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Policy Corner: ACSM Offers Support to Surgeon General Nominee Murthy

The office of Surgeon General of the United States offers a bully pulpit from which to tout healthy lifestyles. Dr. Regina Benjamin used it to good advantage as the 18th Surgeon General, kicking of her famous community walks at the 2010 ACSM Annual Meeting in Baltimore and continuing after leaving office in her service as honorary chair of both Exercise is Medicine® and Every Body Walk. The CDC continues with the process she initiated to develop a Surgeon General's Call to Action on Walking, expected to launch in May.

As the Senate mulls confirmation of her successor, Dr. Vivek Murthy, ACSM has gone on record in support of his nomination by President Obama. Last week, ACSM submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions citing Dr. Murthy's background and career experience, which uniquely qualify him to tackle the difficult health problems facing our nation. Dr. Murthy, co-founder of Doctors for America, plans continue the legacy of previous Surgeons General to fight obesity and get Americans moving again, and has championed the need to address health disparities and the role of lifestyle in preventing chronic disease. In addition, Dr. Murthy has stated his desire to work collaboratively with groups from around the country to combat the epidemic of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

While partisan debates threaten to delay confirmation, ACSM is confident that the Senate will act timely and allow Dr. Murthy to create his own legacy as Surgeon General, following Dr. Benjamin's inspiring lead. more

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