NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Ruth Taylor was a pioneer and medical social work consultant who joined the Public Health Service Tuberculosis Control Program in its early years. During her professional career, she also broke barriers of segregation that existed in Washington, DC and throughout the United States in the late 1940's and early 1950's, barriers that could have limited the range of professional activities of a less dedicated and determined person.
Taylor was a graduate of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and had been social work supervisor at Providence Hospital in Chicago before coming to Washington, DC. In her years with the U.S. Public Health Service (1948-1967), she developed social work programs and quality of care standards related to tuberculosis hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. She had primary responsibility for the Public Health Social Work Traineeship Awards under the Public Health Service traineeship program initiated in 1956 and was the chair of the Public Health Service Committee, which conducted the 1962 Princeton Conference on the Public Health Content of Social Work Education. In addition, she served on a number of American Public Health Association and NASW committees concerned with standards for medical social work and public health service education and practice.