Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Cancer Diagnostic Expert Receives National Medal of Honor

May 15, 2022-  Dr. Robert L. Bard receives one of the highest achievements of his career; the prestigious 35th Annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor.  Alongside a list of over 80 top American achievers, this historical ceremony which took place at the Ellis Island Great Hall celebrated inspiring Americans who are selflessly worked for the betterment of our country and its citizens. 

In the spring of 2020, the Ellis Island Honors Society officially recognized Dr. Bard for his life’s work in clinical and research contributions in diagnostic imaging detection of cancers.  The annual tradition of this nation’s most prestigious awards to honor American achievers has been upheld since 1986- but experienced its first postponement due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Both the 2020 and 2021 events had been postponed to this year, where significant new support and an impressive lineup re-ignited the continuance of event.  

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Bard was also celebrated for his dedication to the global advocacy for early cancer detection and protection from environmental-based health issues.  Inspired by his experiences as a USAF military radiologist and with our 9/11 attacks, he contributes educational resources or donor support to non-profit organizations such as: Firefighters Against Cancer & Exposures, Best Answer for Cancer, The Are You Dense Foundation, American Cancer Society, Melanoma Research Foundation and Male Breast Cancer Coalition.  

"Receiving this honor alongside some of the most impressive names in our history is the most profound landmark of my career... and my commitment to my community.  The very concept of recognizing top contributors on Ellis Island, our nation's historical doorway is a beautiful and most touching message", states Dr. Bard.

Aside from the 83 prominent Americans in the winner's circle of this event, the host of the 35th anniversary gala was one of the most prominent achievers in broadcast news history; New York City's own Mr. Marvin Scott.  Mr. Scott is a member of the NYS Broadcasters Hall of Fame and recipient of 12 prestigious Emmy awards for journalistic achievement since joining WPIX in 1980 as an anchor, reporter, host and producer.  Over the years, Mr. Scott has relied on Dr. Bard's expertise as a medical news advisor for complex topics such as male breast cancer, skin cancer diagnostics & treatments, nail disease and melanoma. "It was an honor for me to nominate Dr. Bard for the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  For all he does for the advancement of medical science, and the early detection of life-threatening diseases certainly makes him worthy for this recognition.  He fits the criteria as an American who has contributed to the greatness of our country."

The evening commenced with an introduction from co-masters of ceremony, Marvin Scott and Jill Nicolini of WPIX, followed by opening remarks from EIHS chairman Nasser Kazeminy. “This year’s distinguished medalists come from a range of industries and backgrounds,” Kazeminy shared. “We honor them, not for where they came from, but for what they bring to our great nation. Each of them represent a thread from which the fabric of this great nation is woven. A fabric rich in color and diversity and incapable of being torn apart.”

For over 35 years, the Ellis Island Honors Society has been fostering tolerance, respect, and understanding among diverse religious, ethnic, and cultural groups by celebrating distinguished Americans of immigrant descent and others of remarkable character for their contributions to the world. EIHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit, which, in addition to presenting the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, is a humanitarian organization supporting educational opportunities for students with immigrant heritage and preserving the Ellis Island National Monument.  Since the Medal was founded in 1986, EIHS has honored distinguished and diverse Americans including: Presidents of the United States; Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel; Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Secretaries of State Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton; Albert II, Prince of Monaco; Bob Hope; Muhammad Ali; Frank Sinatra; Rosa Parks; Mike Wallace, and Oscar-winning actress Rita Moreno. All have distinguished themselves through their significant philanthropic and humanitarian contributions to this country.

As a 9/11 responder and a (now) retired FDNY firefighter, I spent the latter part of my career digging into my predisposition to cancer.  I stumbled into Dr. Bard in a YouTube video about prostate cancer and I was delighted to see that he was just on the other side of the river (midtown, NYC). The visit was probably THE most unique exam I ever had.  He spent a lot of time with me (and not the standard 11 minutes that every insurance-based doc throws at you). He used technology I never heard of before- like the 3D Doppler Ultrasound, which was fast and innovative!  But what makes this man truly an achiever is a history of research and his boundless wisdom in his craft.  Each time we would meet, he spends more time educating me on cancer and diagnostic technology, making this a real life saving experience.  Today, I am proud to work with Dr. Bard as our chief medical advisor at F.A.C.E.S. (Firefighters Against Cancer and Exposures) where he gets a proper national platform for his knowledge, forging a complete AWARENESS program on PREVENTION and EARLY DETECTION. 

- Dr. Roberta Kline
As a Women’s Health and Functional Genomics physician, I appreciate his pioneering efforts and continuing crusade to make this technology more widely available, for it is a powerful tool in providing personalized, proactive healthcare. Despite a busy practice saving lives on an individual level, Dr. Bard has made time for his extensive volunteer work in making life-saving ultrasound more accessible to others. Even long after many of his colleagues have retired, he continues his crusade to find better noninvasive diagnostic solutions and bring them to his community. He truly is an inspiration, and I feel fortunate to be able to collaborate with and learn from him.

I have had the pleasure to work with Dr. Bard for the last several years.  His advocacy work in the community for cancer diagnostics reaches patients all over the country. Dr. Bard has been a mentor to my career in oncology for the last several years.  He has leveraged my career in breast cancer, specifically in alternative diagnostics measures for women with dense breast tissue.  Due to the wide range of physiological categories of women who may have dense breasts, and their possible links and predispositions to cancer, our research project proposes to target patients in underserved communities to further delineate a clinical connection to breast density in women. Dr. Bard’s expertise in clinical diagnostics will allow us to undergo this outreach reaching underserved women who may not have regular access to healthcare.  He is truly a champion for leadership and service in the community.

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1 comment:

  1. I would like to congratulate Dr Bard for receiving this prestigious award. I have had the privilege to collaborate with Dr Bard on innovative imaging technologies aimed at the betterment of mankind. Although our interactions have been brief periods, one quickly realizes that Dr Bard’s intellectual brilliance aligned with his tireless drive to help others makes him the deserving of the Ellis Island Honor Society’s National Metal of Honor. Congratulations to Dr Robert Bard for this award and the Ellis Island Honor Society for their wisdom to chose Dr Bard and the other recipients.


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