Former OWCA Medical Director Dr. Rich passed away over the weekend after a 15 month battle with a rare liver cancer. He had a distinguished career in sports medicine and orthopedics, in addition to his work as the second Medical Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration.
Dr. Rich, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, served as managing partner of Mid-State Orthopaedic and Sports Medical Center from 1988 until his retirement in 2011. Dr. Rich is also a past president of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association (LOA) just a few days before his death.
In a release from the LOA, Dr. Andy King, immediate past chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, LSU Health Sciences Center and a past president of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association, spoke highly of Dr. Rich’s contributions to the industry. “Dr. Chris Rich came to our (LSU) orthopedic residency as an acclaimed football player who had started all four years for the LSU Tigers,” Dr. King said. “But it quickly became clear that sports alone could not define this man.” Dr. Rich went on to touch nearly every part of orthopedics, leading other doctors along the way.
In the workers’ compensation arena, Dr. Rich was known for a balanced approach to his application of the Medical Treatment Guidelines. Troy Prevot, Senior Vice President at LCTA Workers’ Comp, knew Dr. Rich across his career. “I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Rich in a prior life as well as when he was the medical director for the OWC,” he said. “I was lucky enough to work with him when implementing the Medical Treatment Guidelines, and the thing that most impressed me was his absolute consistency in application. He was a true independent and wanted what was best for the employees of the state of Louisiana. He was greatly missed when his time in the OWC was over and will be greatly missed by all the people he touched personally and professionally.”
Dr. Rich is survived by his wife, Vickie, three children and one grandchild. Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 26th, beginning at 10 AM at the Calvary Baptist Church, 5011 Jackson Street Extension, Alexandria, Louisiana. Services will be held at the Calvary Baptist Church beginning at 1 PM.
Image Source: KALB
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dr. Rich was the first Medical Director of the OWCA, he was in fact the second.