First Choice Medical Group’s Dr. Richard Harrison Honored After Deployment To Front Lines of Iraq

By  //  April 25, 2017

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COL. HARRISON recently returned from a four month deployment to the front lines in Iraq

ABOVE VIDEO: Dr. Richard Harrison of First Choice Medical Group was honored as Wuesthoff Medical Center – Melbourne Physician of the Year on Thursday in celebration of National Doctors Day.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Dr. Richard Harrison of First Choice Medical Group was honored as Wuesthoff Medical Center – Melbourne Physician of the Year on Thursday in celebration of National Doctors Day.

Physicians are nominated by their peers with awards going to a physician affiliated with Wuesthoff Medical Center-Rockledge and a physician affiliated with Wuesthoff Medical Center-Melbourne.

Dr. Miguel Rovira was honored as the Wuesthoff Medical Center – Rocklege Physician of the Year.

For its Melbourne hospital, Dr. Harrison, an orthopedic surgeon and Colonel in the U.S. Army reserves, was voted by his peers as Physician of the Year.

Dr. Harrison, who served two tours in Afghanistan, recently returned from a four month deployment to the front lines in Iraq, where Iraqi soldiers are battling ISIS.

During that tour, his medical unit saved hundreds of lives.

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In 2011, Dr. Harrison made his home in Brevard County after transitioning from active duty back to the U.S. Army Reserves, where he continues to serve our community and our nation. He served a four month deployment as a Lt. Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserves in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

For his efforts, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

ABOVE VIDEO: Dr. Richard Harrison of First Choice Medical Group, who served two tours in Afghanistan, recently returned from a four month deployment to the front lines in Iraq, where Iraqi soldiers are battling ISIS.

In 2001, Dr. Harrison earned his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, followed by his Hand and Limb Fellowship at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Medical Center in New York. This included training in Melbourne, Australia and congenital hand surgery training at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.

During his service on active duty at Fort Bragg, NC, Dr. Harrison deployed twice with the U.S. Special Operations Command as part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan.

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Dr. Harrison is board certified in Orthopedic Surgery with additional sub-specialty board certifications in Hand Surgery and Sports Medicine. In his spare time, he is a private pilot, a PADI certified scuba diver, and a proud Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America.

During the Physician of the Year award ceremony at Wuesthoff Medical Center, First Choice Chairman, President and CEO Chris Romandetti thanked Dr. Harrison for his bravery and outstanding service to his country.

“Dr. Harrison was so far advanced to the front lines that there where five-foot holes in the OR ceiling caused by incoming missiles,” said Romandetti.

LEFT TO RIGHT: First Choice Medical Group Vice President of Medical Operation Kris Jones; Dr. Richard Harrison; and First Choice Chairman, President and CEO Chris Romandetti.

To better define Dr. Harrison’s dedication to duty and outstanding life-saving service, First Choice Medical Group Vice President of Medial Operations Kris Jones read a very compelling letter from U.S. Marine Col. P.J. Nugent, the commanding officer of Task Force Al Asad:

Task Force Al Asad Al Anbar, Iraq

01 January 2017

Dear Patients of Dr. Harrison (Colonel Harrison),

I am the Commanding Officer of a joint United States military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and Coalition (Denmark, United Kingdom, Czech and Australian) Task Force stationed in Al Anbar, Iraq for the purpose of advising, assisting and enabling the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Daily, our Task Force trains and provides much needed support to our Iraqi partners in their fight to defeat the enemy, regain their homes and restore their territorial borders.

Col. Richard Harrison, MD

A key component of the Task Force’s enabling support to the Iraqis is the trauma medical care provided by servicemen and women of the Task Force. This includes Colonel Harrison of the United States Army, who served as a trauma surgeon for the Task Force from October 2016 to January 2017. Together, Colonel Harrison and his team of military medical specialists have helped save the lives of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers who ordinarily would not have survived their battlefield injuries. Impressively, his team performed their highly demanding duties in an austere combat environment under the constant threat of enemy indirect fire and attacks on the base.

I realize that for some of you that the absence of Dr. Harrison has been disruptive to your consistency in medical care, but please take comfort in knowing that Dr. Harrison’s efforts here in Iraq have helped generate the will to fight in the Iraqi Security Forces, and in turn have enabled them to repeatedly defeat the enemy on the battlefield. In all, Dr. Harrison and his team’s efforts have greatly contributed to, and ensured the continued security of our Country from the threat of ISIL. His accomplishments and devotion to duty are noteworthy and speak to his rock solid character and commitment to service.

On behalf of the Marines and Sailors of the Task Force, I would like to thank you for supporting Dr. Harrison and for sharing his medical expertise with us. He has made a difference, and I am sure you are as proud of his accomplishments as we are.

Semper Fidelis,

Colonel P. J. Nugent
United States Marine Corps
Commanding Officer, Task Force Al Asad


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