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Recent Bequest/Planned Giving Healthcare Gifts

Some of the most awe-inspiring gifts healthcare institutions see come in the form of bequest expectancies, legacy gifts, estate plans, or planned gifts. Sometimes these gifts are from the estates of some of your most dedicated supporters and other times they are a complete surprise upon the death of a community member or a prior patient. However these gifts arrive, the impacts are similar – a generous donation made after one’s life to impart their legacy upon their communities.

Healthcare organizations have seen tremendous examples of transformational planned giving gifts in the post-pandemic era, below is a summary of these investments:

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Receives $126M Bequest – September 2020
The unrestricted anonymous gift was made in honor of Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester and the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. The gift is an anonymous bequest from a member of a family Dr. Nimer has known for decades. When facing several health challenges, including cancer, the family and those in their immediate networks, turned to Dr. Nimer for guidance and support. Based on the donor’s previous interest in Dr. Nimer’s research priorities, a part of the gift will be dedicated to advancing research in cancer epigenetics and Sylvester’s experimental therapeutics program.

Cedars-Sinai Receives $140M From Estate Of Longtime Supporters – March 2023
Cedars-Sinai has received a gift of more than $140 million from the estate of longtime supporters Susanne and Ervin Bard. This gift will propel clinical and research innovation in the medical campus’ newest building. The gift will name the Susanne and Ervin Bard Pavilion, home to institutes, centers, and research facilities, including the Smidt Heart Institute and the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center. The gift will allow Cedars-Sinai to elevate and broaden its mission to provide unparalleled healthcare, advance biomedical discovery, and educate future medical professionals for the benefit of Los Angeles and the world.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Receives $106M From The Estate Of Late Philanthropist Audrey Steele Burnand – September 2022
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian received $106M from the estate of the late Audrey Steele Burnand. Hoag officials said the unprecedented gift will be used to significantly expand the hospital’s health care research and treatment capabilities. The gift will help fuel Hoag’s commitment to significantly expand its compassion-based health care services and programs throughout Orange County.

University Of California Irvine Receives $55M Gift To Research Depression From The Late Philanthropist Audrey Steele Burnand – February 2022
The University of California Irvine received a more than $55M bequest from a longtime benefactor, the late philanthropist Audrey Steele Burnand, to fund the creation of a new campuswide center that will pursue research into the causes and treatment of depression. The creation of the center, which will be named the Noel Drury M.D. Depression Research Center, will allow UCI to make an enormous contribution toward helping the millions of people who directly and indirectly suffer from the effects of depression.

La Trobe University Receives $45M AUS ($33M USD) Bequest For Autism Research – March 2022
La Trobe University received a bequest from the late Olga Tennison which was endowed to support the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre. Researchers at La Trobe University’s OTARC conduct internationally recognized autism research across the lifespan, including early detection and diagnosis, intervention and supports, and employment and wellbeing.

Texas Heart Institute Received $32M Bequest From Grateful Patient –July 2023
The Texas Heart Institute received a $32M gift through a bequest from a grateful patient who was treated at the Institute nearly forty years ago. The gift will support cardiovascular research. The donor, Frederick M. Weissman, M.D., a neurologist from New York, was first treated by world-renowned cardiac surgeon Denton A. Cooley, M.D. in the mid-1980s. Soon after, the two physicians began a lifelong friendship. At the time of his death in 2005, Dr. Weissman left The Texas Heart Institute $500K. The Texas Heart Institute recently received the residual of his estate valued at more than $32M. $5M of the Weissman bequest has been designated to match philanthropic commitments of $10K or greater made to the Texas Heart Institute’s Research Innovation Fund and its priority initiatives in 2023, allowing donors the opportunity to double the impact of their research investment.

Monash University Received $30M AUS ($19.7M USD) To Support Brain And Mental Health Research – August 2022
Monash University has received a bequest that will fund vital mental health research and preventative treatment initiatives to improve the lives of millions of Australians. The gift from the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund will accelerate research by Monash’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. Mr. Turner made the bequest to his alma mater to create the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund. Additionally, part of the gift will go towards the establishment of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences – a research institute dedicated to addressing untreated brain disorders including ADHD, autism, drug addiction, and memory loss.

The University Of Mary Washington Received $30M Bequest – March 2023
The University of Mary Washington has received a $30M gift from the estate of Irene Piscopo Rodgers. A 1959 alumna and lifetime supporter of her alma mater, Ms. Rodgers passed away on July 18, 2022, in Huntington, New York. Ms. Rodgers’ gift will grow the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate research program. The gift also supports the creation of four new Alvey Scholarships, providing full tuition, fees, and room and board for out-of-state undergraduate students for up to four years, in addition to the eight Alvey Scholarships that Ms. Rodgers already created.

Swedish Cancer Center Received $20M Bequest From Paul G. Allen – November 2021
Swedish received a $20M personal bequest from the late philanthropist Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. The gift, made shortly after his death in 2018, supports the establishment of the Paul G. Allen Research Center at Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) and research into the future of cancer care and treatment.

Alumnus Gives $20M To University Of Nebraska Medical Center College Of Pharmacy – December 2022
The University of Nebraska Medical Center received a bequest from alumnus Joe Williams after support during his lifetime. Mr. Williams’ estate gift allows the College of Pharmacy to endow its deanship; to endow a student scholarship fund and funds for faculty support which include available matching dollars to spur even more giving from the college’s supporters; it includes funds to further develop the University of Nebraska Medical Center Center for Drug Discovery; and provides unrestricted dollars which the college will use to pursue its strategic initiatives.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation – May 2023
Two Bangor, ME healthcare organizations – Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation – received a bequest from the late Mr. John Webber. He gave $9M to each organization. Mr. Webber’s intention for the gift was to benefit the future of healthcare for the Bangor community. Mr. Webber was a native of Bangor and a lifetime supporter of the community.

$15M Bequest To Support Student Scholarships In Duke University Schools – August 2022
A Duke alumni couple made an anonymous bequest of $15M to Duke University, most of which will support scholarships for students pursuing degrees at Duke University School of Nursing, Duke Divinity School and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. The School of Nursing and Trinity will each receive $5 million to endow scholarships, while Duke Divinity School will receive $4 million to endow scholarships and an additional $1 million to develop new, innovative courses and programs. For the School of Nursing, in particular, the gift will fuel strategic initiatives to expand student capacity and improve access. The anonymous donors are both Duke alumni—one a graduate of Duke University School of Nursing and one of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. They have since come to be involved with Duke Divinity School as well through a strong commitment to their faith.

Grand River Hospital Receive Estate Gift From Ralph And Dorothy Kraft – May 2023
The Grand River Hospital and the Grand River Hospital Foundation received an estate gift from the late Ralph and Dorothy Kraft.  The couple left the hospital an estate gift of over $15M. In recognition of their donation, three strategic initiatives will bear the couple’s name: Kraft Patient Experience, Kraft Team Experience, and Kraft Innovation. Additionally, the Grand River Hospital Foundation is naming its legacy giving program the Kraft Society.

Friendship That Spanned A Lifetime Leads To Multimillion-Dollar Legacy Gift To University Of Calgary Hotchkiss Brain Institute – June 2023
The late American philanthropist and energy industrialist, T. Boone Pickens, left a legacy gift of $12.5M to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. The gift will be used to recruit and train emerging neuroscience research leaders and invest in the commercialization of discoveries in neurosciences, all with the goal of improving brain and mental health for millions of people around the world. Mr. Pickens’ first gift to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in 2008 funded the $2.25M T. Boone Pickens Centre for Neurological Science and Advanced Technologies. Both are a nod to the longtime friendship between Mr. Pickens and institute’s founding philanthropist Harley Hotchkiss, Hon. LLD’96, and his wife, Rebecca, and their family.


Does your organization have a process in place for asking for or receiving planned gifts? If you’re not sure where to start, follow along with our Subject Matter Expert planned giving series beginning with Tactical strategies for bequests and beneficiary designations your organization can use today… Still want to learn more about how your office can implement planned giving best practices in your healthcare organization? Reach out to

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