The Aegis
Harford County

Harford County’s Rudy Williams honored for his fight to improve pain management of sickle cell anemia patients

From left, Havre de Grace City Council Member Casi Boyer, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, Denise Williams and Rudy Williams pose after the presentation of the 2022 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Harford County in June 30.

Rudolph “Rudy” Williams Jr. from Bel Air received the 2022 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Harford County for his tireless work to improve the medical treatment of sickle cell patients at area hospitals.

“Rudy Williams has transformed the treatment of patients with sickle cell disease through his tireless advocacy and outreach,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot, who presented Williams with the award on June 30 at Havre de Grace Colored School. “His work is impacting countless lives in Maryland and changing the standard of care across the nation.”


In his role as president of the Association for the Prevention of Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc. of Harford, Cecil and Eastern Shore counties, Williams has used his influence to solve community problems through effective government intervention, said Sharon Jacobs, association member.


After experiencing a negative patient experience at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, Williams led the charge starting in 2018 to effect change with the medical center on how to handle pain management crises for sickle cell anemia patients, Jacobs said.

. After nine months of Williams’ letter writing campaign to Upper Chesapeake and Union Hospital in Elkton voicing his concerns, the hospitals responded in the spring of 2019.

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Both entities established protocols to improve both organization’s sickle cell patient care months after meetings. University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center met with Harford County Caucus of African American Leaders and the Sickle Cell Association in late fall 2019, and Union Hospital met with him in early 2020.

Rudy also has collaborated with Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C, UM Capital Region Health in Largo, the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association and the area Sickle Cell Anemia association to get a $2 million Pathways Grant from the Maryland Department of Health to install a sickle cell center at UM Capital Region Health in Largo in Prince Georges’ County.

“He has resuscitated the organization by developing and modifying internal governing polices, restructuring the organization to form an outreach, education, fundraising, student alliance, and, nominating committees, and eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic layers within the organization,” Jacobs said.

Along with being president of the sickle cell association, Williams has more than 40 years’ experience in consumer goods and automotive industries and been a business liaison, Williams said.

“I am humbled and honored to be among the distinguished county recipients of the William D. Schaeffer Helping People Award in Maryland,” said Williams.


The William Donald Schaefer Award honors the legacy of William Donald Schaefer — former governor and comptroller of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore — and celebrates the contributions of the honoree to effective government and lifelong commitment and service to the well-being of the citizens of Maryland.

Through this award program, an individual or organization in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions will be recognized for: improving their community, directly aiding the most vulnerable, swiftly solving a citizen problem and creating a public / private partnership through effective government to improve the lives of Marylanders.