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Richard Carmona

No stranger to high-stress roles and adverse conditions, Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, has a career that spans military service, private and public health, globally recognized thought leadership in optimal health and wellness, and now: Chief of Health Innovation for Canyon Ranch.

WHAT MAKES YOU A CANYON RANCH WELLNESS ARCHITECT, AND HOW DOES THAT INSPIRE YOU TO FRAME THE LIVES OF OTHERS?

On a daily basis, I try to balance my life as it relates to physical activity, healthy eating, reducing stress and being productive in all I do.

WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CANYON RANCH AND BUILDING A FOUNDATION OF WELLNESS?

Many of our guests are people in very important positions. They are usually very busy and responsible for big organizations and lots of employees. They often come here to try to decompress, but they find something more. Guests leave with a toolbox that allows them to improve their lives. And, it’s not one size fits all – at Canyon Ranch, we meet our guests where they are, and then we assist them in their journey to optimized health and wellness. There’s no place else in the world that has the depth, the breadth, the expertise and the compassion that we have here.

HOW DO YOU BUILD CANYON RANCH PHILOSOPHIES INTO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES?

I prioritize physical health. When I was Surgeon General, if I had not set a limit then I would have been scheduled 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But I used to tell my staff, “There are 24 hours in a day. You guys own me for 23 hours. I get an hour a day.”

WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE IN HIGH-STRESS JOBS DO THE SAME?

The best thing we do at Canyon Ranch is show our guests how to incorporate a holistic philosophy into their own lifestyle. When my children and grandchildren were growing up, we walked and swam together and I taught them about a balanced approach to their own wellbeing and happiness.

In our personal and professional lives, we have to set the example. The people who work with us and for us see us. That’s part of leadership – you set examples. There’s no place else in the world that has the depth, the breadth, the expertise and the compassion that we have here.

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