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Dr. Georges Benjamin

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Executive Director of the American Public Health Association Named 2016 PHS Commencement Speaker

Feb 23, 2016

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), will be the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Commencement Speaker on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Benjamin is well-known in the world of public health as a leader, practitioner and administrator. He has been the executive director of the APHA, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals, since December 2002. He came to that post from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement in the state's Medicaid program.

Benjamin is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a Master of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He holds honorary fellowships in two distinguished British public health societies: the Royal Society of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health.

An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Wash., where he managed a 72,000 patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of emergency medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to acting commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as interim director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.

At APHA, Benjamin also serves as publisher of the association's official monthly newspaper, "The Nation's Health," and the profession's premier scientific publication, "American Journal of Public Health." He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters.

Benjamin also serves on several boards such as Research!America, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the CDC Director's Advisory Committee, University of Maryland Medical System and the Reagan-Udall Foundation. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2008 and 2014, he was named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care by "Modern Healthcare Magazine", in addition to being voted among the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007 through 2014 and one of the nation's most influential physician executives from 2009 to 2014.