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Could Christensen Go from Congress to the Cabinet?

Feb. 27, 2009 — Delegate Donna M. Christensen's colleagues at the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Medical Association are pushing for her nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services in President Barack Obama's cabinet.
"He has people in mind, so we don't see this happening," Christensen spokesman Monique Clendinen Watson said.
While Christensen is honored that people are thinking of her, Watson had a quick answer when asked if Christensen was interested in the job.
"That answer is above my pay grade," Watson said.
Christensen said in a news release issued Thursday that just having her name circulated should enable her to have a greater voice on health care in the U.S. Congress and the White House.
"This would be good for the Virgin Islands," she said.
Dr. Carolyn Britton, who heads the National Medical Association, said the organization suggested Christensen because it considers her an expert in complex health issues that need to be addressed.
"We consider her highly expert in matters of medicine, medical policy and legislature," Britton said.
Two phone calls to the Congressional Black Caucus requesting comment were not returned.
Christensen is a physician who spent most of her career in public and private practice before running for Congress.
She is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore territory and the first woman delegate from the Virgin Islands. She is currently the only sitting black physician in Congress.
She is serving her seventh term in Congress. If Obama selected her as Health and Human Services secretary, her seat would have to be filled.
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