The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is an international, non-profit organization serving over 2,400 members from more than 50 countries. This society is considered a key source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.
The UHMS has just held their 45th Annual Scientific Meeting (Wednesday 20 - Sunday 24 June 2012) at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, USA. During the event Dr Richard D Vann from the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology (Duke University Medical Center), and a Consultant at Divers Alert Network received the Albert R Behnke Award.
The Albert R Behnke award is not presented every year, only when the Awards Committee deem it appropriate. This is the premier award of the UHMS and is presented to an individual in recognition of outstanding scientific contributions to advances in the undersea or hyperbaric biomedical field. The award may be made for a single contribution of great importance or for many contributions over the years.
Richard Vann served as a Diving Engineer at Ocean Systems, and as a Diving Officer for US Navy Underwater Demolition Team 12 and various Naval Reserve SEAL units.
After receiving a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Dr Vann conducted research at the Duke Hyperbaric Center on bubble formation and inert gas exchange in divers and astronauts, developed decompression procedures for scientific and archeological diving, developed decompression methods for astronauts, and investigated oxygen breath-hold diving.
At the Divers Alert Network (DAN), he investigated fatal and non-fatal injuries and published on dive computers, nitrox diving, flying after diving, prognostic factors in DCS therapy, flying with DCS, flying after DCS therapy, and first aid oxygen for DCS. He is Emeritus Assistant Professor in the Duke Anesthesia Department and a consultant to DAN.
Dick Vann is one of the nicest gentlemen in the diving industry. He has endless enthusiasm, energy, drive and passion solidly backed by relevant knowledge. Dick also firmly believes in mentoring, developing the next generation and nurturing talent. In 1999 he established the DAN Research Internship Program. Dick is wholly professional, supportive to colleagues, and his ethos focuses on the greater good. He truly is ‘Mr. Nice Guy.’