MID STATE Orthopaedic honors former founding partner

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Saturday the community gathered to honor the prominent sports doctor that helped put MID STATE Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine
Center on the map.

Dr. Chris Rich helped get the practice up and running in 1988. He left in 2011, but not before he could leave a legacy behind there.

Dr. Rich developed a number of programs MID STATE still uses today.

He also served as Northwestern State University's team physician.

"He is probably what I call the godfather of orthopedics in Central Louisiana," said Louisiana College Coach Mike Burns. "Just does a great job and is very deserving of this award."

Dr. Rich is well known for setting up an athletic trainers group and serving 44 high schools across Cenla. He even started a 'physical day' to help local athletes knock them out before the sports season.

The day got so big, his colleagues said they once served 1,500 athletes in four hours. So, Saturday they renamed the event 'Dr. Chris Rich Physical Day' to commemorate his hard work at MID STATE.

Dr. Rich's health has been declining in recent months, but a current doctor at the practice said his support system stretches all the way across the state of Louisiana.

"Here to celebrate Chris and honor Chris today, and I think that is the most special thing about it," said Dr. Micheal Leddy. "You know somebody is really special when you can get a group of people this size to gather and just spend some time together and honor somebody."

The practice also made Dr. Rich the first recipient of an award that honors the mark former partners have made on the practice.