Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:24

Ruth Barnhart’s Legacy Continues at Oswego Health

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Ruth Barnhart Ruth Barnhart Submitted photo

From an early age Ruth Barnhart realized the importance of helping others. As a young girl Ruth surprised Oswego Hospital with a donation that set the tone for a lifetime of philanthropy.

Ruth chose to give her entire profit from her lemonade stand to Oswego Hospital so that they may be able to purchase items that newborns would be in need of. At the time Oswego Hospital’s administration had no idea that an initial donation of $1.98 would eventually lead to the largest bequest the health system has received to date.

A native Oswegonian, Dr. Barnhart left her hometown to pursue a career in healthcare. Following her graduation from Wells College she attended Cornell University’s Medical College, eventually moving to Roanake, VA where she began her medical career as a practicing pediatrician.

Although Dr. Barnhart was far from Oswego, the love she had for her hometown never ebbed. Throughout the years she continued to make regular monetary gifts to Oswego Hospital. Her philanthropic gifts played an important role in allowing Oswego Hospital to provide the highest level of care in its maternity center with the most up-to-date technology.

“Dr. Barnhart’s generous gift continues to support innovative programs at Oswego Health,” said Margaret Barclay, executive director of the Oswego Health Foundation. “Bequests, like Dr. Barnhart’s, come in many forms, while many planned gifts are smaller and are designated for current use or a project close to the donor’s heart. Regardless of the size or designation of a gift, it ensures the highest level of care, right at home.”

Dr. Barnhart passed away in 2000 at the age of 97. However before her death Dr. Barnhart ensured that her support of Oswego Health and its mission to provide the finest healthcare possible would not end. The impact of Dr. Barnhart’s generosity continues to this day. Upon her death she left Oswego Health its largest charitable bequest to date, $5.7 million.

Dr. Barnhart is a shining example of how leaving a legacy to a charitable organization you hold dear can ensure that the services provided by that organization continue to benefit the community and have a positive effect of the quality of life for those who live here for years to come.

For more information regarding legacy planning of any size please communicate with the leaders of your favorite charities and visit the Leave a Legacy© of Oswego County website at oswegoleavealegacy.org. Leave a Legacy© of Oswego County is a local volunteer organization dedicated to raising awareness of planned giving through education and promotion regarding the positive impact of local charitable giving.

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