UAMS Hosts Former Surgeon General for Lecture on Bone Health

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Former United States Surgeon General Richard Carmona, M.D., will give a free public lecture on bone health and the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Fred W. Smith Auditorium on the 12th floor of the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.


Carmona, who served as the nation’s 17th surgeon general from 2002-2006, is the speaker for the inaugural Richard Webber Memorial Lecture. The lecture series is in memory of the late Webber, a UAMS faculty member and first director of the UAMS Center for Orthopaedic Research. Webber and Carmona met during their special forces training and became close friends. Carmona describes him as “a great man who left us much too early.”


While surgeon general, Carmona released the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis. By 2020, according to the report, half of all American citizens older than 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass if no immediate action is taken by individuals at risk, health care professionals, health systems, and policymakers. In the report, Carmona called on people at risk to practice good nutrition habits, get regular exercise and have regular medical check-ups and screenings.


A high school dropout, 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 Vietnam veteran. Later, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a medical degree from the UCSF Medical School, where he received the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate.


After completing his four-year term as Surgeon General in 2006, Carmona was named vice chairman for Canyon Ranch, a health and wellness company. 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 non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute and the first Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.


Parking for the lecture is available in the Outpatient Parking Deck next to the Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, at the intersection of Jack Stephens Drive and West Capitol Avenue on the UAMS campus.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. For more information, visit