Grateful for the successful care she has received at Hospital for Special Surgery over the past 20 years, Ms. Christiane Ramirez has joined The Wilson Society by establishing a charitable gift annuity. An annual contributor for nearly two decades, Ms. Ramirez was moved to make a planned gift to honor her physician, who she credits for the good health she enjoys today. "I feel very fortunate to have been a patient of Dr. C. Ronald MacKenzie for so many years," she said. "I decided to participate in the charitable gift annuity program because I wanted to pay tribute to him."
Ms. Ramirez first met Dr. MacKenzie in 1984, after undergoing a complicated surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). As she recovered in the Hospital's clinic, Dr. MacKenzie, who holds an appointment at NYPH and HSS, cared for her. He would later become Ms. Ramirez's primary care physician.
"I was in a critical state after my surgery, when I met Dr. MacKenzie," she commented. "He was very supportive and sensitive to me as an individual. Since then, I have felt very comfortable under his care."
Born in Haiti, Ms. Ramirez immigrated to the United States in 1951 at 14 years of age. After attending high school in Queens, Ms. Ramirez and her family moved to Manhattan, where she completed a two-year nursing certification program at Bellevue Hospital. She worked as a registered nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center for more than 30 years before retiring in 2002.
"When I was young and living in Haiti, my mother always encouraged me to become a nurse so that I could work alongside my godfather, who was a surgeon in Haiti," she said. "That never happened, of course," she laughed. "But I loved helping people, so I was very happy in that profession."
Today, Ms. Ramirez enjoys reading, taking long walks, visiting her sister who lives in Italy, and nurturing the flowers that adorn her home.
Taking care of her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter is also among her interests. "The gift annuity program appealed to me because it allows me to make a gift to the Hospital without changing my current lifestyle, which includes supporting my own family," she said. The charitable gift annuity will provide Ms. Ramirez with income for life, a portion of which is tax-free, and the Hospital will eventually receive the residual funds in the annuity account. Ms. Ramirez's gift will provide critical support for the future of patient care, thereby recognizing the care provided to her by her physician.
"Dr. MacKenzie exudes a certain degree of kindness that you don't find very often," she remarked. "I made this commitment to HSS because I want him to know just how much I appreciate all that he has done for me."