Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin was named to the Endowed Chair in Public Health at Xavier University of Louisiana. Benjamin, 56, stepped down from the surgeon general post in July after serving since 2009 under President Barack Obama. She was the driving force behind Obama's initiative to reduce rates of preventable illness and led the creation of the country's first-ever National Prevention Strategy. An alumnus of Xavier, she will lead the university's new Department of Public Health Sciences with a goal of getting students out into the community to promote public health in areas where it is most needed. She also plans to continue her volunteer work at the Alabama clinic she founded, which she helped to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and again after a fire destroyed the facility a year later. Benjamin was No. 12 on Modern Healthcare's 2013 list of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.
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