Dick represented SUBC winning the Oxford and Cambridge Cup in 1961 and also represented Australia in the Trans Tasman series against New Zealand that year. The Australian crew was: Australian Team Men’s Eight Bow: Paul Hyman (NSW) 2: Mick Johnman (NSW) 3: Richard Palmisano (NSW) 4: Gary Herford (NSW) 5: Robert (Bob) G Tipping (NSW) 6: Kevin Evans (NSW) 7: Graeme (“Mick”) Allen (NSW) Str: Bruce Evans (NSW) Cox: Tony Whybrow (NSW) Cch: Dr Eric Longley (NSW)
Dick made an important contribution in the field of “sleep apnea” and was the inventor and collaborator on of one of the successful commercial devices that treats this condition by the fitting of a “mouthguard like” device that aims to re-position the lower jaw during sleep thus preventing the blocking of the patient’s airway.
Dick’s invention is made and sold by Somno Med and the tribute below was posted on their website after his death.
“On 4th November 2009 we lost our friend, colleague and inventor Dr Richard Palmisano. On behalf of the Directors and Management of SomnoMed Group we extend our deepest condolences to Richard’s family for their loss.
Richard or “Dick” as he was known to friends was Orthodontist, inventor and tireless thinker, making vast contributions to our company. Never satisfied with the status quo and constantly looking for improvements Dick’s creative energies continued to push research and development at SomnoMed.
Dick actively contributed until 2007 and his legacy will be continued directly through SomnoMed’s ongoing clinical and technical research. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Sincerely, SomnoMed Directors, Management and Staff”
In addition the the Woolcock Institute – one of the leading centres for research into sleep disorders posted the following tribute to Dick:
“It is with sadness that we note the death of Dr Richard Palmisano on 4 November 2009. Dr Palmisano was a specialist orthodontist who developed an academic interest in the links between orthodontics and obstructive sleep apnoea. Almost 20 years ago he teamed up with Prof Peter Cistulli to develop an interdisciplinary research programme exploring the novel role of orofacial orthopedics and oral appliances in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The work resulted in a series of landmark publications that have gradually changed clinical practice in the field and helped the evolution of the new field of Dental Sleep Medicine. He was an innovator, and this resulted in the successful commercialisation of a novel oral appliance for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea through the company Somnomed. His legacy continues in the work being conducted at the Sleep Group at the Woolcock Institute.”