Legacy® Appoints American Public Health Association Executive Director, Dr. Georges Benjamin As Director Designate

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Georges Benjamin, the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), has been appointed Director Designate to the Board of Directors of Legacy. As Director Designate, Dr. Benjamin will be appointed to the next Board vacancy.  As an internationally recognized leader in public health, Dr. Benjamin brings a wealth of knowledge and an impressive background to the Legacy leadership and its mission to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.

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Legacy Board Chair, Lawrence Wasden, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, welcomed Dr. Benjamin by saying, "Dr. Benjamin's expertise will be invaluable to our Board as we pursue our ambitious mission to further decrease tobacco use in the U.S. We're enormously fortunate to have him on our team." 

Benjamin has shared his knowledge and expertise on public health through over 100 books, scientific articles, and book chapters that he has authored.  Since December, 2002, Benjamin has served as the Executive Director of APHA, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals.  In this role, he also serves as the publisher of APHA's monthly publication, The Nation's Health.  Benjamin is also the publisher of the premier public health scientific publication, the American Journal of Public Health.

"I am honored to join such a dedicated group of public servants committed to the vision of a healthier world," said Benjamin. "Legacy's extraordinary leadership has helped significantly reduce tobacco use, particularly among our nation's youth, and save lives. As a long-time supporter and partner, I look forward to contributing even further to this work and its continued success."

Before becoming the Executive Director of APHA, Benjamin held numerous impressive leadership positions in the field.  Starting his career in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he moved quickly up the ranks to become the chief of emergency medicine. Benjamin then became the chair of the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital.  His dedication to public health continued, as he served as the acting commissioner of public health for the District of Columbia and led one of the busiest ambulatory services in the country in his position as interim director of the Emergency Ambulatory Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.  Directly prior to his current position, Benjamin served as the Health Secretary for the State of Maryland from 1999-2002.

Benjamin furthers his commitment to public health by serving on the boards of Research! America, the Partnership for Prevention and the Reagan-Udall Foundation.  He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.  In his impressive career in public health, he has been named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care in 2008 by Modern Healthcare Magazine, as well as being voted one of the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007- 2013 and one of the nation's most influential physician executives from 2009-2012.

Benjamin has been recognized for his extensive dedication to public health work by being named a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit LegacyForHealth.org.

Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook www.Facebook.com/Legacy.



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