US President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American Vivek Murthy for the post of Surgeon General, which a top American lawmaker described as a historic moment for the community across the country.
While Obama had announced his intent to nominate Boston-based Dr. Murthy for Surgeon General last week, he has now sent in his formal notification to the US Senate, the White House said on Monday.
If confirmed, Dr. Murthy would not only be the first-ever Indian-American to occupy this post but also the youngest ever Surgeon General of the country.
“Vivek Hallegere Murthy, of Massachusetts, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, subject to qualifications therefore as provided by law and regulations, and to be Surgeon General of the Public Health Service for a term of four years, vice, Regina M. Benjamin, resigned,” said the White House communication on nomination sent to the Senate.
Congressman Joe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, described Obama’s nomination as “a historic moment” for Indian-Americans across the country.
“Indian-Americans have made many important contributions to American society, including in the medical field, and it is great to see another well-qualified leader rise in government,” Mr. Crowley said in a statement.
The Surgeon General serves a four-year term and is the administration’s top official on public health issues.
“We share a belief that access to quality health care is a basic human right,” Brigham president Dr. Betsy Nabel said in a statement about Dr. Murthy.
“I am confident that he will be a passionate advocate and that he will have an extraordinary impact as our nation’s Surgeon General, he said.