Rugge has served on a national commission on Medicaid reform, the state Hospital Review and Planning Council and as a health care advisor to state Governor Mario Cuomo and former President Bill Clinton.
Recently, he helped devise the Adirondack Medical Home Pilot program, which better coordinates care for people of all incomes by boosting the primary physician's role and expedites information between specialists and patients' primary doctors.
In November, the national Family Medical Education Coalition granted Rugge their "Power to Change the World" award for his role in re-engineering health care.
In accepting the Liberty Bell award last week, Rugge stressed the importance of making sure all receive adequate health care, regardless of income.
"I'm proud to achieve something that should come naturally, to keep the doors of our clinics wide open for everybody, regardless of social status, medical needs or insurance categories," he said.
"If you treat anybody, you need to treat everybody," he said. "You can't live in a small town and say 'you have the wrong kind of insurance' or no insurance and you can't be accepted as a patient."