Spokane resident George Rice has been selected by AARP to receive Washington State’s 2010 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service. The award recognizes individuals who, through volunteer service, are significantly enhancing the lives of individuals age 50 and over.
AARP Washington selected Rice for his remarkable service and for the impact he’s had on the lives of others in his community and across the state. Rice is a retired OB/GYN of 26 years, and past president of the Washington State Medical Association. He was instrumental in getting the “First Steps” prenatal care program passed by the Legislature. He helped organize the Medical Reserve Corps of eastern Washington in 2003, where volunteer medical personnel are trained to respond to community disasters.
Upon his retirement in 1997, Rice has been a tireless advocate for access to health care. He has served on a statewide planning committee that will allow patients’ access to their health information online and he has been a volunteer for the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors, providing free, unbiased health care coverage counseling to people of all ages.
Rice has volunteered with AARP in a number of positions, including as a chapter president, a health advisor, and a volunteer executive council member. In addition, he has given countless presentations on the new health care law.
“My medical background gives me a unique perspective about the importance of affordable and accessible health care,” said Rice. “That’s why I’ve dedicated myself to volunteering, trying to help those less fortunate in my city and state. Whether I’m donating time, money, food or clothing, volunteering gives me pleasure and the hope that I can make a difference,” he said.
“This award is a reminder to members and the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” says AARP State President John Barnett. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”
The award was formally presented to Rice at a ceremony on September 11 in Spokane. Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.
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