Member of the Board of Directors

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS

Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Dr. Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. After dropping out of high school, Dr. Carmona enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. While serving, he earned his General Equivalency Diploma and went on to become a combat-decorated U.S. Army Special Forces Vietnam veteran. After leaving active duty, he received an associate of arts degree from Bronx Community College of the City University of New York through an open enrollment program for veterans. He then attended the University of California, San Francisco, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree (1977) and medical degree (1979) when he was awarded the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate.


Trained in general and vascular surgery, Dr. Carmona then joined the Tucson (Arizona) Medical Center and the University of Arizona to start and direct Arizona’s first regional trauma care system. He went on to become the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon and deputy sheriff. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


In 2002 Dr. Carmona was nominated by the president and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. As Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona focused on prevention, preparedness, health disparities, health literacy, and global health to include health diplomacy. He also issued many landmark Surgeon General communications during his tenure, including the definitive Surgeon General’s Report about the dangers of second-hand smoke.


In 2006, Vice Admiral Carmona successfully completed the statutory four-year term of the U.S. Surgeon General and was named to the position of vice chairman for Canyon Ranch. He also served as CEO of the company’s Health division and president of the Canyon Ranch Institute. Dr. Carmona continues his Canyon Ranch leadership role as the Chief of Health Innovations.

Richard Carmona

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