Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab Center Named after Ruth Jenkins, TCHSN Alumna
Meet Ruth (Bodenmiller) Jenkins, RN, Class of 1956. Now retired, Ruth has spent her entire 50-year career as a nurse in Troy, OH. Dedicated to bringing skilled care to her community, Ruth was delighted to see her life’s work and passion come to fruition when the Ruth Jenkins Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Center was unveiled bearing her name at the Upper Valley Medical Center Premier Health, stating, “I was humbled and honored and so happy for the hundreds of patients who will have access to this facility.”
Given an abundance of RN diploma programs in the early 50s, Ruth tells us she took great care in researching and choosing a program that was “professional and offered a broader scope of care”. Coming from a small town, she wanted a large hospital experience with high acuity, an education that would prepare her to do more when she returned home after graduation. Admitting she loved all rotations in our year-round, direct entry program, Ruth says, “I am extremely proud of my education at Christ.”
Hired directly out of college on the med-surg floor at Troy’s Stouder Hospital, Ruth advanced to co-founding a small cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program in 1985. With a dream to expand rehabilitation services in that area, Ruth returned to her Christ roots, this time to discuss ideas for launching a cardiac and pulmonary rehab center in the Miami Valley. “Christ had a great cardiac rehab program, so I collaborated with Linda Hall, and she trained our team for 3-4 days. We came back home and wrote our own policies and procedures. Our first rehab center began in a small room shared with another department. We started with 2 patients, often finding ourselves educating the cardiologists and surgeons on what we had to offer and doing our own marketing.” Fast forward to 2022, and a beautiful new wing with robust services now serves 80-100 people a day in what is now a much larger hospital, UVMC Premier Health. Appreciating the collaborative work that went into creating this center, Ruth says, “I find it very satisfying to deliver local services to my community, something they would have to drive miles for in the past.”
Reflecting on her days at The Christ Hospital School of Nursing, Ruth lived in the Nurses Residence, then a dormitory for unmarried women who were studying to become RNs. Laughing about how times have changed, Ruth shared how the marriage policy was eliminated shortly after her roommate secretly married while finishing the program. She fondly recalls a structured program with a keen focus on learning and support, stating, “Student nurses were given a lot of responsibility.”
In 2002, Ruth retired, but that didn’t mean she stopped working. She served on the UVMC Foundation Board for 20 years, taught as a part-time clinical instructor for the Upper Valley Career Center Nursing program, and serves on the Family Abuse Shelter Board, raising 2.2 million dollars for victims of domestic violence and homelessness. She was married to the late Peter E. Jenkins, who served as Troy’s mayor for 12 years.
The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences congratulates Ruth on the opening and dedication of the Ruth Jenkins Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Center. She is a shining example of caring, collaboration, integrity, and excellence, the core values of The Christ College.