Dr. Elizabeth Ruff Awarded Sylvia Canon Humanitarian Award

Close to 65 people attended the Sylvia Canon Humanitarian Award Breakfast Wednesday morning to see Dr. Elizabeth Ruff receive the annual honor.

Sylvia Canon, who was present at the breakfast, is a legend in the Carroll County nonprofit arena, known for her dedication and commitment to serving those in need. She was the driving force behind the opening of Human Service Programs (HSP) 25 years ago.

The Community Services Council created the Sylvia Canon Humanitarian Award in 2001 to recognize individuals who have had a significant impact in the Carroll County nonprofit community.

Ruff, who retired from the Carroll County Health Department this past summer, committed herself to providing health care to low-income and uninsured or underinsured residents of the county.

According the nomination, submitted by a group of people, "Dr.Ruff has always championed the needs of Carroll County's low income residents. She is a visionary, always looking beyond what exists to see what might be created to meet the community's needs."

Ruff said she spent 16 years working at the University of Maryland before taking a position at the Carroll County Health Department, where she worked for 27 years.

Russ has been integral in creating programs to help Carroll County's underserved citizens.

In 2002, she helped get a pediatric dental clinic off the ground, the program now provides dental services for children aged 1 to 14 on medical assistance.

Ruff also had a hands in the creation of Access Carroll, which is now fully functioning community health clinic serving thousands of Carroll County residents.

In 2008, Ruff also helped start the Best Beginnings program at the Carroll County Health Department which serves pregnant women who are not eligible for health insurance.

Ruff said she is honored to receive the award but added that most successes in the nonprofit sector are a result of collaboration.

"It's obviously a huge honor," Ruff said. "But so much that happens in Carroll County happens because a lot of people are working together. Carroll County has been a wonderful place to work."


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