Massachusetts General Hospital provides the best patient care and patient experience because of people like Elaine Kwiecien. She’s not a physician, a researcher or a hospital leader. But by devoting her time, knowledge and philanthropy to the hospital, Ms. Kwiecien has made an impact today that will endure into the future.
Built over a long career with the federal government, Ms. Kwiecien’s management skills come in handy at Mass General.
Since first encountering the warm and helpful community in the hospital’s halls, Ms. Kwiecien has sought out ways to contribute. These days, she’s busy teaching staff members English language skills or helping visitors access resources at The Maxwell and Eleanor Blum Patient & Family Learning Center.
In 2014, Ms. Kwiecien became a patient representative for the Internal Medicine Associates Innovation Team – part of an academic collaborative initiative with Harvard Medical School to examine patient-centered care. As a member of the Ladies Visiting Committee (LVC), she also offers input on funding requests for patient care programs not covered elsewhere in the hospital budget. Serving on the LVC finance and Gift Shops committees, she helps reconcile and verify office reports and even assists with bookkeeping tasks.
Beyond Time and Experience
Built over a long career with the federal government, Ms. Kwiecien’s management skills come in handy at Mass General. “My volunteer positions allow me to offer input that’s valued and welcome, and in turn, I learn and grow,” she says. “There are few better ways for me to spend some of my retirement time.”
But Ms. Kwiecien gives more than her time and expertise. She is a perennial member of the 1811 Society, which recognizes MGH Fund donors who help advance the hospital’s mission by making an annual leadership gift. In 2003, she also joined the Phillips Society, which recognizes hospital donors of legacy gifts. She did so by choosing to establish a charitable remainder trust as her estate commitment to the hospital.
A charitable remainder trust is an individually managed vehicle that allows the donor to make a substantial gift while receiving an income. Charitable remainder trusts can be funded with a combination of cash, securities and, in some cases, real estate.
Contributions Supporting Dreams
Ms. Kwiecien opted to use her Cape Cod vacation home as her funding asset and she’s never looked back. “It helps Mass General and provides a steady source of income to me,” she says. “It’s a win-win.” Along with quarterly payments, the trust administrators provide regular statements and an annual accounting summary for taxes, she adds.
“Sometimes we think our small contribution will not make a difference, but every contribution supports someone’s dream of achieving groundbreaking research, a better outcome or a cure.”
Her own experience caring for a family member with Parkinson’s disease inspired Ms. Kwiecien to make the Department of Neurology one beneficiary of her lifetime gifts and future commitments. Engaging with the department, meanwhile, has deepened her understanding of the medical field’s landscape and shown her what charitable contributions enable. “Every family is touched by some neurological condition,” Ms. Kwiecien explains. “It is important to participate in and support those trying to solve the puzzle.”
“Sometimes we think our small contribution will not make a difference, but every contribution supports someone’s dream of achieving groundbreaking research, a better outcome or a cure,” she adds.
An advocate for Mass General’s patients and staff, Ms. Kwiecien is proud of her hospital. “MGH,” she says, “has employed among the very best and has shown it stays focused on the prize – better patient care and a better patient experience.”
To learn more about how you can remember the hospital in your estate plan and create a legacy to advance medicine, please contact us.