WiRED Board Member Dr. Richard Carmona Featured in AARP Magazine


The August/September issue of AARP The Magazine published a piece from Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States, and board member of WiRED International.


In the article Dr. Carmona pays tribute to his grandmother. He says, “As a kid growing up in Harlem with Abuelita, I learned everything I would later need to lead the U.S. Public Health Service. I was the oldest of her grandchildren, and Abuelita probably taught me more about community service than anybody.”


He went on to say, “Abuelita was only 5 feet tall, maybe 90 pounds, soaking wet. … She was one of these matriarchs in the community. Even though she had meager resources, there were always people in her little apartment whom I didn’t know. These were new immigrants whom she would cook for, sew for, give a little money to. So, what I really saw was a community activist before it was politically correct. Through her actions, more than words, she taught me the responsibility of helping others. She was the one who hammered into me to be proud of who you are, to know your ancestry.”


"As a kid growing up in Harlem with Abuelita, I learned everything I would later need to lead the U.S. Public Health Service. ... Abuelita probably taught me more about community service than anybody."
— WiRED Board Member Dr. Richard Carmona

Last year Dr. Carmona gave the keynote speech at WiRED’s 20th anniversary celebration (see video). He noted the importance of health education in establishing bonds and uniting people throughout the world. He offered WiRED as a prominent example of an organization working toward this goal.


Dr. Carmona said, “If I’d had the WiRED equivalent as Surgeon General, I could have changed the world. Because you have a distribution network, you have intellectual property, you have content that nobody else has. And you reach the world. And this is more than just a bunch of good people doing nice things for poor people. It’s much bigger. This is health diplomacy.”



Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS


Dr. Carmona served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and is currently the Chief of Health Innovation at 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 a life story of disadvantaged beginnings and an inspiring self-transformation from high school dropout to combat-decorated Special Forces veteran. He attended University of California San Francisco Medical School where he received the prestigious Gold Headed Cane as the top graduate.


He served as President of the Canyon Ranch Institute Board of Directors, which has now joined Health Literacy Media. 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. He also serves on numerous government and private boards involving business, health and national security issues. He is the author of Canyon Ranch’s 30 Days to a Better Brain, a groundbreaking program for improving memory, concentration and overall well-being.



AARP (formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons) was founded in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired high school principal. Its mission is to empower older persons to choose how they live as they age by promoting independence, dignity and purpose; by enhancing their quality of life; and encouraging them “to serve, not to be served.” The organization boasts more than 38 million members.