Dr. Desmond Carson: “I work for the community I love”

Dr. Desmond Carson. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee.

By Post Staff To call Dr. Desmond Carson “committed to his community” would be an understatement. Carson, a Richmond native, is something of a hometown hero: an emergency room doctor in West Contra Costa’s only public hospital, a crusader for public health education, a mentor to youth and husband and father of two. In his spare time, he’s also the coach and past president of the Richmond Steelers, a youth football league that gives kids, pre-teens and teens the opportunity to exercise, develop teamwork and stay out of trouble. For Carson, his motivation to serve is simple. “I love Richmond,” he said. “I’m from Richmond, I was raised in Richmond. I work for the kids, and I work for this community that I love.” Carson said he’s looking forward to channeling his energy into his latest project as the newest steering committee member of the For Richmond coalition, a new community service organization working to improve the quality of life in the areas of jobs, health, safety and education. Carson said he looks forward to helping the coalition tackle some of Richmond’s biggest healthcare challenges, such as increasing access to better health education and helping residents develop habits to live longer, healthier lives. “It’s great to be part of an organization that’s really making things happen,” Carson said. Born and raised in South Richmond by Crescent Park, he credits his success to the community that raised him. In Richmond, Carson flourished as a son, student  and standout player on the Steelers youth football team, which he now coaches. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Berkeley and his M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  He returned to Richmond as soon as he finished his residency and has lived in his hometown ever since, working since 1999 as an ER doctor at the Doctors Medical Center. Since returning to Richmond, he has dedicated most of his free time to giving back, easily exceeding more than 5,000 hours in service work to Richmond and the surrounding region. He enjoys coaching the Steelers, the youth football league that, for more than 40 years, has provided Richmond youth with a sense of community, a positive, goal-oriented after-school activity and strong role models. Carson currently serves as treasurer of the league, which has made a mark in national youth football by winning multiple California state titles. In addition to his coaching duties for the Steelers, Carson founded a team of healthcare professionals to educate people living in Western Contra Costa about preventing chronic diseases and managing their health and well-being. He also hosts high school students from the West Contra Costa Unified School District to shadow him in the ER. This month, the City of Richmond recognized his dedication with a Distinguished Volunteer Service Award for his demonstrated commitment to volunteerism. Joe Fisher, For Richmond steering committee member and treasurer of the Black American Political Association of California (BAPAC), says Carson will be a tremendous asset to For Richmond’s work. “When we talk about health, well here we have a professional who is actually involved in the field,” Fisher said. “Dr. Carson knows and sees things we wouldn’t see. We are truly lucky to have him on board.” As for Carson, he’s looking forward to accomplishing several major public health goals in Richmond. “It’s all about making a difference by helping meet the needs of this community,” he said.
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