In 2018, Shawn Logan — a lifetime patient of and donor to Massachusetts General Hospital — shared his story of how he and his family became patients of the hospital and how those experiences shaped his philanthropic giving.
Much has changed since 2018, including the onset of a global pandemic, but Shawn’s commitment to Mass General remains steadfast. “Mass General still plays a major role in my health care and in the health care of my siblings’ families,” says Shawn. “There is a difference in the philosophy and practices of a teaching hospital such as Mass General, and these are the factors that continue to reinforce my respect for the institution.”
Growing Up with Mass General
His family’s experience with Mass General began in the early 1960s, when Shawn’s younger brother was treated for a serious medical condition. Mass General’s first Chief of Pediatric Surgery, W. Hardy Hendren III, MD, pioneered techniques that saved his brother’s life. He admired the doctor’s skill and equally valued his ability to communicate with the family, forging a lifelong personal relationship between the Logans and Dr. Hendren until Dr. Hendren’s passing in 2022.
“From the age of five or six, I have seen and experienced the difference Mass General makes in the life of an infant who had little to no future,” says Shawn. “When you are that young, those memories and experiences become part of you and form your values and priorities.”
Gifts that Honor and Remember
Nearly two decades ago, Shawn formed another strong bond with his late father’s oncologist, David Ryan, MD, clinical director of Mass General Cancer Center. Since then, Shawn has actively followed and supported Dr. Ryan’s research through yearly contributions in honor of his father. His inspiration is to give Dr. Ryan flexible and available funding for whatever is most needed. “I appreciate the value of a fund you can readily access,” Shawn says.
Through annual gifts, Shawn also supports Mass General’s Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center — a relaxed and comfortable place for patients, families and friends to find accurate health information with help from trained staff.
“Because of my experiences at Mass General, I made sure to set aside a certain portion of my estate for the hospital’s future.”
When his mother began treatment for an infection that lacked a specific cause, Shawn set out to learn more. Although the internet’s reach and access to medical journals was limited at the time, the Blum Center’s friendly staff produced relevant articles he could share with his mother. Shawn found this additional touchpoint quite special, and for years, he visited the Blum Center in between his personal doctors’ appointments for a welcomed respite from the hustle and bustle of the hospital.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of virtual care, his visits to the hospital have become less frequent. “Because I am not at Mass General often, I am not able to take advantage of the Blum Center as often as I used to,” says Shawn. “But it is a tremendous asset when we need it and remains an invaluable resource today. Should the need arise, I will make use of it again, which is why I continue to support it.”
Shawn’s Commitment to Planned Giving
Shawn has explored tax-savvy ways to give back to Mass General as well, diversifying his giving profile. “Philanthropy serves multiple purposes from my perspective,” says Shawn.
By using long-term appreciated stock, Shawn transfers securities directly to Mass General. Mass General, using their non-profit status, sells them and uses the proceeds to support programs and services. By gifting his appreciated stock, Shawn avoids the significant capital gains tax if he were to sell them directly and then donate the proceeds of the sale.
“I encourage people to explore this method to make full use of their gift,” Shawn says. He cites gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and donor advised funds as “opportunities to take advantage of the tax benefits of giving.”
“Everything I have, including my health, is a gift; I did not request them nor deserve them. They were given to me in order that I share them with others. That is why I give to Mass General and will continue to do so.”
At his father’s urging, Shawn has also examined his own estate plan and legacy. “It forced me to think about where I wanted my estate to go,” he says. Working with his attorney, Shawn made charitable provisions for the long term, refining his will to designate a portion of his bequest to support Dr. Ryan and a portion to the MGH Fund — Mass General’s main source of unrestricted, flexible funding, used at the discretion of the hospital president, to sustain areas of greatest need across the hospital.
“Because of my experiences at Mass General, I made sure to set aside a certain portion of my estate for the hospital’s future,” Shawn says.
Five Years from Now and Beyond
For decades, Shawn has been an integral member of the Mass General community. Through estate planning and yearly contributions, his philanthropic giving has reached providers and programs that have directly helped his family as well as supported those most in need — and there seems to be no end to his range of impact.
“Philanthropy helps the researchers, the patients and the community,” says Shawn. “A gift can offset expenses. A bequest can shape buildings. And monthly contributions can explore new territories in research. Everything I have, including my health, is a gift; I did not request them nor deserve them. They were given to me in order that I share them with others. That is why I give to Mass General and will continue to do so.”
To learn more about how you can remember the hospital in your estate plan and create a legacy to advance medicine, please contact our Office of Planned Giving at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.643.2220.