Bequests in Your Will
A charitable bequest in your will is an easy way for you to make a meaningful gift to St. Francis Hospital. There is no cost to you during your lifetime and you have the flexibility to modify the provisions in your will at any time. Additionally, a bequest is fully deductible for federal estate tax purposes and is also often exempt from state inheritance taxes. If you already have a will, your attorney can prepare a simple codicil which adds a bequest to St. Francis Hospital and reaffirms the provisions of your existing will.
Jeffrey Lang’s Story
According to Jeffrey Lang, his life story is quite ordinary. However, to the future generations who will need the exceptional care that is provided at St. Francis Hospital, Jeffrey is actually extraordinary!
A very healthy 57 years young, Jeff had a longstanding fear of hospitals. So when Jeff first experienced shortness of breath and noticed that his heart was pounding a bit more as he climbed a flight of stairs, it was not enough to convince him to go immediately to the nearest hospital. Fortunately for Jeff, his friends insisted that he have his symptoms checked at St. Francis Hospital and he listened to their advice.
When he arrived at St. Francis Hospital’s Emergency Department, Jeff was a bit apprehensive. The nursing staff immediately sensed his fear and let him know that they were going to take good care of him. A short time later, as he was lying in his hospital bed, Jeff was greeted by Richard Shlofmitz, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Cardiology.
“Dr. Shlofmitz stood at the foot of my bed, gave my toe a light pinch, and said ‘everything will be all right’ and I just knew that it would be,” recalls Jeff.
All of his cardiac tests came back fine and it turned out that an ulcer was the cause of his discomfort. That was Jeffrey’s only personal experience at St. Francis Hospital, but it was enough for him to let go of his fear of hospitals and come to know St. Francis as a very special place.
When Jeff recently decided to prepare his will he knew that he wanted to leave a portion of his estate to an organization that he trusted and that would make a real difference to the local Long Island community where he lived. For Jeff, that choice was obvious — it was St. Francis Hospital.
Jeff of course hopes that he will never again require the world-class medical care that St. Francis Hospital provides. However, he is proud to know that his gift will help ensure quality care for future generations — and that knowledge helps him breathe a little easier.
Linda Pons’ Story
Inspiring stories are common here at St. Francis Hospital where the talented medical staff saves lives every day. But the story of Linda Pons is inspiring in an entirely different way. While Linda, a former elementary school teacher, will be forever grateful to St. Francis Hospital for the surgery that saved her life, St. Francis is grateful to Linda for her generosity – promised before she ever set foot in the Hospital as a patient. It’s a remarkable story, one of giving and receiving and how much we receive back from our gifts.
Linda became acquainted with St. Francis several years ago when she volunteered to be a participant in the Heart Study, a program initiated in 1996 by Hospital researchers to determine if a combination of vitamins C and E, Lipitor, and aspirin would reduce a person’s risk of developing coronary artery disease. She had lost both of her parents to heart disease, so she was very interested in participating in the study.
She took advantage of all of the benefits offered by the Heart Study including a supervised exercise program at the cardiac fitness center at St. Francis Hospital’s DeMatteis Center for Cardiac Research and Education. Over time, Linda realized how much she appreciated the warmth and compassion provided by the nurses and staff at St. Francis. So she decided to deepen her relationship with the Hospital and make a bequest that would name St. Francis Hospital in her will as a beneficiary. Because of her generosity, Linda was welcomed into the Hospital’s Legacy Society and in June she joined other donors who have made similar legacy gifts, for a private tour of the Hospital’s six new state-of-the-art cardiac operating rooms. She was impressed and wowed by the high-tech operating rooms, but commented that she hoped she would never need to visit one as a patient.
Just four months later, while exercising at the cardiac fitness center, Linda became frightened when she experienced symptoms of angina – symptoms she remembered well from her mother’s illness. Linda knew what to do, and went to see her cardiologist. After a series of tests, her fears were made real when her cardiologist transferred her directly to the Hospital’s Emergency Department.
On a Monday afternoon in early October, Linda underwent triple bypass open-heart surgery -- in the very same operating room that she had seen on her tour. Linda recovered quickly and is once again exercising at the cardiac fitness center! After her surgery, everyone at the cardiac fitness center was thrilled to have her back and she was happy to be back. That’s why when she was recently asked to serve as a volunteer at the DeMatteis Center twice a week, she immediately accepted the offer.
Linda never expected that she would soon be a beneficiary of the Hospital’s top ranked medical care when she informed St. Francis Hospital of her promise of a future legacy gift. She credits her surgeon, Christopher LaMendola, M.D., and the entire staff at St. Francis Hospital for saving her life. Just recently, she shared her plans to increase her legacy gift so that others will continue to benefit from the world-class healthcare provided by the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at St. Francis. Linda’s story truly proves that the more people give, the more they receive.
St. Francis Hospital
Meryl R. Cosentino
Director of Planned Giving