Rick served for 16 years as member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Board, and 3-5 years as its chair. During his tenure he took the lead in authorizing the Health Director to initiate a county-wide policy to create and mandate smoke free workplaces. Rick was a consistent supporter of the Point Defiance needle exchange program seeing it as one of the premier accomplishments in the public health arena. He also led in the creation and implementation of the prescription drug buyback program now in effect throughout Pierce County.
While on the City Council, he took the lead and secured the funds for the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center. The center deals with the issue of domestic abuse in a comprehensive and inclusive manner. It is a leader in the nation. Rick also took a keen interest and supported providing preventive dental care for low income people–particularly children.
While serving as chair of the board, Rick led the effort to recruit Dr. Anthony Chen as Health Director. He also secured major City of Tacoma funding for the successful capital campaign in support of the Eastside-Tanbara Family Medical Center. Rick has simply been the leader in public health policies as a Tacoma and Pierce County Council Member.