U.S. Surgeon General Leaves Post
Richard Carmona, the nation's 17th surgeon general, left his four-year post over the weekend, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. Although there was no official announcement from HHS, Assistant Health Secretary John Agwunobi sent an internal memo indicating his regret over the expiration of Carmona's term.
On Monday, a letter written by Carmona to his colleagues in the U.S. Public Health Service was circulated on Capitol Hill, according to the AP/Chronicle. Carmona's letter cited several accomplishments during his tenure, including last month's report on second-hand smoking.
The letter also cited efforts such as educating U.S. residents about the importance of preparing for natural and manmade disasters and working to address population disparities for such diseases as HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Carmona in the letter said that his success would be determined by one student making positive health choices or one mother ceasing smoking.
"I know that in the end, people will ask if my four years as the surgeon general did any good, and honestly, only time will tell," Carmona wrote.
HHS spokesperson Christina Pearson said Carmona "has helped provide good leadership and counsel to the department on prevention issues." Pearson directed questions regarding Carmona's potential successor to the White House.
White House spokesperson Emily Lawrimore declined to comment (Freking, AP/Houston Chronicle, 7/31).