Community Foundation honors Rice for helping children

Sept. 11, 2023

Sydney Rice, MD, a professor of pediatrics in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, received the Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for her research and clinical work focused on children with disabilities. Rice is a member of the UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center and holds an appointment as a professor in the UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Portrait of a smiling light-skinned woman with curly gray hair standing outside.

Sydney Rice, MD

“I am beyond honored by this award,” Rice said. “I love my relationships with children who have medically complex conditions and their families. I am invited into the most intimate details of family life, and I guard this gift that I am given.”

The Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award was established by an anonymous donor at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona “to recognize those who, through their work, have shown the same kinds of qualities Diane possessed: active acceptance, respect, compassion, devotion and caring for people with disabilities,” according to the foundation’s website.

“Dr. Sydney Rice has focused her career on passionately caring for children with disabilities,” said Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, director of the UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center and pediatrics department head at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “She conducts research to investigate conditions such as Children Postinfectious Autoimmune and Encephalopathy and autism at the Steele Research Center. There is no stronger advocate for these children and their families. I am proud to know her, and I am appreciative of her tireless efforts to benefit these children.”

Rice is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who earned her medical degree from the College of Medicine – Tucson in 1991. She joined the College of Medicine – Tucson faculty in 2005 after earning a Master of Science in Health Evaluation Sciences from the University of Virginia in 2003. She has spent her career caring for children with complex medical conditions in Tucson and Arizona border communities. Rice is the chief medical officer at Children’s Clinics in Tucson, a center for children with disabilities, where she advocates for children and families throughout the state in this role.

“As a physician, I am intrigued by the most complicated and challenging medical situations, and I try to disentangle, advocate for, and interpret for my patients and their families,” Rice said. “I truly love what I do.”

The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona created a video about Rice and her impact on families and children with disabilities.