The Central Ohio Diabetes Association staff and its supporters are saddened by the recent passing of Dr. Ruth E. Purdy, D.O., a former Board Member, Medical Director and long time supporter (over 40 years) of the agency.
Ruth Purdy was many things to many people. She is widely regarded as a trailblazer for women in medicine, a pioneer in medical innovation, an advocate for access to healthcare for all persons, a role model for osteopathic physicians and general philanthropists.
Purdy’s drive to forge inroads in non-traditional territories was evidenced throughout her career. She was the first female internal Medicine resident at Doctors Hospital in Columbus in the 1950s. Elected the hospital’s chief of staff in 1970, she was also the first female to serve as a trustee on the hospital board and served in that capacity for 12 years.
She introduced the concept of intensive care units housed in general care hospitals to Columbus. After a 1960 visit to such a unit in New York., Purdy lobbied successfully for an ICU at Doctors, saving countless lives in the years ahead.
She gave so much of herself and impacted our community in immeasurable ways. Dr. Purdy’s legacy is already firmly cemented at the Central Ohio Diabetes Association and Doctors Hospital and will continue to grow by inspiring youth to become future doctors.
The Doctors Hospital Department of Medical Education established the Ruth E. Purdy, DO Fund for Osteopathic Internal Medicine Education in 2007.
Dr. Ruth Purdy, also received an honorary alumna award from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, was presented a Distinguished Service Award by the Ohio Osteopathic Association and awarded the American Osteopathic Association Mentor of the Year Award.
After retiring from active practice, Purdy remained involved in medicine, serving as a medical consultant for a local workers compensation organization, performing social security medical disability exams and volunteering at the Central Ohio Diabetes Association.
In 2009, Dr. Purdy resigned from the Central Ohio Diabetes Association Board of Directors, but her dedication and commitment to the agency never wavered. She will be missed not only by the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, but by the Central Ohio Community as a whole. Dr. Ruth E. Purdy, D.O. was an original and in life that is often difficult to find, Rest in Peace.