Thomas Rice, distinguished professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for mentoring his students.

“I am honored and touched to receive this mentorship award, particularly since nominations come from our current doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars,” Rice said. “It has been such a pleasure being able to work with these talented individuals for nearly three decades. It is also meaningful because the source — the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality — is the primary organization that funds my chosen field: health services research.”

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, named Rice the 2020 recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award. The award is named for the AHRQ’s director from 1997 to 2002, and honorees are chosen based on nominations by current AHRQ fellows and trainees.

“Your nomination exemplified the following criteria,” Dr. Francis D. Chesley Jr., director of AHRQ’s Office of Minority Health, wrote in a letter to Rice. “Leads by example and demonstrates integrity; has seasoned experience in the field of health services research, health policy, and/or primary care research and willing to share skills, knowledge and expertise with others; creates opportunities and opens doors for students; provides guidance and constructive feedback; inspires others and serves as a role model in leadership and professionalism; is a developer of talents and sponsor for students in the academic/professional community. It is for these special talents that we bestow this award in Dr. Eisenberg’s honor.”

Rice has served as director or co-director of the Fielding School’s Los Angeles Area Health Services Research Training Program, which has provided stipends and tuition for scholars since 1993. At any given time, the program is made up of nine Fielding School doctoral and postdoctoral students, and it has received a total of about $10 million in federal support. Professor Emeritus Ron Andersen, also of the Department of Health Policy and Management, was the program’s first director.