Fort Lee Civilian Spotlight: Cynthia Rice

U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee Public Affairs
Story by Terrance Bell

Date: 06.27.2019
Posted: 06.27.2019 09:41
News ID: 329400
Fort Lee Civilian Spotlight

Hometown: Rumford, Maine

Length of federal service: 2 years

Job title: Army public health nurse

Job duties: “My duties include working with (Army health system) beneficiaries to assess whether they are tobacco users interested in quitting; and using motivational techniques in collaboration with our smoking cessation team to help them quit. Also, we work with the greater community in trying to identify larger health issues, especially those impairing readiness, and determining how we can help combat them. For example, we’ve had an obesity issue so one of the things we’ve done installation-wide is to work with vending machine suppliers to provide healthier options. We also work to educate the population on sexually transmitted infections, nutrition, etc.”

What you love most about your job: “Helping people and (experiencing) the rewards – thanking me for taking time with them to provide tips and guidance or direct them in the right way. That really feeds my soul.”

What you consider your greatest achievement: “My career. I’ve been a nurse for 37 years, and it has allowed me to help people in many ways, like getting them through the process to quit smoking or preparing them for a serious medical procedure such as an organ transplant. Just helping people change their lives for the better in general.”

Do you volunteer? “I do. I’m a volunteer for my church. I’ve been back in Virginia for two years. Previous to that, I did Special Olympics, worked with a mental health agency and the American Heart Association.”

What do you expect from leaders? “Respect, honesty, clear communications and clear delineation of expectation and role.”

Where would you most like to live? “I’d love to be somewhere on the water.”

Your dream car: “I’ve never had a fun car. I’ve always had a conservative basic car, but I’m starting to get attracted to a Mercedes I see on (Interstate) 95 that is red. I don’t know the model (smile).”

Pet peeves: “I can’t stand being lied to.”

When and where were you the happiest? “There are two competing times. One was when I was a junior in college and spent the summer in Portland, Maine. We lived on the ocean. A friend and I rented a room in this old ocean home. That was really awesome. The other time was when I was in my mid-20s after I moved here, got settled and learned the area. I didn’t own a home or have the responsibilities I do today, and a lot of my friends and I just really lived life at that point in time.”

The historical figure you would like to meet: “Florence Nightingale. What a movement she started. She is well-respected, and she did so many things to impact multitudes of people around the world. I have an old book written about her (‘Notes on Nightingale’), and it takes a look at people holistically – which is what I believe in – not shutting people up inside but opening the window and letting them have fresh air. I would love to hear her perspective. I’ve read a lot about her, and I think it would be very intriguing.”

Your greatest fear: “Probably something like being taken hostage in a confined area; something that would remove all control and access for me.”

Your greatest extravagance: “I went to Italy a few years ago with a group, and we visited Tuscany, Milan and Florence. It was amazing.”

What talent would you most like to have? “Singing. I wish I could carry a tune.”

Your motto: “Family, friends, faith and freedom.”

Your role models: “I have a former boss who became a friend, and she is a healthcare executive. What a wonderful woman. She could criticize without making me feel down on myself; in a way that was constructive and helpful.”

In 37 years of nursing, the most important lesson you’ve learned: “Being mindful of what you’re doing at that time (when with patients) to avoid mistakes and to let that person know you are really there for them – that you’re not being distracted by anything. It says, ‘I’m listening to you, and you’re the most important thing to me right now.’”

What you dislike about your work: “Constraints of technology that could prevent me from helping the person – needing to document something or find something and the computer goes down or feeling constrained to do more but can’t due to technology.”

What people would be surprised to know about you: “That I love to dance in an appropriate situation. I’m very outgoing.”

Future aspirations: “Definitely, retirement, more travel and an increase in volunteerism.”