the registration desk on site in San Diego to secure your ticket for an inspiring and informative discussion with our vibrant Surgeon General.