The Generosity of Barbara Ruhlman: A $6 Million Gift to UH MacDonald Women's Hospital
Barbara Ruhlman's gift of $6 million will be used to further strengthen UH's nationally recognized excellence in obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and fertility, and maternal fetal medicine. In tribute to Mrs. Ruhlman's enduring generosity and support of MacDonald Women's Hospital, the health system is also naming the maternity program in her honor. Mrs. Ruhlman's most recent gift brings her lifetime giving to over $10 million.
Mrs. Ruhlman's support of UH spans more than 65 years. Her service to the hospital began when she was a teenager volunteering at MacDonald Women's Hospital, where she continued to volunteer after marrying and having a family of her own.
"From Barbara's days as a young volunteer to this extraordinary gift to our women's hospital, she has demonstrated her generosity of spirit and commitment to University Hospitals," said Patricia DePompei, President, UH MacDonald Women's Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. "This monumental gift will enable us to advance our dedication to high-quality, personalized care for women in all phases of life and build on our legacy as one of the nation's top women's hospitals."The first $5 million of Mrs. Ruhlman's gift will be invested in a number of capital improvements that will elevate the environment of care and patient experience for the more than 57,000 women who receive care annually by specialists at MacDonald Women's Hospital – Ohio's only hospital devoted solely to women's health. Priority capital projects supported by the gift include renovations of a patient floor for the maternal fetal medicine program and refurbishing the lobby, entrance and welcome center. The gift will also support the completion of the hospital's Labor & Delivery Surgical Facilities. The additional $1 million will create an endowment to ensure MacDonald Women's Hospital's excellence in recruiting and retaining leading OB/GYN physicians as well as training and educating caregivers through innovative educational programs. With its designation to support maternal fetal medicine and other key areas within MacDonald Women's Hospital, the gift has leveraged a $1 million matching gift from the Rainbow Babies & Children's Foundation. In 2012, the foundation made a $32.5 million gift to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, $7.5 million of which was allocated to provide a 1:1 match contribution for gifts that support the hospital's priority areas. Mrs. Ruhlman has been a leading benefactor of UH since 2008 when she made a significant gift to the Discover the Difference Campaign. The Thomas F. Peterson Foundation, led by Mrs. Ruhlman and named in honor of her father, a Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist, contributed $2.5 million to the campaign to fund the renovation of the 11 th floor of Alfred and Norma Lerner Tower on the UH Case Medical Center campus. The space, which contains a state-of-the-art conference center and board room, is named the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Conference Center. In addition, Mrs. Ruhlman the same year made a $1.5 million gift to establish the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Chair in Orthopaedics at UH Case Medical Center. The gift was made in honor of the care she received from UH orthopaedic specialists. "My parents instilled in me the importance of returning what you can to help other people and I am fortunate to be able to support this hospital that I love," said Mrs. Ruhlman. "It's where I had my children and where my grandson received lifesaving care for cancer as a teenager. My parents and late husband were cared for here and I have benefited from the extraordinary care of University Hospitals' experts in orthopaedics and arthritis."