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New Virginia Governor Nominates AMA Trustee For Cabinet Post

William A. Hazel, Jr., M.D., to resign AMA Board position pending confirmation

For immediate release:
Jan. 15, 2010

CHICAGO – Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell today nominated AMA Trustee William A. Hazel Jr., M.D., to serve in his cabinet as secretary of health and human resources. Dr. Hazel’s appointment is pending confirmation by the Virginia State Senate. Confirmation will require him to resign his AMA Board position.

"As a life-long Virginian and a physician, this is really a remarkable opportunity to serve," Dr. Hazel said. "To be in a position that can really impact the health and well-being of my fellow Virginians is a huge responsibility, but one I fully embrace. I look forward to the opportunity and I am humbled by the trust that Governor McDonnell is placing in me."

As Virginia HHR Secretary, Dr. Hazel will oversee 12 state agencies which provide vital services to Virginians with intellectual disability, mental illness, substance abuse and physical disability concerns to low-income working families; and to the aging community.

"It’s been an honor and privilege to serve on the AMA Board for the past six years and stepping down is bittersweet," Dr Hazel said. "I’ve learned and experienced so much and I am confident that these experiences will serve me well in my new role as Secretary."

Dr. Hazel was first elected to the AMA Board in June, 2004. His election marked the culmination of 11 years of service as a delegate from Virginia to the AMA House of Delegates. He served the Virginia delegation as chair (1999–2003), vice chairman (1996–1998) and as an alternate delegate (1993–1996). By 2001, Dr. Hazel had also served a total of 11 years on the AMA Council on Legislation—first as resident member (1986–1989), and then as chair and vice chair during the last three years of his tenure.

"While the AMA is saddened to lose Dr. Hazel’s perspective and leadership, we are excited for him and the tremendous opportunity in front of him," said AMA Board Chair Rebecca J. Patchin, M.D. "It’s a big job, but we know Bill is up to the task and that the citizens of Virginia will be the beneficiaries."

Dr. Hazel’s appointment follows Monday’s swearing-in ceremony of former AMA Trustee Regina Benjamin, M.D. as U.S. Surgeon General.

"I’m proud to see the respect that AMA leaders receive from outside our medical profession," Dr. Patchin said. "The AMA has been fortunate to have such committed and dedicated people serve as leaders."


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