To experience the first Cancer PowerMeet, see the excerpt clip link
Speakers: Dan Noonan (Ret. FDNY), Sal Banchitta (Ret. FDNY) and Dr. Robert L. Bard
The Integrative Cancer Resource Alliance is proud to launch its 2021 'PowerMeet' series on OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH RISKS starting with its first focus group- The Emergency Responders in the Fire Service. Architected by executive director Lennard Gettz and The I.C.R.A. Educational team, the event recruited "a perfect fusion of guests from various cancer-specific interest areas to provoke a strong Q/A exchange about job-related cancers". This event offered a highly charged educational exchange with direct insights, viewpoints and experiences from retired firefighters and members of the medical community + questions from other professionals from both sides.
Selected headliners are chosen for their professional experiences and their profound presence as educators. The lineup includes Dan Noonan (Ret. FDNY), "Cousin" Sal Banchitta (Ret. FDNY) and Dr. Robert Bard, cancer diagnostic imaging specialist - recognized in the community as the "cancer detective". Together, they cover the patient-doctor dynamics of the cancer care dynamics."The One-Voice mission of The I.C.R.A. is to present like-minded educators, advocates and resources to form a harmonized chorus... with messages of educated prevention, early detection and proactive lifestyle", states Cheri Ambrose, moderator and president of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition. "There are so many answers to cancer, and hearing them from those who are affected in these unique ways (either as medical experts, patient advocates, family members or as the cancer patients themselves) makes for a powerful messenger of what can and should be done to keep everyone safe!"
The I.C.R.A. committee is scheduling 15 PowerMeets for the year, but unanimously wanted to launch the 'Cancers on the Job' series with speakers from the fire service. "I would be remiss if we did not kick off such an important event without Dan (Noonan), probably one of the most recognized and outspoken firefighters in modern history to speak about fire safety from cancer exposures. Dan survived the devastating 1975 NY Tel Fire (where 699 firefighters were heavily exposed to the most horrible carcinogens of burning PVC) and volunteered in 9/11 past retirement. As far as I'm concerned, Dan Noonan is a national treasure with an immeasurable heart to represent us all!"
In the 40 minute exchange, Dan responded with kind generosity and down-to-earth directness, which he attributes as part of "straight talk from the kitchen" (the 'communication central' of all firehouses). With pointed conviction to fire safety at the cost of so many lives, Dan Noonan delivered with blistering urgency. "I enjoy bringing awareness to my fellow first responders... and all folks exposed to these chemicals. I think this country as a whole has to step up and really ring the bell for these people and bring them awareness with "Get Checked Now!" I emphasize this to all my fellow firefighters, new firefighters and first responders coming on the job. But the problem there is that when you come on the department, you're young and you think you're invincible. You think you're Superman. You want to serve the community. And boy, you put that uniform on and you're ready to rock and roll, but you don't identify the hazards. And that's why it falls on us. All of us to say, 'Hey, time out'-- you gotta be aware of the ABC-XYZ and be sure to get checked."
INTERACTIVE AUDIENCE BEYOND OUR BORDERS
"We are blessed to have such a powerful group of individuals who hold the common spirit to make a difference." Unlike webinars and talk shows where most of the audience is limited to being spectators, each invitee carries a major role of driving the headliners to share and discuss with highly charged questions. They are hand selected based on their own professions, encouraging discussions about job-related cancers but are also public advocates in their own right.
This event is a FIRST, both as a pilot project and also as the official launch of The I.C.R.A. brand- a global branch formed by The NY Cancer Resource Alliance. "As one of the first medical speakers of the group, the New York alliance on Linkedin was started back in 2018 - but it was impossible to keep local when the web was connecting us with so many cancer experts from everywhere. The I.C.R.A. banner covers our global family with endless possibilities. The philosophy of INTEGRATIVE applies to expansive medicine and borderless alliances (and is) as the most powerful problem solving paradigm", says Dr. Robert Bard.
One of the first panelists was David Dachinger- Career Fire Lieutenant, IAFF Local 1739 (Ridgefield, CT.) and inventor of the Loving Medications stress reduction technology for patients in treatment. "Cancer in the fire service is an epidemic and NOW is the time for radical awareness and culture change... I love the direction of this forum of bringing the many sides of advocacy together."
Other speakers included Mindy Conklin of "Hitting Cancer Below the Belt" (hcb2.org) of Virginia, Julia Chiappetta (breast cancer survivor/health educator) of Cos Cob, CT and Elizabeth Banchitta (EMT/safety publisher) of Kings Park, NY. They contributed greatly to the engaging and dynamic energy of the PowerMeet.
The I.C.R.A. program recently acquired the technology to translate all articles and videos to as many as 9 different languages supported by partners in countries such as Italy, The Netherlands, France, Spain, England- and other nations where cancer research is prominent.
Feb. 27, 2021 - The effects of Burn Pits are being compared to other known military health cases like the wide exposure to Agent Orange from Viet Nam- as well as the many cancer cases caused by disasters like 9/11. - "...Unlike exposure to Agent Orange, VA does not consider any disabilities presumptively associated with exposure to burn pit smoke. Therefore, post-9/11 veterans filing claims for service connection must obtain a medical opinion stating that their condition is at least as likely as not a result of their exposure to burn pit smoke. VA adjudicates burn pit claims on a case-by-case basis in which the decision is based on the facts unique to each claim."
Over 45 years ago, the first responders' community including the remaining survivors of the 1975 NY Tel Exchange Fire recalls one of the most significant disasters in firefighting history next only to 9/11. The many health impacts from this historical event, exposing all responders also resulted in countless safety references from its many occupational hazards as well as prevention protocols and protective innovations. The NY Cancer Resource Alliance (NYCRA) features Ret. FDNY Ff. Dan Noonan and his contribution & sacrifice to the City of New York. After his tenure at the fire service, Mr. Noonan pursued a life-long national crusade in safety awareness and publishing educational projects including his report about the 1975 NY Telephone Exchange Fire.
DR. NOELLE CUTTER - Assoc. Professor at Molloy College Director / TedX Speaker
As first responders, firefighters are subject to a countless number of toxins while saving lives. For example, PVC, a common toxic plastic has been linked to several cancers including liver cancer, brain, lung, lymphoma, and leukemia. Listening to the first hand stories from these hero’s is truly motivating. Their powerful stories shed light on some of the occupational exposures that these hero’s endure. The Integrative Cancer Resource Alliance is bringing together our beloved heroes to raise public awareness on occupational exposures and survivorship after the job. By doing so, the group aims to provide outreach and educational resources about prevention and early detection. The Integrative Cancer Resource Alliance promotes prevention and early detection through their “Get Checked Now” campaign. Dr. Robert Bard, MD, Cancer Diagnostics and Imaging, gives meaningful insight into the importance of following firefighters who may have been exposed to toxins on the job. The Integrative Cancer Resource Alliance truly lives up to its mission on brining advocacy and other forms of aid to cancer victims in the fire services.
A great many thanks to our headliners, Dr. Robert Bard, (Dapper) Dan Noonan and "Cousin" Sal Banchitta for their unending generosity, their resilience and unforgettable presence in the fight against cancer. Also, our eternal gratitude goes to: Melinda Conklin of Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2.org), Tony and Laura Carfang (SurvivingBreastCancer.org), Dave Dachinger/ Tamara Green (lovingmeditations.com), Cheri Ambrose & Kirby Lewis (malebreastcancercoalition.org), Liz Banchitta (cousinsal.org), Dr. Stephen Chagares (www.drchagares.com), Johnny "Double Pains" Graziano (modernpainrelief.com), Dr. Pierre Kory (flccc.net), Dr. Conrad & Coleen Maulfair (maulfairmedicalcenter.com), Phil Muccio (axiobionics.com), Greg Oliva (movember.org) and Chris Conner (F.A.C.E.S.- healthscannyc.org) for your labor of love, your hard work and the inspiration & empowerment you provided this project. Your leadership helped drive the connective nature of this alliance, without whose support this event and our collective mission could not be made possible!