Ensuring the Future of Healthcare: A Bequest Gift from Paul Cohen
“To use the words of Lou Gehrig, I feel like I’m the luckiest person on Earth,” shared Paul Cohen, co-founder and chief financial officer of Planned Furniture Promotions.
At 88, Paul has seen it all. From the age of five when he dealt with a serious bacterial infection in his ear to adulthood when he battled cancer and vascular issues, Paul’s experience with the medical world is vast.
For Paul, having convenient access to quality care is important: “Having lived through many different ailments, no one can appreciate the advancements in medicine more than myself,” shared Paul with a laugh. “Because of my own personal experiences, I think that my appreciation of Baystate Health is certainly second to none.”
From Springfield originally, Paul lived in Longmeadow, MA, for many years before moving to Simsbury, CT, after the passing of his wife Harriet in 2008. Though he added more than 20 miles to the commute, Paul still makes his way to Springfield for his appointments so he can continue to receive care at Baystate Health.
“Though I moved out of Springfield, my roots are still there,” said Paul. “It may be more convenient to go to Hartford for care, but I travel back and forth for Baystate. With the high caliber of Baystate Health, there’s no need to go beyond Springfield for ongoing health maintenance and for specialized expertise.”
THE ULTIMATE THANK YOU
Paul’s healthcare has been impacted by multiple medical professionals on the Baystate Health team, including Gastroenterology physician Dr. Paul Farkas and Vascular surgeon Dr. Marc Norris, both of whom he has recognized by establishing Baystate Health Foundation charitable gift annuities in their honor.
When Paul decided to make a $1 million bequest to Baystate Health, he knew that he wanted to honor his primary care physician, Dr. John Bedford, for excellent care.
As a result, the Mass Mutual 5 floor at Baystate Medical Center will be named in recognition of Paul’s generosity and will include a plaque that honors both he and Dr. Bedford.
Always on the road with a busy job, Paul became a patient of Dr. Bedford’s after Dr. Farkas recommended he start seeing a primary care physician. In 1999, Paul took his advice.
“Dr. Bedford guided me through various issues. It didn’t matter what the condition, he was able to help,” shared Paul. “When I had a problem, I could call his office and if I was in town, they would fit me in. I almost felt like I was a privileged patient – that’s the way he treated me.”
“Being recognized by Paul is truly an honor,” shared Dr. Bedford. “He is an uncommonly generous individual who is committed to using his success to help advance quality healthcare in our area.”
When asked about what he hoped his gift would achieve, Paul had no hesitancy – it’s all about advancement.
“With all of the trials and tribulations in our world that I’ve lived through, the bright aspect has been medicine,” said Paul.
Paul recognized that as life evolves, so do the needs of healthcare, citing COVID-19 as an example of the need to be able to innovate and adapt quickly. As a result, he has chosen to have his bequest support the greatest needs of the health system.
“Paul’s generosity and foresight provides us the benefit of having funding to support innovation and advancement for the future of healthcare,” shared Baystate Health President & CEO Dr. Mark Keroack. “This gift will impact the next generation served by Baystate Health and help to support the longevity of quality healthcare in this region.”
Considering your own legacy? Wondering about ways to give? Reach out to Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or Kylie.Johnson@BaystateHealth.org for a confidential conversation on how you can make a difference for lifesaving care.
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