Surgeon General to Speak at Medical School Hooding Ceremony

May 14, 2003

U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., will speak at the hooding ceremony of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 18th in Wait Chapel on the Reynolda campus of Wake Forest University.

Carmona also is acting assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Carmona has said he is changing the role of the office. "Most previous Public Health Service Surgeons General have focused on peacetime health issues such as AIDS, chronic diseases, and teenage smoking," he said. While continuing those tasks, "I must also key on wartime medical preparedness including homeland security and the war on terrorism."

In 1985, he was recruited to Tucson to begin the first trauma care system in southern Arizona. The former Army Special Forces soldier also joined the Pima County Sheriff''s Department as department surgeon and as a member of the S.W.A.T. Team, where he was both a team leader and training officer for 16 years.

As clinical professor of surgery, public health, and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, he developed and implemented antiterrorism plans including weapons of mass destruction. He was CEO of the Pima County health care system.

Carmona was born and raised in Harlem in New York, and dropped out of high school. He earned a high school equivalency diploma in the Army, and saw combat service in Vietnam.

He later graduated from the University of California San Francisco medical school, where he was valedictorian and the only person ever to graduate in three years.


Contact: Robert Conn (, Karen Richardson ( or Barbara Hahn ( at (336) 716-4587

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