For the past 11 years I have served on the Board of Trustees of Pen Bay Healthcare, two of them as chairperson of the board. The experience has been very educational.
I've come to fully appreciate the challenges facing healthcare providers, the importance of the healthcare system to our community, and the critical role that we, as local citizens, play in its continued viability. Hardly a day goes by that a story fails to appear in the media related to the cost of health care, the difficulty of providing universal access to care, or issues about quality of care.
We take for granted that our local hospital will always be there when we need it. Like the local grocery store, bank, or post office, we expect that medical assistance will be available when we are faced with a medical crisis. Many communities have discovered that such assumptions can be unfounded. Some community hospitals have had close and others have had to restrict their mission.
Midcoast Maine is extremely fortunate that not only do we have a hospital, but we have a fully integrated healthcare system that cares for people from before birth to death, from neonatal care to hospice care. As you might imagine, the cost of such a system is enormous. I can also tell you that it would not exist in Midcoast Maine if it were not for the financial contributions of community members like you.
Of the many activities I have participated in as a system trustee, I'm very proud of my participation in the formation of The Legacy Society and to have served as its first chairperson. The Legacy Society was formed to be the receptacle of gifts that will benefit the health care system upon the death of the giver.
The gifts can take many forms, including among others, charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, or the most common, a bequest in a will. When asked how much the gift should be, I tell people who currently make annual gifts to make a bequest that will be large enough that the interest on the gift will provide after death an amount equal to the current annual contribution. If one doesn't currently make annual gifts, I suggest that they start now, and if they can't start now that they leave a bequest that will provide annual gifts after their death.
Make it possible for others after your death to receive care locally as others have made it possible for you to receive care locally. Give to The Legacy Society and leave a legacy of medical care for the citizens of your community
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