17th U.S. Surgeon General (2002-2006) President, Canyon Ranch Institute Distinguished Professor of Public Health,The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Chair, NFID’s Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition
Born to a poor family in New York City, Dr. 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 shaped his future.
After dropping out of high school, Dr. Carmona enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. While serving, he earned his General Equivalency Diploma and went on to become a combat-decorated Special Forces Vietnam veteran. After leaving active duty, he was able to attend Bronx Community College of the City University of New York through an open enrollment program for veterans. He earned an associate of arts degree and then attended the University of California, San Francisco, where he received a bachelor of science degree (1977) and medical degree (1979). At the University of California Medical School, Dr. Carmona was awarded the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate.
Originally trained in general and vascular surgery after medical school, Dr. Carmona completed a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns and critical care. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Recruited jointly by the Tucson (Arizona) Medical Center and the University of Arizona, Dr. Carmona started and directed Arizona’s first regional trauma care system, and became the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon and deputy sheriff.
Public health came as a second career after Dr. Carmona went back to graduate school while working in order to complete a master’s degree in public health. His interest in public health stemmed from the realization that most of his patients’ diseases and injuries were completely preventable.
In 2002 Dr. Carmona was nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. President Bush chose Dr. Carmona because of his extensive experience in public health, clinical sciences, health care management, preparedness and his commitment to prevention as an effective means to improve public health and reduce health care costs while improving the quality and quantity of life.
As Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona focused on prevention, preparedness, health disparities, health literacy and global health to include health diplomacy. He also issued many landmark Surgeon General communications during his tenure, including a definitive Surgeon General’s Report about the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Dr. Carmona has published extensively and received numerous awards, decorations, and local and national recognitions for his achievements. A strong supporter of community service, he has served on community and national boards and provided leadership to many diverse organizations.
After completing his four-year term as Surgeon General in 2006, Dr. Carmona was named to the position of vice chairman for Canyon Ranch, the country’s leading health and wellness company for over 25 years. He also serves as chief executive officer of the company’s Health Division and oversees health strategy and policy for all Canyon Ranch businesses. He is president of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute and the recipient of the first Distinguished Professorship in Public Health at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
Immediate Past President, NFID
Moderator, NFID’s Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition
Carol J. Baker, M.D., FAAP, FIDSA, is a Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Texas Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Moderator. She is also the former Head of the Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Baker serves as Immediate Past President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). She is the current Vice Chair for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the former President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. She is a member of many professional societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Pediatric Research, American Pediatric Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America and Association of American Physicians.
A widely published researcher in pediatrics and infectious diseases, Dr. Baker has authored or co-authored more than 300 published studies, reviews and book chapters. She also serves as an editor of Infectious Diseases of the Fetus and Newborn Infant, associate editor of the 2009 Red Book (28th Edition) and on the editorial advisory committee of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Baker’s work has focused on many aspects of pediatric infectious diseases, including streptococcal infections and vaccine research. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and has been recognized as a Best Doctor in America™ for the past eleven years.
Dr. Baker received her medical degree and completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She also served fellowships in the Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease Section at Baylor College of Medicine and was a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a clinical fellow in medicine at Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Baker received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.