WALTHAM – Dr. Laurel Ruzicka, a Newburyport resident, was recently named by the Essex North District Medical Society as its 2021 Community Clinician of the Year, an award recognizing her professionalism and contributions as a physician.
Ruzicka has worked 23 years as a family physician at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, caring for predominantly underserved patients, according to a press release. Active in caring for the homeless population in the area, Ruzicka was formerly the co-director of the health center’s Healthcare for the Homeless program. Since 2007, she has also volunteered at the Cor Unum meal center in Lawrence, serving food to homeless people and others in need.
For many years, she has been a volunteer with Partners in Development, and has led an annual medical mission to Suchitepequez, Guatemala, to help people affected by the extreme poverty in that area.
Ruzicka is a community faculty member at the Health Center, where she is involved in resident teaching and has a special interest in diabetes management.
An avid gardener, she often shares the fruits of her community garden plot with the staff at her office, according to the release.
"(Ruzicka) is definitely a community physician. She one hundred percent cares for her patients in the community and always goes the extra step needed to get better care for her patients,” colleague Dr. Katrin Schneck said. “Laurel is always shy and humble, but she really works hard and cares about her community and the recognition is very appropriate and well deserved."