In addition, Dr. Carmona has joined Canyon Ranch as vice chairman of the 27-year-old life enhancement company. Dr. Carmona also will serve as chief executive officer of Canyon Ranch’s Health division and president of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute.
“Canyon Ranch is growing into new business areas while remaining steadfast to our wellness mission, which is to inspire healthy living,” said Mel Zuckerman, founder and chairman of Canyon Ranch and namesake for the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. “As U.S. Surgeon General, Richard Carmona led our nation and the world in disease prevention and health promotion for individuals, families and communities, and we look forward to his continuing leadership in his new roles at Canyon Ranch."
“Dr. Carmona has committed his life and career to public health. His commitment to safety and preparedness, and his unwavering dedication to better health through prevention have changed the way that millions of people view health and well-being," said G. Marie Swanson, Dean and Professor at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. "All of us at the College are delighted to welcome Rich to the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health as we continue to extend our mission in promoting the health of individuals and communities with a special emphasis on diverse populations and the Southwest.”
“The challenge we face today is not in gathering more information or waiting for more science. Instead, we must translate the best science into steps that people can understand and use to improve their health,” said Dr. Carmona. “We must engage diverse populations with culturally competent messages to help them become more health literate, so they can be involved in improving their overall health and well-being. We must change from being disease-oriented to being health-oriented, and focus attention on preventing health problems, not fixing them after they’ve happened.
“Joining Canyon Ranch will allow me to continue the vision and progress that I had the privilege of leading as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. Accepting personal responsibility for one’s health and experiencing the positive outcomes that result, can dramatically shift attitudes from fear of disease to joy for living. Canyon Ranch has been introducing people to these ideas for over a quarter century, and I am honored to be joining Mel and Enid Zuckerman and their remarkable Canyon Ranch team. Their mission is my mission.”
Canyon Ranch and Dr. Carmona are also united in their commitment to eliminate health disparities in underserved populations. Dr. Carmona, a University of Arizona professor for more than 20 years, will be the first distinguished professor of public health at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health in recognition of his expertise in the field.
A newly named center of excellence at the College, the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, will focus on research and community programs in three major areas: nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention and cessation. Dr. Carmona will advance the goals of the Center through his professorship and his role as President of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute.
In addition to his leadership roles with Canyon Ranch, the Canyon Ranch Institute, and as a UA professor, Dr. Carmona will continue to work with colleagues throughout the health and medical community, particularly his fellow Surgeons General.
“When you become a Surgeon General, you make a commitment that binds you to the other Surgeons General and to the world,” Dr. Carmona said. “I have invited the other Surgeons General and the national and international thought leaders who share our vision to participate in a prevention symposium n 2007. Together with experts from Canyon Ranch, the Canyon Ranch Institute, and the faculty and students of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health, we will give voice and action to our dedication to improving the health and well-being of all people.”
Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Carmona dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. While enlisted he received his Army General Equivalency Diploma, joined the Army's Special Forces, ultimately becoming a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, and began his career in medicine as a Special Forces medic. After leaving active duty, Dr. Carmona attended Bronx Community College, of the City University of New York, where he earned his associate of arts degree. He later attended and graduated from the University of California, San Francisco, with a bachelor of science degree (1977) and medical degree (1979). At the University of California Medical School, Dr. Carmona was awarded the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate. He has also earned a master’s of public health from the University of Arizona (1998). Dr. Carmona completed a surgical residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns and critical care. Dr. Carmona is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is also certified in correctional health care and in quality assurance.