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Baxter and Lorie Rice: Gratitude for Life-Saving Care

Baxter and Lorie Rice
Baxter and Lorie Rice (center) established a charitable gift annuity to support the prostate cancer research of Eric Small, MD (left), and Terry Friedlander, MD (right).

Baxter and Lorie Rice, MPH, moved from Sacramento to San Francisco in February 1990 when she would start her new dream job as UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean for external affairs. One short year later, her husband also came to UCSF—but he landed in the medical center with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

“I put myself in the hands of two very competent people,” Baxter says. As a patient of Eric Small, MD, and Terry Friedlander, MD, of UCSF’s Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program, he received treatment he describes as exceptional, personal, and caring. The two physicians also focused on his wife’s well-being throughout his treatment.

“For me, as Baxter’s caregiver, Eric and Terry have been amazing,” she says. “They still regularly monitor Baxter and are always one step ahead of the game.” Last fall, in gratitude for that care, the Rices established a charitable gift annuity to support prostate cancer research. It will fuel cutting-edge research on prostate cancer and the development of immunotherapies and other novel approaches.

“Working with Baxter and Lorie is a pleasure,” Small says. “Terry and I are so grateful for their support of our work on prostate cancer, and we are confident that it will lead to new knowledge and new treatment modalities.”

Serving for eight years as an executive officer of the California State Board of Pharmacy, Lorie was familiar with the nation’s pharmacy schools and a big fan of UCSF before she joined the faculty or her husband sought care there. She retired two years ago after 24 years with UCSF but stays involved doing School of Pharmacy admissions interviews and serving as a standardized patient, an actor who portrays patients in exercises designed to enhance students’ interpersonal skills.

“Pharmacy has always attracted intelligent and detail-oriented types,” Lorie says, “but since UCSF has the most desirable pharmacy program in the U.S. and the GPAs of prospective students are uniformly so high, the admissions process now looks for additional qualities like empathy, problem solving, community service, and social consciousness.”

The Rices are socially conscious themselves, serving on boards of community organizations like San Francisco’s Homeless Prenatal Project and the Oakland Military Institute. Baxter—who started his career as a Jesuit and later worked as a banker, CIA intelligence officer, legal consultant, and director of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control—devotes much of his time and philanthropy to PICO, People Improving Communities through Organizing, which has grown into a national network from its 1972 Jesuit and California origins.

“From the beginning I was confident in my UCSF physicians,” Baxter says. “I wanted to support their work in the urologic oncology group because the university has been so generous to me with its time and its care.”


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