Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, and his wife, Brenda Warshaw, RN, found their careers and each other at Massachusetts General Hospital. She came in the 1970s, joining a surgical nursing team. He came on rotations as a student at Harvard Medical School.
“I rotated here and it put stars in my eyes,” says Dr. Warshaw, who would go on to serve as Mass General’s surgeon-in-chief for nearly 14 years.
Working side-by-side in the operating room, the young surgeon and nurse became close friends. Their careers blossomed and affection for each other deepened — as did their commitment to Mass General. The couple married in 1986 in the hospital chapel, with close friends, family and even a few of Dr. Warshaw’s patients in attendance.
“Mass General has been an absolutely essential part of our lives,” Brenda says. “We built careers here. We receive our care here. And nine of our 13 grandchildren were born on this campus. It only made sense that we would take the next step forward to create a bequest.”
“We built careers here. We receive our care here. It only made sense that we would take the next step forward to create a bequest.”
In their will, the Warshaws created an unrestricted bequest that gives Mass General flexibility to use funds where they are most needed.
More than a Job
A champion of quality and safety, Dr. Warshaw started the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery. After retiring from his role as chief of surgery, for the past 10 years Dr. Warshaw has been serving as physician director for network development and integration to promote clinical programs in affiliated community hospitals. And he continues to serve as director of the Andrew L. Warshaw Institute for Pancreatic Cancer Research and as a senior principal investigator of the Pancreatic Biology Research Laboratory in the Department of Surgery.
Brenda worked as an operating room nurse for 35 years. For seven years, she served as president of the Friends of the Cancer Center Council, a network of volunteers who raise money for patient educational and emotional support services as well as music and art therapy. As president emeritus Brenda remains very involved in the organization.
Investing in the Future of Health Care
The Warshaws’ bequest is built on a foundation of philanthropy including support of endowed clinical chairs and funds for patient support services, support of advancing pancreatic cancer research and ongoing support of the MGH Fund.
The Warshaws are members of the Phillips Society which recognizes and celebrates friends of Mass General who create a lasting legacy of giving that advances medicine and scientific discovery by including the hospital in their estate plans.
As ambassadors to the Phillips Society, the Warshaws promote planned giving as a way to support the hospital to others who want to make a difference for future generations. “I have gotten an unfathomable amount of fulfillment from Mass General, professionally and personally. Many colleagues are like family to me,” Dr. Warshaw says. “When the time comes, I feel there ought to be something left for Mass General.”
“We, as individuals, and as a community, need to provide Mass General with the resources to evolve, develop and grow.”
Brenda remains close with many of her nursing colleagues and enjoys working with members of the Friends group. When she comes to Mass General, Brenda says, “It feels like home.”
The Warshaws recognize the place that is so special to them is also helping patients beyond New England. “Mass General is a major force for health care in the world,” Dr. Warshaw says. “And we as individuals, and as a community, need to provide Mass General with the resources to evolve, develop and grow.”
To learn more about how you can contribute to the future of Mass General by creating a bequest or other planned gift, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-643-2220.