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Pioneering surgeon Ben Carson Next Up in Pittsburgh Speakers Series 

Pittsburgh -- Celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson will give a talk at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the International Suite of Sewall Center at RMU's Moon Township campus for members of the RMU community. Carson will also speak at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Speakers Series.

Carson is a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than 25 years. He became the inaugural recipient of a professorship dedicated in his name in May 2008. He is now the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D. and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N. Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

Some career highlights include the first and only successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987, the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa and the first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin. Although he has been involved in many newsworthy operations, he feels that every case is noteworthy─deserving of maximum attention. He is interested in all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, and has a special interest in trigeminal neuralgia (a severe facial pain condition) in adults.

Carson holds more than 50 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Academy of Achievement and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. He was appointed in 2004 by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is a highly regarded motivational speaker who has addressed various audiences from school systems and civic groups to corporations and the President’s National Prayer Breakfast.

In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 “Living Legends” on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In February 2008, Carson was presented with the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal by President Bush at the White House. In June 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the President, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. Carson was recognized in November 2008 by U.S. News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, as one of “America’s Best Leaders.”

On February 7, 2009, the movie titled Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story premiered on TNT and is based on his memoir. He has received hundreds of other awards and recognitions during his distinguished career.

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 Fund is currently operating in 34 states and the District of Columbia, having awarded more than $ 3.9 million dollars to more than 3900 scholars. The program also establishes Carson Reading Rooms to encourage young students and their families to discover the pleasure to be found in books and to recognize the true power of learning.

Carson speaks to about 5,000 students annually on the campus of Johns Hopkins during his 75-minute THINK BIG presentations in which he gives a slide show and motivational talk discussing his career as a neurosurgeon, other medical careers and his philosophies. Students attending this presentation come from schools all over the state of Maryland, surrounding states, and even states across the country. This word-of-mouth program has had a profound effect upon those students who have been privileged to attend.

His four books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, The Big Picture and Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk, provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. Carson has been married for over 30 years to his wife, Candy, and is the father of three sons.