Born to a poor immigrant family in New York City, Richard Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. The experiences greatly sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education and economic status and ultimately shaped his future. After dropping out of high school, Dr. Carmona enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. By the time he left active duty, he was a Special Forces, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran. He then pursued a college degree and entered medical school at the University of California – San Francisco where he won the prestigious Gold Cane award as the top graduate. Dr. Carmona became a surgeon with a sub-specialty in trauma, burns and critical care and was recruited to Tucson to establish the first trauma system in southern Arizona which he did successfully. Later, while working full time as a hospital and health system CEO, he earned a master’s degree in public health policy and administration at the University of Arizona. In 2006 Vice Admiral Carmona successfully completed the statutory four-year term as Surgeon General and was named vice chairman of Canyon Ranch, CEO of the health division and president of the Canyon Ranch Institute. Dr. Carmona continues his Canyon Ranch leadership role as the Chief of Health Innovations. He also serves on several corporate boards and works with private equity and venture capital firms to identify emerging science and technology to translate to market for economic and public benefit.