SPEAKERS

Eastern Washington

Annual Dinner

Ben Carson

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In 1985 he and colleagues at Johns Hopkins began the process of reviving the operation known as cerebral hemispherectomy to control intractable seizures in children.

In 1986 he performed the first successful placement of a shunt to relieve hydrocephalus in a baby that was still in the mother's womb.

 

In 1987 he led a team of 70 professionals in the first technically successful separation of occipital craniopagus twins (joined at the back of the head) from Germany.

 

In 1997 he and an international team accomplished the first completely successful separation of type two vertical craniopagus twins in South Africa. The twins were joined at the top of the head and facing in opposite directions. They are living without neurological complications.

 

Dr. Carson has been involved with more than 15,000 surgical procedures and feels that every single one of them is as important as the headline-grabbing operations. He feels that it is indeed a privilege to be able to intervene in one's life and provide a better outcome.

 

Dr. Carson has been the recipient of numerous awards including more than 70 honorary doctorate degrees, the NAACP's highest award which is the Spingarn medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States. He was also named in 2001 by the Library of Congress as one of 89 living legends on the occasion of it's 200th anniversary. That same year he was named by CNN and Time Magazine as one of the nation's 24 foremost physicians and scientists.

 

He is a member of many prestigious societies such as the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans and the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor medical society. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

 

With much public urging, he reluctantly entered the presidential primaries in 2015 and briefly held front runner status before dropping out and accepting the position as the 17th United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. At HUD his team was responsible for many innovative programs such as the Foster Youth to Independence program (FYI) which helps youth who have aged out of foster care obtain the support necessary to set them on a trajectory of success. They also created the EnVision Center program which facilitates self-sufficiency in underserved populations. Under Secretary Carson's oversight, the agency once again became fiscally responsible resulting in the first clean audit in many years. He also chaired the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council consisting of multiple federal agencies for the purpose of developing and expanding the Opportunity Zone program. The list of accomplishments at HUD is expansive.

 

He has been married to his wife (Candy) for 46 years and they have three sons, three daughters in law and five grandchildren and counting. He is co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund which recognizes young people starting in the fourth grade for superior academic performance and humanitarian qualities.

 

He is President and Chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute (ACI) which emphasizes common-sense solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. He believes America is more of an idea than a place. An idea that promotes liberty and justice for all.

Benjamin Carson was raised along with his brother Curtis in Detroit and Boston by a single mom with less than a third-grade education. He was a terrible student until his mother turned off the television and imposed a requirement that the boys read two books a piece from the Detroit public libraries every week and submit to her written book reports. Their academic performance improved dramatically and Benjamin won a scholarship to Yale University, followed by medical school at the University of Michigan and an internship and residency in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Following a stint in Western Australia as the senior registrar at Sir Charles Gairdner Medical Centre, he returned to Johns Hopkins and was appointed Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in 1984 at the age of 33.