Richard Carmona

Last updated
Richard Carmona
Richard Carmona.jpg
17th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
August 5, 2002 July 31, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded byKenneth Moritsugu (acting)
Succeeded by Kenneth Moritsugu (acting)
Personal details
Born
Richard Henry Carmona

(1949-11-22) November 22, 1949 (age 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic (2011–present)
Other political
affiliations
Independent (before 2011)
Spouse(s)Diana Sanchez
Children4
Residence Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Education City University of New York, Bronx (AA)
University of California, San Francisco (BS, MD)
University of Arizona (MPH)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Flag of the United States Public Health Service.svg U.S. Public Health Service
Rank USN-USMC O10 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Unit USPHS Commissioned Corps insignia.png Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
United States Army Special Forces CSIB.svg Army Special Forces
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Richard Henry Carmona (born November 22, 1949) [1] is an American physician, nurse, police officer, public health administrator, and politician. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as the seventeenth Surgeon General of the United States. Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002, Carmona left office at the end of July 2006 upon the expiration of his term. After leaving office, Carmona was highly critical of the Bush administration for suppressing scientific findings which conflicted with the Administration's ideological agenda.

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Vice admiral is a three-star commissioned naval officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, with the pay grade of O-9. Vice admiral ranks above rear admiral and below admiral. Vice admiral is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant general in the other uniformed services.

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service

The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), also referred to as the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Contents

In August 2006, Carmona returned home to Tucson, Arizona. [2] In November 2011, he announced he would seek the Democratic Party's nomination for United States Senate in the hopes of succeeding outgoing Republican Senator Jon Kyl, despite being registered as a political Independent. [3] He lost to Republican challenger Congressman Jeff Flake. [4]

Tucson, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Tucson is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Jon Kyl Republican U.S. Senator from Arizona

Jon Llewellyn Kyl is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1995 to 2013 and again in 2018. Kyl was appointed to the Senate on September 5, 2018, succeeding the late John McCain. A member of the Republican Party, he previously held Arizona's other seat in the U.S. Senate from January 1995 to January 2013, serving alongside McCain. Kyl was Senate Minority Whip from 2007 until 2013.

Early life, education, and early career

Carmona was born in New York City, of Puerto Rican descent, and raised in Harlem. After dropping out of DeWitt Clinton High School at age 16, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. [5] While enlisted, he received his General Educational Development (GED), joined the United States Army Special Forces, became a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, and began his career in medicine as a Special Forces Medic.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Harlem Neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, New York, United States

Harlem is a large neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Since the 1920s, Harlem has been known as a major African American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle.

DeWitt Clinton High School American public secondary school

DeWitt Clinton High School is a public high school located since 1929 in The Bronx, New York, United States. Opened in 1897 in Lower Manhattan and initially operated as an all-boys school, it maintained that status for nearly 100 years. In 1983 it became co-ed. From its original building on West 13th Street in Manhattan, it moved in 1906 to its second home on 59th Street and Tenth Avenue. In 1929 the school moved to its present home on Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx.

After leaving active duty, Carmona attended the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, where he earned his associate of arts degree in nursing. In 1977, he graduated from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry; [6] in 1979, he received his medical degree from UCSF, where he was awarded the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate. In 1998, he earned a Master's degree in Public Health (M.P.H.) from the University of Arizona. [1]

Bronx Community College

The Bronx Community College of The City University of New York (BCC) is a community college located in the University Heights neighborhood of The Bronx on a landmarked campus. It is part of the City University of New York system.

City University of New York Public university system in New York City

The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, and the largest urban university system in the United States. CUNY and the State University of New York (SUNY) are separate and independent university systems, despite the fact that both public institutions receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is located in only New York City, while SUNY is located in the entire state, including New York City.

University of California, San Francisco university

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a public research university in San Francisco, California. It is part of the University of California system and it is dedicated entirely to health science. It is a major center of medical and biological research and teaching.

Medical career

Carmona worked in various positions in the medical field including paramedic, registered nurse, and physician. He completed a surgical residency at UCSF and a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns, and critical care. Carmona is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and certified in correctional health care and in quality assurance. Carmona has been Chairman of the Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, Chief Medical Officer, hospital CEO, public health officer, and chief executive officer of the Pima County health care system. In 1997, the Pima County system, which was in financial trouble before he was appointed, continued to lose millions of dollars and he resigned. [7] Carmona was not in control of the assets of the system but was held responsible for them. [8] Carmona was also a professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.

Paramedic healthcare professional who works in emergency medical situations

A paramedic is a specialist healthcare professional who studied emergency medicine and responds to calls for medical help outside of a hospital. Paramedics mainly work as part of the emergency medical services (EMS), most often in ambulances. The scope of practice of a paramedic varies among countries, but generally includes autonomous decision making around the emergency care of patients.

Registered nurse nurse who graduated from a nursing program and passed a national licensing exam

A Registered Nurse (RN) is a nurse who has graduated from a [(nursing school|nursing program)] and met the requirements outlined by a country, state, province or similar licensing body to obtain a nursing license. An RN's scope of practice is determined by legislation, and is regulated by a professional body or council.

National Institutes of Health Medical research organization in the United States

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. It was founded in the late 1870s and is now part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of NIH facilities are located in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program.

Law enforcement career

He worked for the Pima County Sheriff's Department since 1986. He eventually worked his way up to deputy sheriff. He served as medical director of the county's police and fire departments. He was a peace officer leader of the SWAT division, with expertise in special operations and emergency preparedness, including weapons of mass destruction. [9]

Pima County, Arizona County in the United States

Pima County is a county in the south central region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 980,263, making it Arizona's second-most populous county. The county seat is Tucson, where nearly all of the population is centered. The county is named after the Pima Native Americans who are indigenous to this area.

SWAT A law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics

In the United States, a SWAT team is a law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. First created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontations with criminals, the number and usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s during the War on Drugs and later in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In the United States as of 2005, SWAT teams were deployed 50,000 times every year, almost 80% of the time to serve search warrants, most often for narcotics. SWAT teams are increasingly equipped with military-type hardware and trained to deploy against threats of terrorism, for crowd control, hostage taking, and in situations beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement, sometimes deemed "high-risk". Other countries have developed their own paramilitary police units (PPUs) which are also described as or comparable to SWAT forces.

In 1999, he confronted a mentally-ill person who was assaulting someone else at a car accident. After the person would not step out of his car, he shot at Carmona, grazing his head, and the Deputy Sheriff shot back seven times, killing him. [10] The deceased was an ex-convict who had shot and killed his own father that day. In 2000, Carmona was honored at the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award ceremony.

Surgeon General

Carmona releases a report on osteoporosis. Carmona surg gen.jpg
Carmona releases a report on osteoporosis.

Nomination

President Bush nominated Carmona to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States in March 2002. During the nomination process, Carmona was questioned about his management style and the amount of time it took him to become board-certified in his field. Carmona described himself as an "agent of change" willing to question the status quo, but that he always treated "patients, staff, and co-workers with respect." Senators on both sides of the aisle praised Carmona's qualifications and supported his nomination; he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 23, 2002 by a vote of 98-0. [11] [12] [13]

Secondhand smoke

In 2006, Carmona released a landmark Surgeon General's report on the health effects of secondhand smoke. [14] Carmona's report underlined the risks of secondhand smoke exposure, stating: "The debate is over. The science is clear: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health hazard." [15] The report encouraged the adoption of indoor smoking bans and noted that such bans did not appear to have a harmful economic effect on bars and restaurants. After leaving office, Carmona testified before Congress that the Bush Administration had tried for years to "water down" his findings on the dangers of secondhand smoke, and had pressured him not to testify in the tobacco industry's racketeering trial. [16]

In earlier testimony before the U.S. Congress, Carmona stated that he would not object to a ban on all tobacco products "if Congress chose to go that way." The Bush Administration distanced itself from this statement. [17]

Post-Surgeon General career

Carmona is currently vice chairman of the Canyon Ranch resort and spa company, president of the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute, and a professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. On June 16, 2010, Ross University School of Medicine named Carmona to its Board of Trustees. [18]

In 2006, Republicans attempted to recruit Carmona to run for Congress in Arizona's 8th congressional district, but he declined. [19]

On October 25, 2013 Carmona joined the Herbalife Board of Directors. Dr. Carmona commented, "As a scientist and medical professional, I was first attracted by the depth and breadth of Herbalife's commitment to excellence in nutrition science. As a business person, my due diligence showed me a company of integrity with a good business plan. As the son of poor emigrant parents, I am elated to see the opportunities Herbalife offers to families in health-disparate and economically underserved communities." [20]

Criticism of Bush administration

On July 10, 2007, Carmona, along with former Surgeons General C. Everett Koop and David Satcher, testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about political and ideological interference with the Surgeon General's mission. Carmona accused the Bush Administration of preventing him from speaking out on certain public health issues such as embryonic stem cell research, global climate change, [21] emergency contraception, and abstinence-only sex education, where the Administration's political stance conflicted with scientific and medical opinion. [22]

Carmona also testified that the Bush Administration had attempted for years to "water down" his report on the dangers of secondhand smoke and pressured him not to testify in the tobacco industry's racketeering trial: "Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried." [23] [24] According to Carmona, he was even ordered not to attend the Special Olympics because the event was sponsored by the Kennedy family, and was told to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. [16] The Washington Post subsequently identified William R. Steiger as the Bush Administration official who had blocked release of Carmona's report on global health because it conflicted with the Administration's political priorities. [25]

Carmona said that his predecessors as Surgeon General had told him, "We have never seen it as partisan, as malicious, as vindictive, as mean-spirited as it is today, and you clearly have worse than anyone's had." [23] Koop's testimony indicated that he had been subject to less political pressure than his successors: [26] [27] President Reagan was pressed by his officials to fire him, but Reagan refused. [27] Moreover, Koop indicated that each of his successors had had less access to the Secretary of Health and Human services than he had: Satcher had been granted less access than him, and "Dr. Carmona was treated with even less respect than Dr. Satcher." [27]

2012 U.S. Senate election

Carmona campaigning with Bill Clinton Dr. Richard Carmona and Bill Clinton (8076295141).jpg
Carmona campaigning with Bill Clinton

Carmona was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona in the race to replace retiring Republican Senator Jon Kyl. [28] [29] Carmona said that he would bring his experience in science and medicine to the Senate, which will inform his analytical approach to the issues. He has been critical of politicians like Todd Akin and said that health issues should not be politicized. [30]

On November 6, 2012, he lost to Republican challenger Jeff Flake. [4]

Electoral history

United States Senate election in Arizona, 2012
PartyCandidateVotes%±
Republican Jeff Flake 1,104,457 49.23% -4.11%
Democratic Richard Carmona1,036,54246.20%+2.70%
Libertarian Marc J. Victor102,1094.55%+1.39%
N/A write-in2,5010.11%+0.02%
Majority67,9153.03%-6.81%
Turnout 2,245,609100.00%

Personal life

Carmona is married to Diana Sanchez. They have two daughters and two sons. Carmona resides in Tucson, Arizona. [1]

Awards and decorations

Badges and insignia

Personal awards and decorations

Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Purple Heart ribbon.svg
Purple Heart (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
United States Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg   Presidential Unit Citation
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg Vietnam Service Medal
Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon.png Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon
VNCivilActionsRibbon-2.svg Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Association ribbon.png Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service Medal
Association of Military Surgeons of the United States ribbon.png Association of Military Surgeons of the United States Medal
Reserve Officers Association ribbon.png Reserve Officers Association Medal

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Phoenix Arizona Election Questionnaire for Congress, Richard Carmona". AZ Central. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  2. Allen, Paul L. (3 August 2006). "Tucson proud Richard Carmona one of its own". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. "Former surgeon general in Bush administration will run as a Democratic in Senate race". The Washington Post. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.[ dead link ]
  4. 1 2 Phillip, Abby (6 November 2012). "Jeff Flake Wins Arizona Senate Race". OTUS. ABC News. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  5. Burger, Timothy J. "PREZ TAPS MAVERICK FOR SURGEON GENERAL" [ permanent dead link ], Daily News , March 27, 2002. Accessed September 14, 2009. "Carmona, 52, who dropped out of Dewitt Clinton High School in Harlem at 16 and later joined the Army, got a GED and was a Green Beret in Vietnam, where he was wounded twice."
  6. "Richard Carmona". publichealth.arizona.edu. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  7. Frank, Mitch (March 31, 2002). "The Doctor Is Armed". Time.
  8. "Who is Dr. Richard Carmona?". Time. 17 July 2002. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013.
  9. Pear, Robert (March 27, 2002). "Man in the News; A Man of Many Professions -- Richard Henry Carmona". The New York Times.
  10. "Nominee for surgeon general criticized". The Vindicator. July 9, 2002.
  11. Kranish, Michael (July 10, 2002). "Bush Nominee Defends Past Carmona Expected To Get Health Post". Boston Globe.
  12. Meckler, Laura (July 9, 2002). "Surgeon general nominee defends record". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  13. "Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of Richard H. Carmona, to be Surgeon General". U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records. July 23, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  14. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Issued June 27, 2006; accessed March 21, 2008.
  15. Neergaard, Lauran (2006-06-28). "Surgeon General: Beware Secondhand Smoke". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03.
  16. 1 2 Doyle, Leonard (2007-07-13). "White House 'gagged' Surgeon General". Politics. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  17. Kaufman, Marc (2003-06-04). "Surgeon General Favors Tobacco Ban". Nation. Washington Post. Surgeon General Richard Carmona said yesterday that he supports the banning of tobacco products -- the first time that the government's top doctor and public health advocate has made such a strong statement about the historically contentious subject.
  18. "Ross University Names 17th Surgeon General to its Board of Trustees". Ross University. June 16, 2010. Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  19. Gonzales, Nathan L. (February 7, 2006). "Candidates Battle for Cash in House Open Seats". CQ Roll Call. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  20. BusinessWire (October 28, 2013). "Herbalife Announces Appointment of Dr. Richard H. Carmona — 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006) — to Board of Directors". Herbalife. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  21. Rovner, Julie (2007-07-10). "Ex-Surgeon General Says Administration Interfered". Politics. NPR. Retrieved 2007-07-12. He recalled a meeting where senior White House officials talked about global warming as a liberal cause with no merit.
  22. Harris, Gardiner (July 10, 2007). "White House Is Accused of Putting Politics Over Science". New York Times.
  23. 1 2 Dunham, Will (2007-07-10). "Former Bush surgeon general says he was muzzled". Reuters. ‘Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried’
  24. Beckerman, Gal (2007-07-11). "Surgeon General's Warning: Politics always trumps science in the Bush White House". The Kicker. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2007-07-11. ‘The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds.’
  25. Bush Aide Blocked Report, Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman, The Washington Post, July 29, 2007.
  26. NCAC Staff (July 11, 2007). "Former Surgeon Generals Speak Out About Political Interference". National Coalition Against Censorship. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  27. 1 2 3 FREKING, Kevin (July 11, 2007). "Carmona Says Bush Officials Muzzled Him". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  28. Sullivan, Sean (November 10, 2011). "Carmona Will Run in Arizona". National Journal . Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
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  30. "Meet Our Candidates: Dr. Richard Carmona for U.S. Senator". October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
Military offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Moritsugu
Acting
Surgeon General of the United States
2002–2006
Succeeded by
Kenneth Moritsugu
Acting
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Pederson
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Arizona
(Class 1)

2012
Succeeded by
Kyrsten Sinema