Each year, The Enquirer recognizes a select group of area women for their contributions to our community through its Women of the Year program. The Enquirer honors its 2012 Women of the Year class today at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency.
Ruby Crawford-Hemphill earned the nickname “Cassius Clay” in the ninth grade after she stood up to bullies tormenting a classmate.
It’s a fighting spirit the Mason nurse would carry with her all her life as she works to care for women, children and the indigent.
Born the oldest daughter of a working class family of six, Crawford-Hemphill was used to being a caretaker. So when the prom queen and drill team captain earned a full college scholarship, she knew she wanted to become a nurse.
As the assistant chief nursing officer of the Women’s Health Center at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Crawford-Hemphill has been instrumental in expanding the hospital’s medical services to 13 community-based health centers across Greater Cincinnati.
She’s a charter member of Queen City Links, which she helped found eight years ago to improve the quality of life in Lincoln Heights, and helped launch the Women’s Health Fund, which has improved access to underserved women and their children.
She also serves on the boards for the Center for Respite Care, a 14-bed facility that provides medical care to homeless people recuperating from illness, and Every Child Succeeds, an organization that helps first-time, at-risk mothers provide an optimal start for their children.
Crawford-Hemphill is active with Delta Sigma Theta, a philanthropic group of professional women, and Bridges for a Just Community.
She also mentors at-risk girls through Rise Sister Rise.
“Ruby has a determination and fire in her belly that drives her to help our community,” said Nancy Barone, chief operating officer of University Hospital. “Her motivation is infectious and it is truly her life mission to help those in need.”