We Are Weill Cornell Medicine: Sandy Allen-Bard
Sandy Allen-Bard is a leukemia nurse practitioner in the Weill Cornell Leukemia Program. She lives on the Upper East Side with her husband and her bulldog.
When did you join Weill Cornell Medicine?
I joined Weill Cornell Medicine in March of 2001 as a leukemia nurse practitioner working with Drs. Eric Feldman and Gail Roboz. At the time, it was a very small program; we were doing pretty much everything ourselves. Now it’s the largest hematology/oncology program in the city.
I briefly left WCM in March of 2015 and became an oncology nurse educator at Incyte, a biopharmaceutical company. I gave educational talks for nurses and physician assistants, but it wasn’t really for me. I’m a clinical person; I love patient care. So when Dr. Ellen Ritchie called me, I came back here in June 2016.
What’s your day-to-day role?
I see patients in the clinic, making medical management and treatment decisions such as whether they need blood or platelet transfusions, antibiotics, or if they are at risk for infection or relapsing disease. I also work closely with the social workers to help patients manage their overall health and obtain funds for their medications.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Patient care—making sure my patients have a good experience and helping them deal with their overall diagnoses and in any other way I can.
And the most challenging?
Dealing with the insurance companies to get approval for the medications my patients need.
What is your proudest moment at Weill Cornell Medicine?
I’m very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), which raises awareness and funds to support blood cancer research. I’ve done a lot of support groups and I also run marathons to raise money for LLS. My proudest moment was when I raised over $50,000 to support a researcher here at Weill Cornell, Dr. Monica Guzman. To see the money come here through a grant from LLS was so gratifying.
I will be running the London Marathon for the first time and I’m using the opportunity to raise more funds for LLS. I’ve raised more than $30,000 so far toward funding another researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I run! I also coach for Team in Training, which is LLS’s marathon training fundraiser. I’ve run 28 marathons and two 50-mile races. I also like spending time at the Cape, where my husband and I have a house.
What are your favorite things to do in NYC and beyond?
Go to great restaurants, wine bars, the Yankee and Mets games (husband likes Mets and I like Yankees), and museums. Central Park is my favorite place.
What’s on your bucket list?
I always say I don’t have a bucket list, but I would love to go to a surf camp and learn to surf.
Sandy also spoke to Oncology Nursing News about her involvement in advocacy groups. Working as a nurse for patients with leukemia for over 20 years, Allen-Bard has gained a passion in seeing how life-altering this diagnosis can be. She believes that research needs to continue as there are different pathways to discover. With the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Allen-Bard can use her running, education, and her voice to help her patients in just one more way.