Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Local Medical Doctor to be Honored at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ST. LOUIS—Acting Special Agent in Charge M. B. Kinder of the FBI St. Louis Division has announced the recipient of the 2010 Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Dr. Steven Bander was selected because of his courage and integrity to expose alleged fraud and for his continuous dedication in promoting ethical business practices in medical care and research.

Dr. Bander used to be the chief medical officer for Gambro Healthcare U.S., which was the world’s third largest supplier of kidney dialysis services. In April 2001, he filed a lawsuit claiming Gambro defrauded Medicare and Medicaid out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Kinder said, "Dr. Bander knew he would end his career and he knew he would have to pay lawyers' fees up front to file his suit. What he didn't know was whether he would prevail. Yet he stuck his neck out because he knew he had to do what was right." Finally in an agreement three-and-a-half years later, Gambro paid more than $350 million in civil and criminal penalties to settle the claims. This agreement, made in December 2004, remains the largest fraud settlement in Missouri history. At the time, it was the sixth largest fraud settlement in the country.

The False Claims Act provides an incentive to people to report allegations that the government has been defrauded by granting them between 15 percent and 30 percent of any award or settlement amount. Dr. Bander donated part of his settlement amount to establish a charitable foundation that focuses on business ethics in health care. His philanthropy includes donating to Saint Louis University in 2006 to form The Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics and to Washington University (St. Louis) in 2008 to establish the Bander Business Ethics in Medical Research Funding Program.

Most recently, his foundation helped establish a new academic journal called Journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics: A Journal of Qualitative Research. The journal serves as a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics. The first issue, which focuses on living with conflicts of interest, will be published this fall.

Today's ceremony was held in front of 150-200 fourth-year medical students enrolled in The Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics at Saint Louis University. "I am proud that one of our graduates and a member of our faculty is being honored for such a remarkable display of courage and selflessness," said Saint Louis University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. "Through his words and his deeds, Dr. Bander exemplifies the very best of what we seek to instill in our students at SLU."

Later in the month, we will fly Dr. Bander to Washington, D.C., where FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III will personally present the DCLA awards at a national ceremony on March 25 to the 2010 recipients selected by each of the 56 FBI field offices.

The DCLA was created in 1990 as the principle means for the FBI to publicly honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence to help keep America and our children safe. In order for the FBI to be effective, we need the support and understanding of the American people in our common interest to fight crime and terrorism.

Past local DCLA recipients are (years not listed did not have a recipient):

1990 Former Cardinals player Joseph Cunningham
1991 Martin Mathews, president, CEO and co-founder of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club
1993 Jean Leible, neighborhood activist
1995 Pastor Harry Douma, founder of Camp Penuel
2005 Martin Mathews (two-time recipient)
2006 Karen Aroesty, regional director of Anti-Defamation League
2007 Pastor B.T. Rice of New Horizon 7th Day Christian Church
2008 Dave Sinclair, former chairman and CEO of Dave Sinclair Auto Group
2009 Bill Wilkerson, executive director of "Reach Out St. Louis!"

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