As coordinator of the Family Education Program at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital for almost three decades, Teri Rice has helped countless expectant parents prepare for childbirth.
She also oversees community classes such as babysitting training, CPR and more. Recently, she spoke about what motivates her to help others.
What does your job entail?
The true joy for me is communicating with patients. They know they can always call me with any questions or concerns.
I love it any time a parent says, “Wow, I had no idea what to expect. Thank you for explaining it to me.”
It is the best job ever to help these couples through their journey. We get to give them a baby at the end!Teri Rice, Family Education Program coordinator, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
How has your role changed over time?
I started as a volunteer, speaking at preschools and churches to educate parents about the use of car seats.
Then, with the blessings of the hospital, we started a car seat program where trained volunteers educated families and adjusted newborns into their car seats for their trips home from the hospital.
I’ve been on the board of the Women’s Council, a fundraising arm of the hospital, since 1987. Then my own children grew up, my current role became available, and I’ve been doing it for 26 years now.
What inspires you about working with expectant families?
It is the best job ever to help these couples through their journey. We get to give them a baby at the end!
I can’t tell you how happy people are to have the guidance, especially after the last three years. We safely restarted on-site maternity classes in September 2020, and we’re still the only hospital in the area currently offering them in person.
This has been a great morale booster for expectant families. I like to think that, in this world where everything is automated and virtual, this is what I was meant to do.