Dr. Richard Stone is a retired Army Major General who served as the Deputy Surgeon General of the Army. He had also previously served as the Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) with authority to perform the duties of the Under Secretary for Health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this role, Dr. Stone became the first official in this position in 30 years to have actual combat experience. He tells us how he needed to become a “calm pillar” during the chaos of COVID and how 70% of veterans have had combat experience, making them a unique group that must be advocated for.

There are a number of challenges in the VHA, including aging facilities that need to be redesigned for modern healthcare. Dr. Stone emphasizes the benefits of recreational therapy as an alternative to pharmaceutical treatment and he shares how much it alleviates the pain of vets when he helps them learn how to surf.

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