Richard N. Barg, J.D., MBA is Director of Web Strategy and Development for the Department of Surgery and Director of Strategic Development for the Thoracic Oncology Program. Mr. Barg graduated Emory University School of Law with a JD and is a member of the State Bar of California. Mr. Barg also earned an MBA from Golden Gate University.
Mr. Barg leads a web development team that has created over seventy websites for the Department of Surgery, a network of sites spanning its clinical programs, research labs, and other specialized multi-disciplinary programs. Collectively, these websites showcase the Department's state-of-the-art patient care, innovative research, and abiding commitment to developing the next generation of leaders in surgery.
Mr. Barg's path to UCSF was quite fortuitous. In 2000, his then partner Nadine Manney was diagnosed with advanced, and what appeared to be, inoperable lung cancer. Mr. Barg brought her to UCSF where she received aggressive state-of-the-art treatment from a team that included David Jablons, M.D., a world-renowned thoracic surgeon, and Thierry Jahan, M.D., a preeminent thoracic oncologist. They down-staged her tumor enabling her to undergo potentially curative surgery. Nadine lived for almost four years, far longer than predicted by her initial diagnosis.
Mr. Barg served as Nadine's caregiver during her battle with lung cancer. He conferred regularly with her doctors and facilitated her enrollment in several clinical trials for novel agents that helped extend her life. During this time he also witnessed firsthand how lung cancer patients were stigmatized by the public, sometimes even by their friends and relatives, as somehow responsible as smokers for their plight. This "blame the victim" mentality even marked non-smokers like Nadine who were incorrectly assumed to have smoked. The stigma and blame also has also been responsible for the historic lack of research funding for lung cancer.
Over time, Mr. Barg became determined to change the way lung cancer was perceived and strongly advocated for increased funding for the disease. In 2004, he reached out to Amy Marcus, a medical reporter for the Wall Street Journal, arguing for a reexamination of how the public views lung cancer and a need to debunk the myths and misconceptions about the disease and its victims. This led Ms. Marcus to write passionately and forcefully about lung cancer in non-smoking women, a story that helped propel her to a Pulitzer Prize for medical reporting in 2004.
In April, 2004, Mr. Barg, at the invitation of David Jablons, joined the Thoracic Oncology Program as Director of Strategic Development on the strength of his background, personal experiences, and passion for eradicating the disease and its attendant stigma. Soon thereafter, Mr. Barg was invited by Joan H. Schiller, M.D., a world-renowned medical oncologist, to serve on the board of National Lung Cancer Partnership, a lung cancer advocacy organization. In 2007, the Department of Surgery tapped Mr. Barg to build out its web presence.