ReginaBenjaminFormer U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D.Former U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., will give the commencement address to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant program graduation ceremony. Benjamin, an alumna of the UAB School of Medicine, previously spoke at her alma mater in 2012 to kick off National Nutrition Month.

The PA program, housed in the School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, is ranked among the top 25 graduate programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. They will graduate 45 students at the Dec. 13 ceremony. Program Director Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., PA-C, says Benjamin, who practiced medicine in Bayou La Batre, Ala., prior to her 2009 appointment as U.S. Surgeon General, recognizes how important PAs are to medical care.

“She has worked with PAs since she first went into practice and she understands that PAs are an integral part of a medical team,” said Kilgore. “She plans to tell our PAs that they have a unique opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles for their future patients and the best practices to make a direct impact on their patients’ health.”

The graduation ceremony is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 2013, in the Harbert Center, 2019 Fourth Avenue North. The event is invitation only.