Decades of medical service, including helping AIDS patients abroad, have earned Rotarian Dr. Ruth Mathieson a provincial award.  Dr. Ruth is this year's recipient of the Ontario Medical Association's Presidential Award, recognizing her for exceptional and long-standing humanitarian service to the greater community, that brings honour to the medical profession and expresses the highest qualities of service by a physician.  After closing her family practice in 2005, Dr. Ruth began a new routine of travelling to Africa during each Canadian winter, to the Matangwe Hospital in a rural area just east of Lake Victoria in Kenya from 2005 to 2015.  Dr. Ruth worked in the nine bed hospital and its attached HIV-AIDS clinic where the need was so great.  She soon loved the people and the work there, doing everything that came her way from treating open wounds to delivering babies.  Dr. Ruth also gathered items such as surgical gloves and other medical gear for the use at the hospital and went above and beyond, researching solar cooking materials for meal preparation.  Due to drought that had killed the trees, firewood was not available and life became a little easier for the grandmothers in their daily duties of meal preparation.  Ruth Mathieson also volunteered in Nigeria, Guatemala and Tanzania, but mostly in Kenya where she relieved the clinical officer for a month. In this role, she mainly treated HIV/AIDS patients, as well as cerebral malaria and other tropical diseases. She made life-long friends there and continues to help them financially. The work Dr. Ruth did overseas was a calling with rich rewards.  She was generous with her skills, her compassion and gave her time and expertise to those whose need was great.  Ruth thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for their financial support of her trips to the third world countries.  Congratulations were expressed by President Darrell Smith. 
As a follow-up report to a Toyota Hiace Van that was purchased in December 2015 for the Matangwe Hospital, the van continues to be used to serve the clinic and the community.  It is used for critical patient transfers as well as general transport to other centers or for consultation, as medical outreach to schools or remote villages.  Lives have been impacted by having this van available to the clinic.  It is estimated that in 2020, 760 lives were so impacted.  Recently the Rotary Club of Belleville through Dr. Ruth Mathieson received this updated report along with sincere appreciation for supporting the Matangwe Community Health and Development Patient clinic.