Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center
Physician Working to Expand Health Care
He smiles a lot and it’s contagious. He keeps things loose for his co-workers and the Veterans he serves. And in turn, everyone likes and respects him for it. Dr. Richard (Rick) Parry, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Integrative Health joined the team here at MGVAMC three years ago and he just landed on the cover of the Spokane County Medical Society’s monthly newsletter “The Message”. The story features the lighter, personal side of this physician, husband, and father of four. For Dr. Parry, “the article illustrates the importance of aiming for a balanced life, and how to achieve that with simple effort,” he said.
The in-depth interview describes his desire to stay active outdoors, with his family, and volunteering with his church and the community he serves. He’s also open to learning new experiences as he recently participated in the Idaho National Guard’s annual “BOSS LIFT” and the excitement of military weapons training, riding in a Blackhawk helicopter and getting an inside-out look at the military and the regimen troops must follow – helps him serve Veterans much better as a physician. “BOSS LIFT powerfully strengthened my compassion for the Veterans and their experience, like nothing else,” Parry said. “I respected the Veterans before, but after BOSS LIFT I am more able to honor them for their service…it’s a privilege to work with them. They chose to serve in the military which shows a willingness to put others ahead of themselves.”
Last year, Dr. Parry was credited for working with VA community partner, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center for helping Navy Veteran John Copeland (pictured at right) regain his ability to get out of his wheelchair, stand on his own, and walk again after serious complications from a spinal surgery many years ago. “Being able to serve men and women who have given so much is a very attractive aspect of working in the VA, especially in Spokane,” he said.
In addition to his provider duties, Dr. Parry chairs the MGVAMC Pain Committee to support better, safer options for pain management. He also serves on our hospital’s Ethics Consultation Committee to ensure that ethical dilemmas which may arise in Veterans’ medical care are addressed and resolved to the patient and family’s satisfaction.
“Rick lives the VA’s ICARE (Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence) core values daily in all he does,” explained his Supervisor and friend, Dr. Kimberly Morris “To quote one of our staff,” she said, “Dr. Parry’s manner is very humble and unassuming, yet he is brilliant. Wish we could clone him.”
Dr. Parry joined Dr. Morris on the Spokane County Medical Society’s Medical Education Task Force as the VA works with health care industry partners in Spokane towards creating new medical and nursing opportunities for students interested in a health care career through Washington State University, Gonzaga University, the University of Washington, and Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. “Dr. Parry is a key part of our Graduate Medical Education (GME) efforts in Spokane,” explained Dr. Morris. “He is highly respected by the medical students and residents with whom he supervises and teaches.”
Always seeking to provide positive outcomes, Dr. Parry is firmly committed to both his work at VA and in support of the Spokane County Medical Society (SCMS) because of its mission to increase collaboration, support, and advocacy among physicians and improving opportunities for education for all the students and residents coming to the greater Spokane area for their training. “It has been an honor to work with so many community physicians dedicated to improving education, and the SCMS leadership and staff have been generous with their time and service to make these efforts successful. Joining the society has been a great benefit and I recommend it highly to physicians working alongside me at Mann-Grandstaff VAMC.”