BY JACLYN ROSE –
Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas but raised in Paragould, Dr. Robert Manis began working at a very young age. “I started working for a produce company that was out of state when I was 14 years old. I did this until I began my first year of medical school,” explained Dr. Manis. The early beginning to his working career helped establish the strong work ethic that has allowed Dr. Manis such a prestigious medical career.
Dr. Manis married his wife, Suzanne, in 1968. “The key to a happy marriage is to pick the right wife. Find someone you can be compatible with and that shares the same values. It’s important to try to see the world through their eyes, also. It makes life so much richer,” said Dr. Manis. Together, the couple has three children: Kristi, who is married to Russell DePriest and has two daughters; Walter, who is married to Annie Schulte Manis and who has two daughters; and Zack, who is married to Lisa Myers Manis and who has two daughters and one son.
After completing two years at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, Dr. Manis entered the Navy, where he served the United States for 11 years. During this time he was able to attend the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. He completed his doctorate at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. “I have always enjoyed science and knew I wanted to go in to medicine. Growing up we had an old time family doctor that did everything and I aspired to do that. We wanted to live in a small town where a family practice could really benefit the community and Mena fit the bill. We came to Mena in 1980 and I began practicing at The Austin Clinic,” explained Dr. Manis.
A major contributor to the expansion of Mena Regional Health Systems especially in the areas of the Rehabilitation Department and Senior Behavior Health, Dr. Manis has spent his civilian career aiding the citizens of Polk County. “Mena Hospital was small and struggling when we moved here in 1980 and it has transformed from a band aid station to a first class hospital. What we do, we do as good as anyone around. We have grown and changed so much and it has been great to be a part of it,” Dr. Manis said.
“We came to Polk County because of the mountains, we loved that they were easy to get to but we were able to live in flat land. The beauty in this area is wonder, we love the lakes and streams and the small town environment. It has been a great place to raise our kids. The schools and churches are all very kid centered and it was wonderful,” said Dr. Manis.
After 34 years of service in Polk County Dr. Richard Manis has planned his retirement. Mena Regional Health System will hold a reception in his honor on July 10 from 3 p.m.- 5 p.m. at The Comfort Café. All members of the community are welcome to attend. “It has been my privilege to be able to serve the community for all these years. The out pouring of love and affection has been incredible,” said Dr. Manis. “I appreciate the support the community has always shown my practice and my family. I am thankful to have spent so much of my career serving the people in Polk County.”