Regina Benjamin, MBA, MD,  a family physician from rural Bayou La Batre in coastal Alabama, is the nominee of President Barack Obama to be the next Surgeon General of the US 

A member of COLA’s Board of Directors in the mid-1990s, Dr Benjamin has a unique understanding of laboratory accreditation issues and offers a wealth of varied experiences and qualifications to this position. 

Verlin Janzen, MD, Chair of the COLA Board said, "The President has chosen well! Dr. Benjamin is a superb physician.  This is a proud day for COLA as we celebrate Dr Benjamin’s nomination.  COLA is confident that she will bring awareness and understanding of the important roles of both medical laboratories and CLIA."

Dr Benjamin’s Alabama non-profit clinic was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, rebuilt, and then destroyed again by fire.  Undaunted, the practice was rebuilt yet again where Dr Benjamin currently spends several days a week caring for patients in addition to making house calls to shut-ins. 

In the mid 1990s, Dr Benjamin was the first African American woman to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association (AMA).  She has also served as chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. 

She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and also serves on the Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Dr Benjamin is immediate past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards.  Last fall, she was a recipient of the prestigious McArthur Foundation "Genius Award" for her ongoing work in providing health care to underserved populations.

Source: COLA