By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON – The Associated Press has learned that President Barack Obama has chosen a well-known Alabama family physician, Dr. Regina Benjamin, to be the next surgeon general.
An administration official said Obama will announce the nomination later Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to upstage the official announcement.
Benjamin was the first black woman to head a state medical society, received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and just last fall received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." But she made headlines in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with her determination to rebuild her rural health clinic Bayou La Batre, Ala., which serves 4,400 patients who would be hard-pressed to find care elsewhere.