HealthDay News — President Barack Obama has nominated Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, a doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, to be the country’s next Surgeon General.

Murthy, an early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act, is a co-founder and former president of Doctors for America, a group that campaigned for the controversial healthcare law before Congress passed it in 2010.

If confirmed by the Senate, the 36-year-old Murthy, “will be a powerful messenger” on health policy, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, as the head of the U.S. Public Health Service.

In 2011, Murthy served as a member of the Surgeon General’s advisory group on prevention, health promotion and integrative and public health. He also has been a leader in HIV prevention and AIDS education in both the United States and India, cofounding VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a nonprofit organization that helps train students and others in India to run AIDS-prevention efforts.

The previous surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, MD, left her post in July to return to work at a clinic she founded in Bayou La Batre, Ala. Since then, Boris Lushniak, MD, has been acting surgeon general, The New York Times reported.

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