Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Hispanic Officer Advisory Committee

Richard H. Carmona Award

VADM Richard H. Carmona had a long and successful career devoted to public health and ultimately as 17th Surgeon General of the United States. VADM Carmona progressively held positions of increasing responsibility in Pima County, Arizona, including Chief Executive Officer of the health care system. In addition, VADM Carmona has dedicated immense efforts to community service and has provided leadership guidance to many organizations.

To honor the exemplary qualities of leadership, loyalty and service to the USPHS, the HOAC mission and the community, HOAC presents the VADM Richard H. Carmona Exemplary Leadership Award to active duty, reserve, or retired senior officers, O-5 and above, who have shown outstanding leadership progression in their careers as USPHS officers, HOAC members and community servers.


VADM Richard H. Carmona was born November 22, 1949 to a poor Puerto Rican family in New York City. He experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. VADM Carmona had an exemplary and diverse career that includes law enforcement, military service, medicine, and public health. VADM Carmona dropped out of High School and later completed his General Educational Development (GED). He enlisted in the United States Army Special Forces and became a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran and was awarded two Purple Hearts. VADM Carmona earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1979 and a Master's degree in Public Health (M.P.H.) in 1998.

In 2002, VADM Carmona became the 17th Surgeon General of the United States due to 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, quality of life and reduce health care costs.

In 2006, after completing a four-year term as the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Carmona served as vice chairman of Canyon Ranch, which for over 30 years has been considered the country's leading health and Wellness Company. During this time, he, catalyzed best practices for optimal health for all people and helped educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and choose a life of wellness.

VADM Carmona has published extensively and received numerous awards, decorations, and local and national recognitions including two Purple Hearts and Top Cop Award. A strong supporter of community service, he has served on community and national boards, and has also worked with scientific entrepreneurs to identify needed emerging science and technology for public good and economic benefit.


  1. Nominee must be an active duty, reserves or retired USPHS Commissioned Corps officer at the rank of O-5 or above.
  2. If on active duty or reserves, nominee must meet basic readiness standards and have no adverse actions in their electronic personnel records.
  3. May qualify as voting or non-voting HOAC member. If non-voting member, the nominee must be actively participating in HOAC supporting activities.
  4. Nominee's accomplishments as a senior officer should be included in the nomination.


Each nomination shall describe the specific accomplishments the candidate has performed in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Describe the nominee's contributions and accomplishments as a senior officer, in the USPHS.
  2. Describe the specific contributions the nominee provided as a senior officer to the HOAC mission.
  3. Describe how the nominee has impacted the community through personal and/or HOAC directed community service activities.

Nomination Package and Process

  1. Complete the Nomination Form [DOCX-15KB]
  2. Write a narrative statement, describing the nominee's accomplishments & impact as outlined above (500 words or less); use 12 pt Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins and double space.
  3. Self-nominations will be accepted.
  4. Nominations may be endorsed by the nominee's first-line supervisor. Other endorsements are encouraged as appropriate.
  5. Nominations package must consist of an endorsement form and narrative. Packages are to be submitted electronically as Adobe PDF file. If a nomination cannot be submitted electronically, contact the Award Subcommittee Chair for further instructions.
  6. Submit CV cover sheet describing HOAC supporting activities
  7. Narratives not submitted in the correct format will be returned to the nominator for reformatting. The nominator will have no more than 2 business days to reformat and resubmit.
  8. Submit Nominations to: CDR Lorena Crowley at

For Questions, Additional Assistance, or Information contact:

CDR Lorena Crowley
Chair, HOAC Awards Subcommittee
Medical Coordinator - Denver Field Office
12445 E. Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111
720-873-2824 (Office)
866-311-0973 (Secure Fax)

VADM Richard Carmona Award Recipient

Year Recipient Name
2020 CDR Cesar Perez
2015 Dr. Nadine Gracia
CDR Martha S. Fermin
LCDR Elizabeth A. DeGrange

Page Last Modified on 5/21/2020

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