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American Program Bureau Speaking to the world for over 50 years

Richard Carmona

17th Surgeon General of the United States
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Biography

Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Dr. Richard Carmona was a high school dropout when he enlisted in the US Army. He was trained as a Special Forces medic and weapons specialist and became a combat-decorated, disabled Vietnam veteran.

After he returned to civilian life, Dr. Carmona earned a BS and MD, with highest honors, from the University of California, San Francisco, and was trained in general and vascular surgery as well as a fellowship in trauma, burns, and critical care. He has worked as a paramedic, registered nurse, physician’s assistant, professor, chief medical officer, and healthcare system chief executive. Dr. Carmona also has been the medical director of police and fire departments and is a fully qualified peace officer and SWAT expert. He is a director of several public corporate boards and provides leadership to numerous local, state and national organizations.

As US Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona focused on prevention, preparedness, health disparities, health literacy, and global health. Among many landmark communications issued during his four-year tenure, he released the definitive Surgeon General’s Report about the dangers of second-hand smoke. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Carmona has received many honorary Doctoral degrees from U S universities as well as numerous awards and decorations from academic, military and law enforcement organizations

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Topics

From Dropout to Surgeon General

The Business Case for Diversity

In this fascinating talk, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona shares with audiences how diversity can have a positive effect on business - and its bottom line. In this presentation, he touches upon:

  • 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 a must-hear for any organization looking to diversify.

A Vision of the Future of Technology & Medicine

Due to the rapidly escalating disease and economic burden—most of which is preventable—a new business model is needed. 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," home care, remote monitoring, telemedicine, and personalized medicine (to include pharmacogenomics). There were be shorter hospital stays and quality life expectancy will increase—at a cost. In this keynote, Dr. Richard Carmona helps define a path forward.

Patient Quality & Safety

Due to over 100 thousand preventable hospital deaths annually and a great deal of national variability in both cost and patient outcomes, quality measures and improved safety endeavors will continue to evolve and become essential drivers of future healthcare systems. Electronic medical records will be necessary to optimize patient quality and safety. "Check lists" will grow in use and popularity. Improved patient health literacy will be essential to improve quality and safety. If the private sector does not voluntarily continue to provide more essential data, the government will impose uniform reporting standards. In this keynote, Dr. Richard Carmona discusses the future need for healthcare to continue to address patient quality and safety.

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. Engaging in two wars over 11 years has added significantly to our military's burden 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. Dr. Carmona paints a picture of the future for the provision of mental illness prevention and care.

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is an admirable attempt at providing basic care for all. But it is important to separate the good elements from the problematic. It is time to stop politicizing ACA (and healthcare in general) and deliver a product to our citizens that, although not perfect, is an improvement to the system and adds value to their lives. Congress should be held accountable for breaching their fiduciary responsibility and placing the public at risk. This speech from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona poses a reasonable path forward for the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration & Border Issues

As a police officer in Arizona, Richard worked in and around the U.S. Border and has a unique insight into the health, law enforcement and federal policy issues around immigration.

National Preparedness & National Security

As a Special Operations soldier and police officer, widely published in the area of “all hazards” preparedness, Richard is recognized as an expert in both the tactics for, and provision of, medical care during catastrophic incidents.

Military & Veterans Issues

As a combat decorated and disabled veteran complemented by his experience at a local, state and national level, Richard has a unique vantage point and perspective on these contemporary issues.

Brain Health, Cognitive Preservation & Vitality

Based on Richard’s recently released book, 30 Days to a Better Brain, this speech contains all aspects of brain health and how you can preserve cognitive function as we live longer.

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