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Posted on: November 18, 2020

Linn County Names Public Health Clinic After Dr. Richard Pope

Dr. Pope holding plaque

The Linn County Board of Supervisors and the Linn County Board of Health are honoring Dr. Richard Pope for his 30 years of service as a consulting physician with Linn County Public Health by dedicating the Linn County Public Health Clinic in his name. 

In a resolution signed today by the Linn County Board of Supervisors, the two boards recognize Dr. Pope for his extraordinary dedication, distinguished service, and countless contributions to the field of public health and the well-being of Linn County residents.

The clinic provides Linn County residents with critical public health services, including:

  • Child and adult immunizations
  • International travel immunizations, prescriptions, and travel advice
  • Tracking, investigating, testing, and treating Tuberculosis
  • Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • HIV antibody testing and counseling 

The Dr. Richard Pope Public Health Clinic is located in the Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building, 1020 6th St. SW, Cedar Rapids.

Dr. Pope’s Bio and Service to Linn County 

Richard Pope received his undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Illinois in 1971. He then attended the Chicago medical School in Chicago, Illinois from 1971 to 1975 and graduated in the upper quarter of his class. He completed his medical internship at the Tucson Hospitals Medical Education Program in Tucson, Arizona from 1975-1976. He received his Certificate in Medicine in June of 1976 and completed his postgraduate work at Tulane University, School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in New Orleans. He then received his Master of Public Health in 1977 and completed his medical residency at Tulane in June 1980. On June 30, 1980, Dr. Pope received his certificate in Internal Medicine. 

Dr. Pope moved to Nashville in 1980 to accept a position as staff physician in the Davidson County Public Health Department. For 10 years, he worked in various capacities, caring for Laotian and Vietnamese refugees and jail inmates. Additionally, Dr. Pope staffed neighborhood clinics throughout the city, serving the homeless, uninsured, and underinsured. When the Director of TB Control Services retired, Dr. Pope was given the position, and worked full-time to identify and treat anyone with TB in the metro area. In 1990, he moved back to the Midwest, and began an Internal Medicine practice in Cedar Rapids.

In August 1990, Dr. Pope began his agreement between the Linn County Board of Supervisors and Medical Associates to fill the position of Medical Advisor. The medical advisor was to assist the Linn County Board of Health in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities relating to disease control and disease prevention. 

During his 30 years of service to Linn County, Dr. Pope has worked on several key areas within the Public Health Department. His leadership and knowledge over the past three decades are directly responsible for helping the clinic in the following ways:

  • With oversight as the medical advisor, the clinic began to expand immunizations to children and adults. 
  • With Dr. Pope’s knowledge of tropical medicine, Linn County Public Health has a thriving international travel clinic to educate, vaccinate, and provide preventive medication to those traveling abroad. 
  • To help understand the impact of West Nile virus in the community, Dr. Pope allowed chickens on his property to be screened for sentinel surveillance of the virus.
  • Dr. Pope has been an integral asset in the clinic for the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, providing medical knowledge for the policies and procedures within the clinic, and has helped the clinic grow. Due to Dr. Pope’s desire to protect the health of the community, he helped to initiate the PrEP clinic at LCPH. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy to help those at higher risk of HIV from acquiring the infection.
  • Dr. Pope has helped to manage complicated Tuberculosis (TB) cases. 
  • He has worked with the staff at LCPH to help the uninsured and underinsured with complicated cases of public health significance such as leprosy.
  • With his expertise and civil surgeon designation, the clinic now offers change of status exams to refugees and immigrants wanting to obtain a green card. 

Over the years, Dr. Pope has led clinic staff as they battled H1N1, the 2008 flood, SARS, MERS, Ebola, COVID-19, and Smallpox training. He has been instrumental as LCPH led the charge during outbreaks of meningitis, mumps, and pertussis. Dr. Pope has helped with education of emerging health issues such as zika. 

“Without the leadership, compassion, and knowledge that Dr. Pope provides, Linn County Public Health would not have been able to advance to the premier health department that we are today,” said Linn County Public Health Director Pramod Dwivedi.

 

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