Cmdr. Darian C. Rice, MD (’99), Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia and the Director of the Anesthesia Residency Program at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, was recently named a 2015 Hero of Military Medicine by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF). The award is given to just three active-duty military medical professionals annually— one each representing the branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
According to the HJF, A Hero of Military Medicine is an individual who has distinguished him or herself in medical research or clinical care through compassion, excellence and selfless dedication that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to advancing military medicine and enhancing the lives and health of the nation's wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.
Cmdr. Rice’s medical military career has spanned 20-years and has included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an assignment as a flight surgeon with NASA. As Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Cmdr. Rice leads a team of up to five anesthesiologists who provide care to patients undergoing heart or lung surgeries.
During his medical education at EVMS, Cmdr. Rice spent three months on active duty with SEAL Team 4, Naval Amphibious Base, Norfolk, where he instructed Combat Life Support, completed training in Wilderness Trauma Life Support and High-angle Rescue for Special Operations. He also completed a one-month rotation at the Casualty Care Research Center, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where he developed medical threat assessments in support of a Presidential Protection Detail, and in preparation of a FBI-Hostage Response Team mission.