Drs. Richard D. and Elizabeth S. Ruppert helped shape health-care education in northwest Ohio and devoted their time to improving the community.Richard Ruppert served as the third president of the former Medical College of Ohio from 1977 to 1993, and led expansive growth of the campus, student body, research funding and patient-care programs.
Elizabeth Ruppert, while MCO professor of pediatrics from 1977 to 2003, was an advocate for health services for both children and mothers in her efforts to improve birth outcomes.
For all of their efforts to advance the health and well-being of the greater Toledo area, the Rupperts received the Ashel Bryan Distinguished Volunteer Award.
“The Rupperts have been tremendous supporters of medical education in Toledo and have gone beyond the important work of educating future health-care professionals to enhance community organizations that help people get access to the care they need,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, chancellor, executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
The Distinguished Volunteer Award is named for Bryan, former chair of the MCO Board of Trustees and well-known local businessman and philanthropist. Bryan and his wife, Dorothy, were longtime supporters of the Health Science Campus; their generosity provided an infusion center and supported renovations to the pharmacy, a boardroom and a student lounge, as well as a number of scholarship and endowments.
Richard Ruppert, who had the longest tenure of any former MCO president, was honored in 1993 when the $11 million outpatient facility, the Ruppert Health Center, was named for him. During his career, he also served as vice chancellor for health affairs for the Ohio Board of Regents and as president of the Ohio Society of Internal Medicine and American Society of Internal Medicine.
Involved in civic activities as well, he served as chair of a United Way of Greater Toledo fund drive, was a member of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and was president of the Ohio Historical Society.
Elizabeth Ruppert began her medical practice as a neonatologist. In addition to her contributing to the education of hundreds of medical students at MCO, she served in the developmental and behavioral pediatrics and ambulatory pediatrics departments.
She helped establish the EduCare Center and the Prescribed Pediatric Center to provide early services and support for families with children with special health-care needs. Elizabeth Ruppert also was a founding member of the Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes.