Deborah Rice-Lang, a clinical lecturer at the UCLA School of Nursing was selected as the West States finalist in Excellence in Clinical Nursing at the 2016 GEM awards, hosted by Nurse.com.
An advanced practice nurse, Rice works three days per week in a clinic caring for an underserved population. She also teaches at the UCLA School of Nursing, and in this dual role as a family nurse practitioner and as a faculty member, she provides clinical experience for FNP students to address health disparities. Additionally, for the past 10 years, she has provided high-quality care for vulnerable populations at a county clinic performing forensic exams and medical evaluations for children in the foster care system.
She was the first nurse to serve as vice chairwoman of the Song-Brown Commission Office of Statewide Health Planning, which allocates funds to support training programs and increase the supply of healthcare professionals in underserved communities. She was publicly elected to a community hospital board of directors, which had a budget exceeding $200 million. During two terms, one as board chairwoman, she led the collaboration between Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the city and a hospital district to develop three community clinics located in an underserved area with a population greater than 300,000. Rice’s leadership in negotiating collaboration of these health organizations resulted in the implementation of healthcare services for children and adults across the lifespan where none had been available before.
Rice is an exceptional healthcare professional in all respects, her nominator said. She collaborates with community organizations to increase access to healthcare, and is an outstanding role model for future APRNs to practice in medically underserved communities.
View Rice’s acceptance speech at this GEM.nurse.com video. Her comments start at the 2:00:23 mark.