bigruth

Ruth Kanatser

Born and raised in Northern Mew Mexico, Ruth experienced poverty and its results early in life. After graduating from a correspondence style home schooling program for high school at only 16, she left home to be a nanny. This two year experience was wonderful and a great start in self sufficiency. It is also how she ended up in Denver. After leaving that job while obviously still fairly young, she experimented with injection drug use, which is how she began getting exposed to and volunteering in the harm reduction field.

Late in 2003 after having been involved for several years she was offered a small a part time outreach position at what was then the Intermountain Harm Reduction Project. Taking full advantage of that opportunity she worked hard and stayed on, eventually to come on as the full time Health Educator and day shelter manager for the center.

Currently Ruth is the Director of our Syringe Access Program and still the number one provider of health education especially around Viral Hepatitis. She also collaborates with The Empowerment Program as a case manager for the only known financial Methadone Support Program in Denver.

Although her accomplishments are many, she was most proud when awarded by Gov. Hickenlooper on December 2nd of 2011 the Inaugural Josephine Roche Award for her outstanding efforts in human service and advocacy. Married with two spoiled cat children, Ruth spends most of her free time with her mom and husband gardening, reading and fostering orphaned kittens for adoption.

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