Honoring the Legacy of Ms. Ruby Cole, through the Ruby Cole Community Kitchen

Mrs. Ruby Cole was born October 24, 1922 in Meridianville, Alabama and took college preparatory classes at the Mary Porter Academy in Oxford, North Carolina.  These courses prepared her for entering and attending college at Hampton Institute and the Dixie Hospital School of Nursing in Hampton, Virginia where she received her Registered Nursing Certificate.  Wanting to learn the business side of healthcare, Ms. Cole later moved to Detroit, Michigan and attended Lewis College of Business.

After solidifying her education, Ms. Cole brought her talents to the prestigious clinic of Dr. Ralston Mitchell, one of the few Black owned and operated clinics of its time in 1945. She quickly gained the trust and confidence of Dr. Mitchell and served in a dual role, providing excellent clinical care to many Detroit residents and taking on the position of office manager until Dr. Mitchell’s untimely death in 1965.

Continuing her stellar career in nursing, she later joined the Wendell Leach Clinic and Mitchell Center Health Care Organization serving from 1971 until her retirement in 2007.  While there, Ms. Cole developed several excellent health focused programs. Her signature initiative was the Well-Baby Mother’s Clinical Program for the residents of Detroit.

The program’s overwhelming success caught the attention of Total Health Care, Inc. where Ms. Cole became a valuable member of the Total Health Care team in 1974. There she served as a clinician and provided oversight to many of their network of clinics throughout Detroit. Ms. Cole currently sits on the Total Health Care Foundation board and has provided insight and recommendations for over 20 years.

Ms. Cole is a faithful member of Plymouth United Church of Christ and has been a member for many years with the prestigious Justice, Unity, Generosity, Service, International (J.U.G.S.) organization, which provides scholarships and educational opportunities to deserving students nationally to this day.

From left: Loretta V. Bush, President and CEO at Authority Health; Thomaesa Bailey, Chief of Staff for the office of Councilwoman Angela Calloway’s; and Ms. Ruby Cole’s son, Mr. Eric Cole who joined Authority Health in accepting the Spirit of Detroit Award on behalf of his mother.