Dick Clarke, CHT, program director of the hyperbaric medicine program at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, S.C., is the recipient of the 2002 DAN America award.
The prestigious award honors significant administrative, scientific or educational services on behalf of Divers Alert Network for the safety of recreational divers around the world. Clarke will receive the award at the 2002 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) in late June.
"It is a pleasure to acknowledge Dick Clarke as the recipient for the 2002 DAN America Award," said Dr. Peter Bennett, founder, president and CEO of DAN. "He has been a stalwart in diving and hyperbaric oxygen for decades. For DAN, the initiation and growth of the Diving Preferred Provider Network, its Advisory Board, and his work assisting our underwriters with claims adjudication have been of immeasurable value in sustaining the unique and successful growth of DAN and its treatment and insurance services."
A diver for more than 35 years, Clarke’s initial training and experience came during a 10-year stint in the British Royal Navy. In 1969 he relocated to the Bahamas, where he was employed by the International Underwater Explorers Society as a diving instructor and underwater photographer. He became the assistant director and safety officer for the seabed habitat "Hydro-Lab" in 1971. This program became home for the most extensive undersea living program ever accomplished, and more than 400 aquanauts from a wide variety of marine and baromedical disciplines lived in, and studied from, Hydro-Lab.
In 1976 Clarke began an eight-year period as a saturation diving superintendent and diver medic in the offshore oil and gas industry. Employed by Oceaneering International, he worked throughout much of the world, eventually moving to Columbia to his present job in 1985.
As president of National Baromedical Services (NBS), Clarke consulted with DAN in helping to establish in 1996 the Diving Preferred Provider Network. The DPPN is a network of hyperbaric chambers dedicated to high-quality care through guidelines established by DAN and an independent panel of experts known as the DPPN Advisory Board. NBS also assists the underwriting insurance company with adjudication of claims from DAN. Additionally, Clarke serves as editor of the "Hyperbaric Medicine Update" newsletter from NBS.
Clarke’s many other professional duties include being a faculty member of both the NOAA / UHMS Diving Medical Officer Course and the
The DAN America Award consists of a unique sculpture by Robert L. Straight, the renowned Houston "Sea Symbols" artist, and a cash award of $2,500.
Previous winners of the DAN America award are Dr. Alessandro Marroni (1994); Dr. Yoshihiro Mano (1995); Dr. G. Yancey Mebane (1996); John Lippman (1997); Dr. Paul Auerbach (1998); Dr. Frans J. Cronje (1999); Mauricio Moreno (2000); and Rolex?? Watch USA (2001).