She’s been recognized extensively for her humanitarian nature and was named the 18th U.S. surgeon general by President Barack Obama, with Benjamin shoving forth wellness and prevention initiatives. She stepped down in 2013. After her parents split, she was brought up by her mom, who had been a domestic worker and cosmetologist, in a Catholic family. (Benjamin’s grandma had held Mass in her home and eventually helped in the establishment of an African American church within their place.)
Benjamin had received governmental financing for her medical school training which required her to serve as a doctor in a designated community that wanted doctors. Thus, in 1990, Benjamin created the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, which serves a fishing coastal community on the Gulf Coast whose citizens have frequently not been able to gain access to proper health care because of insufficient insurance, fiscal constraints and geographic problems. Benjamin additionally earned her M.B.A. from the University of Tulane, understanding she’d want a business acumen to raise cash for her practice, and was able to get federal funds to help keep things afloat.
As a community clinician, Benjamin permitted patients to pay whatever they could, in whatever form and took on various expenses from her very own pocket. She became adored by her patients and was recognized by the media for her exceptional contributions. She’s been a model of perseverance, using the practice needing to be reconstructed multiple times after Hurricane Georges, Hurricane Katrina as well as a fire.
Benjamin faced great personal loss at the same time. During her time in La Batre, her brother and only sib died from AIDS-associated complications; their mom died a year later from cancer, though Benjamin has said she considered their mom suffered considerably from heartache over her son’s departure.
She followed years later in 2002 with another huge accomplishment, becoming the very first black woman to head a state-established medical society along with her place as president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in October of this year.
During her tenure, Benjamin took on a wellness and prevention position, helming initiatives that focused on people keeping good health compared to some treat-illness paradigm. Therefore, coordinating efforts using several federal agencies, she stressed the need for nutritious foods, regular exercise (including dancing) and cessation of smoking. She additionally supported breastfeeding, including creating more spaces where girls could do so comfortably, and researching issues around suicide.
Benjamin stepped down from her place throughout summer time of 2013, returning to her La Batre practice. On the period of her career thus far, she’s received many honorary degrees and accolades, such as the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights as well as the National Caring Award.