|Ruth M. Hillebrand|
For years to come health-care professionals trained at the University of Toledo will
have a Toledo native and former New York City clinical psychologist to thank when
they must deliver bad news or encounter other challenging patient situations.
The Ruth M. Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center was officially dedicated on March 1, 2005.
While battling cancer in New York, Ms. Hillebrand had several bad experiences with physicians who had poor interpersonal skills, leaving her with a strong desire to see health-care providers better trained to show compassion toward their patients.
Sadly, Ms. Hillebrand passed away on June 17, 1994, at the age of 67. But a $1.9 million endowed gift in her name will ensure future doctors, nurses and other health professionals trained at UT will become excellent diagnosticians who deliver empathetic care.
Ruth's brother, Joseph Hillebrand, designated the trust to MCO (UT) prior to his death in 2004 saying, "Many doctors appear to be scientists before compassionate human beings, so my sister thought they needed to be trained to compassionately communicate with patients."
"Qualities such as listening carefully, noticing body language and showing empathy to patients have proven to be a very effective method of developing rapport with patients," said Judy Riggle, director of the Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center.
"This generous gift will allow the University of Toledo to remain in the forefront of educating health care students in communication and humanistic skills," said Lawrence J. Burns, Vice President for External Affairs & Interim Vice President for Equity and Diversity.
"Success in medicine and success in life directly relates to our ability to relate to each other"
Dr. James L. Madera