Ex-surgeon general to speak on brain health

Richard Carmona

Richard Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, the 17th surgeon general of the United States, will speak on “The Challenge of Brain Health in War and Peace” as part of the 2017 Mel Sherman Institute on Mental Health lecture series presented by Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

Carmona will discuss the responsibility of caring for military service members with war-related physical and psychological brain injuries as well as the challenges of dementia in an aging population.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger and health disparities during his youth. These experiences sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education and economic status. A combat-decorated U.S. Army Special Forces Vietnam veteran, Carmona trained in general and vascular surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, is chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch, and a distinguished professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona.  He also holds faculty appointments at the UA as a professor of surgery and pharmacy. 

Carmona’s service to Tucson began in 1985 with his joint recruitment by Tucson Medical Center and the UA to start and direct Arizona’s first regional trauma care system. In addition to serving as chairman of the State of Arizona Regional Emergency Medical System, Carmona is the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon and a deputy sheriff — one of the most highly decorated police officers in Arizona and a recognized SWAT expert.

The Mel Sherman Institute on Mental Health lecture series is made possible by Irving Silverman, who established a fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona to honor his friend’s memory.

Registration for the lecture is required. Light refreshments will be served. Register at jfcstucson.org or contact Kate at kkelly@jfcstucson.org or 795-0300, ext. 2435.