Ruth Hart, MHSA, ATC, is the director of St. Vincent Family Health Center and St. Vincent Health Specialty Clinics. She grew up in Grand Bay, Alabama. She earned her bachelor’s in athletic training from The University of Alabama and her master’s in health services administration from Regis University in Denver.
Ruth strongly believes that having a primary care clinic in Lake County prevents having unmet healthcare needs, including critical preventive and screening services, and treatment of illnesses.
“A vital rural community is dependent on the health of its population, access to primary care is essential for Lake County’s wellbeing, and optimal health is vital for the community to continue to thrive and grow.”
Ruth’s interest in healthcare began at a young age. Her family owned a skilled nursing facility (SNF), where she gained firsthand experience working as a certified nursing assistant, and volunteering in the facility.
“I have always had an interest in helping with the care of others, by supporting daily care plans, continuing my education in athletic training to support the healthcare of active individuals, leading a SNF for improvements of resident care, then later supporting patients in behavioral health setting.”
As her career unfolded, Ruth became more interested in how she could support processes, workflows and leaders in healthcare organizations. She was drawn to St. Vincent Health to return to her passion of working in the healthcare setting.
“I was raised watching and learning about patient care from a classic model that is recognized less and less today. And that is to treat a patient as you would a family member,” says Ruth. “Being in a small community, we need to take care of our patients and our staff as if they’re our own family, and provide the utmost in care for them.”
When Ruth isn’t running the clinics she’s likely in her in her happy place, floating on the Arkansas River, an activity she enjoys in all four seasons. Her family’s black Labrador, Barclay, accompanies her and her kids on their couch, where they like to cuddle up and watch movies at night. And one thing most people don’t know about her?
“My favorite meal is a good ‘ole cheeseburger, with a toasted bun and fries.”