Elders in Action is powered by the wisdom and talent of our volunteers. People of all backgrounds and experience share their unique skills to improve the lives of others. Enjoy some of their stories on the "Our Volunteers" page.
Dr. Richard Bernard
Dicks secret for growing old gracefully is to have something to do, someone to do it with, and something to look forward to doing.
Dr. Dick Bernard
Man of Many Merits
He's been a choirboy, a silk hosiery salesman, a military doctor, a OHSU professor and a Elders in Action volunteer.
Dr. Dick Bernard, who last year was awarded Clinical Professor, Emeritus, Family Medicine at OHSU, is no ordinary volunteer. For his 36 years of service at OHSU, he never accepted pay. He saw the need for more family physicians, so he wanted to offer his services to further the cause. He averaged 114 hours per year volunteering for the school.
At Elders in Action, Dick is active in both our Personal Advocate and Elder Friendly Certification programs often taking the tough health care cases that can put his extensive background to use. Dick's drive to make the most out of every opportunity keeps him very busy. As Dick noted in a recent newspaper interview, "By taking advantage of coincidental events when available, and perhaps by listening to that 'sixth' sense as well, one seldom regrets missing out on great moments,"
Many opportunities have knocked on Dick's door since he was a young boy singing in the Long Beach St. Luke's choir where he was in several major movies. Bernard remembers the morning, where after singing for the Sunday service, the preacher told the congregation that Japan had just bombed Pearl Harbor. That event led Dick to sign up for the Reserve Officer Training Corps and then active duty in World War II. In 1945 he transferred to the Navy where his captain persuaded him to apply to medical school. Once admitted, he made extra income to fund his education as a door-to-door silk hosiery salesman.
Dick's philosophy of taking advantage of opportunities was captured when he said, "Whenever challenged with a new responsibility, I felt obligated to do my very best, seldom resting until completion." As a retiree, beside his volunteer efforts at Elders in Action, Wilsonville Public Library, and OHSU, he enjoys the time by traveling with his wife, Nancy. He has gone on 22 cruises and traveled to almost every continent.
Elders in Action appreciates the experience and enthusiasm that Dick brings to our programs and looks forward to his continued support in making sure that the quality of life never depends on age.
Eye to Eye is a campaign to foster a culture of awareness and respect on our shared paths and roadways and to make the streets of our communities safer for everyone. For more information Click Here
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