the 17th Secretary of HUD
Dr. Ben Carson , a neurosurgeon, was one of the candidates for the Republican Party nomination for President in 2016. He suspended his campaign before the convention.
Dr. Carson served in President Trump’s Cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) . He left that position when the newly elected president Joe Biden was inaugurated.
This post was originally published in March 2016, and has been updated February 21, 2021. This post includes affiliate links.
Dr. Carson started a new endeavor, the American Cornerstone Institute (ACI). According to the website,
“Dr. Carson is ensuring there is an organization fighting for the principles that have guided him through life, and that make this country great: Faith, Liberty, Community, and Life…. solutions guided by (these) principles are effective, and will point our nation toward the common good.
Dr. Carson has broken through barriers and has paved major roads in our political arena, both in Washington, D.C. and in communities across the country…..A champion for logic and common-sense solutions, Dr. Carson will always stay true to his principles and his faith, which guide ACI through this volatile time in our nation.
While conservative ideas will echo through our hallways, ACI will remain a non-partisan, not-for-profit institute…committed to working with anyone on anything that advances faith, liberty, community, or life.” (edited for length)
(Offered for information only, not an endorsement or affiliation of this organization by this blogger.)
Ben Carson, M.D., neurosurgeon
Here are some facts about Dr. Carson taken from his 1992 autobiography
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story which I read and enjoyed.
- Dr. Carson’s mother, Sonya, one of 24 children, married at age 13 ;her husband abandoned her when Dr. Carson and his brother were young boys. An uneducated illiterate woman, she taught herself to read, and required her sons to read books weekly.
- While he was growing up, his family depended on food stamps to have enough to eat.
- At age 8, after hearing a missionary doctor speak at his church, he decided to become a physician.
- He had such poor vision, he was almost legally blind. His grades improved when he started wearing glasses.
- As a teenager, he had such a quick and fiery temper, her feared he might kill someone.
- Both he and his brother were in JROTC while in high school; his brother served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
- In high school he played clarinet and developed a love of classical music, something he would share with his future wife Candy.
- He chose to attend Yale over Harvard, because Yale beat Harvard in the GE College Bowl television program.
- During college he worked at the Ford Auto plant and at Chrysler.
- He and Candy lived in Australia for one year so he could train in neurosurgery there- and his first child was born in Australia that year.
- His third child was born at home- and he did the unplanned, quick delivery while his mother dialed 911 for help.
Neurosurgery is the surgical specialty that deals with the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Long before Dr. Carson became involved in politics, he was known for his pioneering work in brain surgery. He discusses this work in his autobiography, which was also made into a movie of the same name. In the movie, one of my favorite actors, Cuba Gooding Jr., played Dr. Carson.
In hemispherectomy half of the brain is surgically removed as a treatment for severe, intractable seizures. It is only used as a last resort, is not always successful and can cause paralysis on one side of the body. Dr.Carson was known as an expert in this surgery.
photos by Dr. Aletha at the Denver Museum of Science
Conjoined or Siamese twins joined at the head are rare, occurring in 1 in 2 million births.
“In 1987, Carson attracted international attention by performing a surgery to separate 7-month-old occipital craniopagus twins in Germany.
Patrick and Benjamin Binder were born joined at the head. Their parents contacted Carson, who went to Germany to consult with the family and the boys’ doctors. Because the boys were joined at the back of the head, and because they had separate brains, he felt the operation could be performed successfully.
On September 4, 1987, after months of rehearsals, Carson and a huge team of doctors, nurses and support staff joined forces for what would be a 22-hour procedure. Part of the challenge in radical neurosurgery is to prevent severe bleeding and trauma to the patients.
In the highly complex operation, Carson had applied both hypothermic and circulatory arrest. Although the twins did suffer some brain damage and post-operation bleeding, both survived the separation, allowing Carson’s surgery to be considered by the medical establishment the first successful procedure of its kind.”(from Ben Carson bio)
The Carson Scholars Fund
Dr. Carson is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments.
The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. was founded in 1994 to address the education crisis in the United States. Dr. Ben and his wife, Candy were alarmed by the state of American education.
Studies showed that our nation’s students ranked #21 out of 22 countries; next to the bottom of the list in science and math. They observed that many school display cases were filled with large trophies paying tribute to their sports teams’ achievements, while honor students only received a pin or certificate.
Dr. and Mrs. Carson felt compelled to take action. They believed that if children could be taught early to excel in school, they would stay motivated and have a higher chance of educational success later in life. The Carson Scholars Fund was built on these principles.
Recognized by Great Nonprofits as a Top-Rated Nonprofit, Carson Scholars is currently operating in 50 states and the District of Columbia, having awarded more than $ 6.2 million dollars to more than 6200 scholars.
The program also establishes Carson Reading Rooms in schools across the country to encourage young students and their families to discover the pleasure of reading and to recognize the true power of learning. To date the program has established over 100 reading rooms in 14 states in the U.S. (Information found on the Carsons’ Facebook page)
Dr. Carson wrote One Vote-Make Your Voice Heard with his wife Candy Carson. In it, they urge us to use the privilege and power of voting at every opportunity. Here is a link to an excerpt
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exploring the heart of HEALTH with Dr. Ben Carson
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