WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush has picked a Kentucky
cardiologist who is interested in fighting childhood obesity to be
the nation's next surgeon general, the White House announced on
Bush nominated Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr., professor of
preventive medicine at the University of Kentucky, to be the 18th
surgeon general, who oversees the U.S. Public Health Service.
Holsinger has led Kentucky's health care system, taught at several
U.S. medical schools and served more than three decades in the
United States Army Reserve, retiring in 1993 as a major general.
"As Americas 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 in a
"Dr. Holsinger will particularly focus his efforts on educating
parents and children about childhood obesity, a serious epidemic
that decreases quality of life and burdens our health care
Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt urged the
Senate to quickly confirm Holsinger.
"With our nation facing many important public health issues,
such as childhood obesity, his experience and expertise is a great
addition to the HHS leadership team," Leavitt said.
The previous surgeon general was Dr. Richard Carmona, whose term
was allowed to expire last summer. Carmona is best known for
issuing an unprecedented report condemning secondhand smoke, but
otherwise kept a lower profile than other recent surgeons general.
A cardiologist, Holsinger has served as Kentucky's secretary for
health and family services, chancellor of the University of
Kentucky Medical Center and has held numerous academic and
administrative appointments. Holsingers 26-year career with the
Veteran Affairs Department culminated in his appointment as under
secretary for health in 1992.
Holsinger received his bachelor's degree from the University of
Kentucky, master's degrees from the University of South Carolina
and Asbury Theological Seminary and a doctorate and medical degree
from Duke University.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)