The idea of serving a larger community has always been very strong for Richard Carmona. Before becoming a doctor and healthcare administrator, he spent two years in the U.S. Army's Special Forces
during the Vietnam War, earning two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star as a Green
Beret and medic.
His strong sense of duty carried over during his post-military
career in healthcare and all the way through 2002, when he was sworn in as the
nation's 17th surgeon general. Carmona's devotion to healthcare at so many levels
over the years-as a paramedic, physician, professor and hospital chief executive
officer-is what earned him the
American College of Healthcare Executives' 2005 Honorary Fellowship. The
fellowship, which will be presented to Carmona on March 15 during the ACHE's
annual Congress on Healthcare Management in Chicago, is given to individuals who
exemplify the ACHE's standards of both community and bedside service but are not
normally members of the organization.
Carmona, 55, was named a fellow of the
American College of Surgeons in 1985 and holds the rank of vice admiral in the
U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Previously he was a surgical
resident at the University of California at San Francisco, in addition to later
stints as a deputy sheriff, public health officer and registered nurse in Pima
County, Ariz. From 1997 to 1999, Carmona served as CEO of Pima County Health Care
System and medical director at Kino Community Hospital in Tucson, Ariz.
says he will continue to push healthcare access and literacy as domestic and
international priorities along with his domestic health agenda of fighting
obesity, youth violence, smoking and osteoporosis.
"We still have work to do,"
Carmona says. "By educating Americans and providing them with the important
health information that they need in a way that they can use it, we better equip
them to keep themselves and their families healthy."