The Warren D. Ruff Scholarship Fund was established in 2020 to provide financial assistance to qualifying nurses and nursing candidates employed with Sun Health, Banner Boswell Medical Center, and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center.
“We’re proud to carry on Mr. Ruff’s legacy,” explained Joe La Rue, President of Sun Health. “The scholarship fund is meant to help a nurse at a time when they need it most. Mr. Ruff was deeply grateful for the nurses that cared for him during the last years of his life, and he wanted to support future nurses in their education journey.”
The scholarship fund was created to honor Warren D. Ruff’s legacy of learning, personal growth and caring for others. He was a well-known community leader and supporter in Sun City. In the past three years, 395 applications have been approved, awarding more than $800,000 in scholarships to nursing students wishing to pursue or further their career in nursing.
Braxton Howard is one of the employees benefiting from the scholarship. He received $8,500 from the scholarship fund in 2022, which allowed him to go back to school and complete his master’s degree. He started his nursing career in South Carolina and moved to Arizona in 2018. Howard worked at a long-term care and rehabilitation center as well as Mayo Clinic before joining Sun Health. He’s currently a Resident Services Director at Sun Health Grandview Terrace.
“The scholarship has been an immense help to me and my family,” said Howard. “I am hoping my master’s degree will lead me to even bigger opportunities. I am a lifelong learner, and the scholarship has helped me achieve new heights that I didn’t know would be attainable.”
The Warren D. Ruff Scholarship Fund opens new doors of opportunity for candidates to pursue their passion and helps fill the critical need for more trained nurses and nursing-related health professionals who live and work in Arizona.
Another recipient of the scholarship is Joyce Wilt, Annual Giving Coordinator for Sun Health Foundation. Nursing was always in the back of her mind, yet she wondered if she could really do it, when the time was right.
“As a mom of a 6-year-old daughter, I realized one day that if she ever doubted that she could accomplish something, I would tell her she can do anything she puts her mind to. If I can tell her she can do it, I can do it too,” said Wilt.
With the support of her family, her Sun Health team, and the Warren D. Ruff scholarship, she realized the time was now. Thanks to the $10,931 she’s received thus far from the scholarship fund, Wilt is a second-year student pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Chamberlain University, navigating her job, family and nursing school. She will graduate in spring 2025.
Ruff was born in Danbury, Ohio. Throughout his career, he worked as a CPA in the public accounting industry and in the medical field as an executive director of a prestigious multi-specialty physicians’ clinic. In retirement, Ruff moved to Sun City where he continued to serve his community as a volunteer board member of the now Banner Boswell Medical Center, the Sun Health Foundation and the Lakes Club.
The Warren D. Ruff Scholarship Fund reflects the impact generosity can have for generations in creating a world where people live longer, healthier more purposeful lives.
For more information or to apply for future funding, visitSunHealthFoundation.org/Scholarship or contact Heather Grizzard at firstname.lastname@example.org.