Union-Bulletin:  Richard Simon Jr. discusses his retirement in his office at the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center in Walla Walla.

As he eased out of the AIDS epidemic, Simon Jr. found himself considering a more hidden epidemic — that of inadequate sleep.

Eventually his entire practice would be devoted to sleep medicine, an unusual venture in a rural area.

It began with a visit to town from Dr. William Dement, a 1947 Walla Walla High School graduate who eventually earned the moniker of the “father of sleep medicine.”

By the time Dement visited the Walla Walla Clinic in 1991, he was the country’s top authority on sleep and the dangers of ignoring it. Dement had developed diagnoses and treatments for related disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Read more about Richard Simon Jr. at union-bulletin.com