SACRAMENTO – U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin was in Sacramento, yesterday at the California Museum to announce a new national health initiative.

Dr. Benjamin announced the National Prevention Council Action Plan. The Action Plan details the next steps in the federal implementation of the National Prevention Strategy — a comprehensive plan designed to help keep Americans healthy in the first place. Created by the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, The National Prevention Strategy is an unprecedented opportunity to shift the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness.

Prevention Institute, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX, Secretary Diana Dooley of the California Health and Human Services Agency, and The California Endowment, will host this event.

A roundtable discussion was also held on how state and local organizations can support the national plan and advance community prevention locally and across the country. In addition, Dr. Benjamin, in coordination with Department of Health and Human Services Region IX leaders, announced an upcoming regional convening in Fall 2012 on implementation of the National Prevention Strategy in the region.

Dr. Benjamin, MD, MBA is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, and the third African American to serve in that role. As “America’s Doctor,” she provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation.

Dr. Benjamin also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American people.

Dr. Benjamin has a B.S. in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans, an M.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga. Dr. Benjamin holds 18 honorary degrees.