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Clarice Reid, MD, receives the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Alumni Reunion.
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Clarice Reid, MD, receives the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Alumni Reunion.
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Publish Date: 05/01/14
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni: Clarice Reid, MD

Each year the College of Medicine Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni though the Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award recognizes MD graduates of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine for achievements in the areas of basic research, education, clinical care, health service administration, and public and/or civic duties.

This year's winners, Arthur Evans, III, MD, Sheldon Greenfield, MD, Clarice Reid, MD, were recognized at the 2014 Reunion, held April 10-13.

A former director of the National Institutes of Health’s Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, Clarice Reid, MD, has not only made far-reaching impacts on our understanding and treatment of sickle cell disease. As an African-American female pediatrician and research administrator, she has served as a pioneer and role model throughout her career, changing the landscape of modern medicine.

For 20 years, Reid oversaw the nation’s program of research on sickle cell disease. Major research and clinical advances under her tenure included prophylactic penicillin for infants and children with sickle cell disease, investigation of the use of umbilical cord blood and bone marrow transplantation, stroke prevention in pediatric patients, prenatal diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with hydroxyurea. 

Reid’s educational pathway began in the segregated elementary and high schools of Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1930s and ’40s followed by attending Talladega College, a prominent liberal arts historically black college in Talladega, Alabama.

After college she earned a degree in medical technology from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by two years at the Meharry School of Medicine. She transferred to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and, in 1959, was the third African-American graduate of the medical school.

After completing pediatric training at Jewish Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center she began her solo pediatric practice one block from Cincinnati Children’s. Reid was active in medical training and teaching and was appointed chair of pediatrics at Jewish Hospital. During that time, she also served as assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine and assistant chief of UC’s family care program. 

It was a family move to Washington, D.C., in the ’70sthat launched her career on the national stage. Reid joined the public health service in the Bureau of Community Health Services working with the Sickle Cell Screening and Education Clinics. She emphasized linking community programs to the basic and clinical research efforts and was recruited to NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

In 1976, she was appointed chief of the Sickle Cell Disease Branch and Coordinator of the National Sickle Cell Disease Program.  Major achievements were made under her leadership in improving the lives of sickle cell patients through expanding integrated patient care in Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers nationwide.

In 1994, Reid was appointed director of the NIH’s Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, leading the NIH’s effort for hematologic disorders in six program areas. She remained in that role until her retirement in 1998.

Reid has received numerous honors and awards, both by the civic and scientific communities for her leadership, receiving the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award, the NIH Director’s Award and the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) Pioneer Award.

She is featured as one of 300 Outstanding Women in Medicine as part of the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit, "Changing the Face of Medicine: The Rise of America’s Women Physicians” and has a named lecture presented at the annual meeting of the SCDAA. Additionally, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and distinguished emeritus member of the American Society of Hematology.


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