Bush names surgeon general nominee

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 18, 2007

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On May 24, President Bush nominated James W. Holsinger Jr., MD, to become the nation's next surgeon general. "As America's chief health educator, he will be charged with providing the best scientific information available on how Americans can make smart choices that improve their health and reduce their risk of illness and injury," Bush said.

The previous surgeon general was Richard Carmona, MD, whose term expired last summer.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt cited Dr. Holsinger's experience and urged his quick confirmation by the Senate. "I am pleased the president has nominated such an impressive individual to be the 18th surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service," he said.

Dr. Holsinger is a cardiologist. His resume also includes a stint as the secretary for Health and Family Services for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center and numerous other academic and administrative appointments. In addition, he worked for 26 years for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and, in 1992, was appointed undersecretary for health. He also served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of major general.

If confirmed, Dr. Holsinger has said he would focus his efforts on educating parents and children about childhood obesity.

"As an experienced physician, educator and administrator, Dr. Holsinger is in an excellent position to raise awareness on issues vital to public health and preventive care, including childhood obesity," said AMA President William G. Plested, MD, in a statement.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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