Larry Petry

Larry Petry

He’s a retired Yakima School District superintendent who went on to serve four years as an administrator at Heritage College followed by a stint as CEO of the American Red Cross in King and Kitsap Counties.

He’s also a gifted artist whose work includes metal sculpture, wood carving and “wood-dyed” landscapes and portraits.

An active 72-year-old whose hobbies include riding his three-wheel Harley, Larry Petry is also no stranger to urgent care medical clinics.

“My wife says it seems like I have to hurt myself at least once a year,” he says with a laugh.

Flash back to October 2016.

His wife Nita was in Bellevue where the couple still owns a condo. Petry was in the garage of their Cle Elum home using a hand-held grinder to cut off a piece of steel sticking up from the floor.

Suddenly the tool bounced up, striking him just above his left wrist.

“The strangest thing is it didn’t cut my sweatshirt,” says Petry who tried unsuccessfully to use a butterfly bandage to close the wound. “It wouldn’t hold,” he says. “The gash was too deep and ragged.”

Petry turned to KVH Urgent Care – Cle Elum. Operated by Kittitas Valley Healthcare with support from Kittitas County Public Hospital District No. 2, the clinic provides non-emergency medical care daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

“I’ve been in those kinds of places a lot,” says Petry who believes it doesn’t make sense – either time or money-wise – to go to the emergency room for a non-serious situation.

“I got into urgent care pretty fast,” he says, calling what came next “a very good experience and far better than what you normally get in a medical facility like that. I found the staff unusually patient-centered. The whole place had a kind of calming effect – you could feel it.”

The nurse who cleaned his wound “was very thorough but she also had a sense of humor,” he says.

So did the provider.

“She was really down-to-earth with this great smile,” he recalls, smiling at the memory of how she “gave me a little bit of a bad time for being so clumsy. She was really good, competent and knew exactly what she was doing.”

Six or eight stitches later, Petry was out the door – and fully impressed.

“It was a good experience all around,” he says. “I was in and out of there fast and the whole thing went smooth. It’s a helluva service for a small community to have.”