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Richard  Carmona

Richard Carmona

17th Surgeon General of the United States, CEO, Canyon Ranch Health, Vice Chairman, Canyon Ranch & Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona 

Biography

To Dr. Richard Carmona, true leadership isn’t a matter of theory. It’s an actionable brand of success that has transcended professions and industries and saved lives in times of crisis and imminent danger. From the corporate boardroom to the Oval Office, organizations have consistently turned to Dr. Carmona to drive change and transform cultures.  Read More >

Best known as a one of the country’s most admired Surgeons General and for his current role as Vice Chairman of Canyon Ranch, his extensive leadership background in many disciplines includes medicine, law enforcement, the military, public health, higher education, emergency preparedness, and health care management. Within these fields, he has held positions ranging from sheriff and SWAT team leader to RN to trauma surgeon. He also brings an extraordinary life story of disadvantaged beginnings and an inspiring self-transformation from high school dropout to combat decorated Special Forces veteran. As a keynote speaker, Dr. Carmona takes all of these dimensions to the stage, capturing audiences with his high energy, contagious passion, and unwavering belief in the principle of selfless service.

An accomplished executive in the business of health and wellness, Dr. Carmona is currently Vice Chair of Canyon Ranch and CEO of Canyon Ranch Health, America’s preeminent health and wellness brand. He also serves as President of Canyon Ranch Institute, the corporation’s nonprofit arm, focusing on sharing health and wellness education with underserved communities. Dr. Carmona is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health, Professor of Surgery and Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona. Still active in law enforcement, he continues his reign as one of the most highly decorated police officers in Arizona as Deputy Sheriff and Department Surgeon of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. He is a member of Fortune 500 boards, involved in launching several small companies, and serves on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ MyVA Advisory Committee to improve the healthcare experiences of veterans as well as Departments of Defense and Homeland Security work groups. He is also the author of Canyon Ranch’s 30 Days to a Better Brain, a groundbreaking program for improving memory, concentration and overall well-being.

A highly regarded speaker with a magnetic presence, Dr. Carmona has spoken to an array of audiences ranging from financial services to military, law enforcement, high tech, healthcare, universities, associations and international groups. Committed to making his presentations “one of the best hours the audience has spent,” Dr. Carmona is known for working closely with clients to fully understand their audiences, deliver the desired takeaways and become the highlight of an inspiring and unforgettable event. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

The Future of Pharmacists and Health Treatment

Behavior Change

Healthy Behavior and Health Literacy

Humanitarian Aid and Foreign Policy

Our Obesity Epidemic

Speech Topics

The Essence of Leadership

“The essence of leadership is being responsible for the destiny of others.” This powerful belief, gained while leading troops into combat in Vietnam, is the cornerstone of Dr. Richard Carmona’s highly successful approach to leadership. In this inspiring presentation, he shares poignant examples of leading change in multiple disciplines and vastly different organizations. He tells you what it takes to transform cultures, disrupt mindsets, shift directions and achieve results. He also examines the essential elements of successful leadership: integrity, stewardship, mentorship, empowerment of workforce, and above all, selfless service. His memorable stories and instructive examples are universally applicable to any profession, industry or level of leadership. Your audience will leave motivated to lead by inspiration and positively transform their organizations— often, one person at a time.

From Dropout to Surgeon General & CEO

Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona’s remarkable rise from poverty to prominence has defied the odds and inspired thousands. Born to a poor Hispanic immigrant family in New York City, he “ran the streets” of Harlem and lived in and out of homelessness and hunger while his mother struggled with substance abuse. By 17, he was a high school dropout on this way to becoming another grim statistic when he joined the U.S. Army. In this highly motivational presentation, Dr. Carmona talks about overcoming life’s obstacles and staying focused on achieving your dreams. He shares his path from homeless street kid to combat decorated Special Forces veteran, college graduate and top graduate of his medical school class. He also connects the life lessons leaned on this odds-defying journey to his extraordinary, multi-discipline career. With passion and optimism, Dr. Carmona challenges audiences to believe in themselves, reach for their highest goals, and achieve their true potential.

30 Days to a Better Brain or a Healthier, Happier Workplace

Drawing from his groundbreaking Canyon Ranch book, Dr. Carmona shares practical ways to optimize brain function to improve productivity, decrease stress and maintain (and enhance) cognitive ability. By matching the latest behavior and neuroscience to specific audience interest, Dr. Carmona connects brain health to topics ranging from slowing Alzheimer’s to reducing employee health care costs. Citing the healthy lifestyle choices of active centenarians, he connects sleep, nutrition, stress, exercise, meditation and mindfulness to long term brain health. He also shows how just 30 days of lifestyle changes can yield short-term benefits such as sharper thinking, more energy, better memory, heightened attention span, safer driving and being more alert and attentive at work.

Mindfulness: Caring for the Soul of your Mind

Recent studies support what spiritual and wellness practitioners have known for years: Mindfulness and meditation can have a significant positive impact on overall health and well-being, impacting everything from job performance and satisfaction to absenteeism. In this fascinating presentation, Dr. Carmona provides key strategies for overcoming an increasingly complex stressed-out, nonstop world. His actionable prescriptions will help individuals and organizations find effective ways to relax, refocus and achieve a higher level of health, wellness and productivity. Read More >

Dr. Carmona explores: Read Less ^

  • The key aspects of wellness—mind, body, spirit and emotions
  • New and emerging science on complementary, nontraditional, integrative and alternative medicines
  • Practices in mindfulness and meditation that care for the soul and mind
  • How these practices work on a molecular and genetic level
  • The latest science on reducing depression, anxiety, even suicide rates, drawn from Dr. Camona’s work with combat-injured veterans and their families

Immigration & the Border

As a police officer in Arizona, Dr. Carmona has worked in and around the U.S. border for decades. In this timely presentation, he shares insights formed at the intersection of health, law enforcement, homeland security, federal policy and the current debates surrounding immigration.

National Preparedness & Medical Care During Catastrophic Incidents

Bringing his experiences as a former Special Operations soldier, trauma surgeon, police officer and SWAT team leader, Dr. Carmona has published widely in the area of “all hazards” preparedness and serves on Departments of Defense and Homeland Security work groups. He is an internationally recognized expert on both the tactics for, and provision of, medical care during catastrophic incidents. Sharing lessons learned from bombings, national disasters and studying response models from around the world, Dr. Carmona tailors his talk to audience interest and provides essential information for preparedness in an increasingly dangerous world.

A Vision of the Future of Technology & Medicine

Preventable diseases are rapidly escalating—as are the economic costs associated with them. In this insightful presentation, Dr. Carmona calls for an innovative new business model. Government will provide an infrastructure, but citizens must become active participants in rejecting unhealthy behaviors and pursuing optimal health and wellness. In the future, there will be more practice “substitution”, such as home care, remote monitoring, telemedicine, and personalized medicine (to include pharmacogenomics). There will also be shorter hospital stays and an increase in quality life expectancy— but these benefits will come at a cost. In this insightful keynote, Dr. Richard Carmona help to define the path forward.

Improving Patient Quality & Safety

Preventable diseases are rapidly escalating—as are the economic costs associated with them. In this insightful presentation, Dr. Carmona calls for an innovative new business model. Government will provide an infrastructure, but citizens must become active participants in rejecting unhealthy behaviors and pursuing optimal health and wellness. In the future, there will be more practice “substitution”, such as home care, remote monitoring, telemedicine, and personalized medicine (to include pharmacogenomics). There will also be shorter hospital stays and an increase in quality life expectancy— but these benefits will come at a cost. In this insightful keynote, Dr. Richard Carmona help to define the path forward.

PTSD & Mental Illness

It has become clear that mental health services are inadequate for our nation. One in five people who need mental health care cannot get it—and mental illness contributes significantly to patient non-compliance and increased co-morbidity and mortality from other illnesses. The toll of war has added significantly to our military’s caseload of mental illness. On average, one uniformed service member commits suicide daily—more deaths than in combat.

DOD and VA facilities do not have the capacity to provide timely, needed mental healthcare to our uniformed service personnel and veterans. In addition to suicide rates, divorce rates, domestic violence, depression, and adjustment disorders, unemployment and PTSD have significantly increased for our combat troops and veterans. Currently evolving is a better scientific understanding of some of the causes of mental health and its treatment. As a veteran, physician, and former Surgeon General who is still actively involved in advocating for the quality of healthcare for veterans, Dr. Carmona paints a picture of the future of mental health prevention and care.

The Future of Healthcare

he Affordable Care Act is an admirable attempt at providing basic care for all. However, it is important to separate the good elements from the problematic. Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona contends that it is time for our nation’s leaders to stop politicizing healthcare and deliver a product to our citizens that improves the system and adds value to their lives. Dr. Carmona believes that Congress should be held accountable for breaching their fiduciary responsibility and placing the public at risk. He also poses a reasonable path forward for the Affordable Care Act and our healthcare system.

The Business Case for Diversity

Drawing upon his experiences leading an array of organizations and as a member of a minority group, Dr. Carmona shares how diversity can have a positive effect on business—and the bottom line. Read More >

He examines:

  • Evolving demographics
  • Immigration issues
  • Defining the workforce
  • The buying power of emerging diverse markets
  • The power of diverse heterogeneous teams and creativity
  • Understanding cultural competence
  • The evolution from minority to majority and its implications
  • The added value in having a workforce that reflects your customer base

This completely customizable presentation is essential for any organization looking to diversify. Read Less ^

Military & Veterans Issues: Standing Up for Those Who Serve

As a combat decorated and disabled Vietnam veteran, Dr. Carmona has spent his life advocating for those who serve, especially in the area of access to healthcare and mental healthcare. Currently serving on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ MyVA Advisory program to improve services, Dr. Carmona is a passionate voice for veterans and military families and speaks to multiple issues affecting them.

Connect with Richard Carmona