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In June, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission unanimously approved MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s plans to build a state-of-the-art medical/surgical pavilion. Neil and Emily Kishter followed by making a groundbreaking announcement of their own: a gift of $1 million to support our new facility.
The couple’s donation will help create a relaxing, comfortable and soothing space for family members to pass the time while their loved ones are in surgery. In appreciation of their generosity, the Kishters will be recognized in the second floor surgical suite’s lobby and waiting area.
The Kishters’ philanthropic partnership was born out of Neil’s personal history and the couple’s deep commitment to the Hospital and its focus on caring for the whole person.
“My first wife, Dana, was in and out of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center for over a decade as she fought a losing battle with leukemia,” Neil explains. “While her care was great, we spent countless hours during her infusion sessions in surroundings that did nothing to make you feel better, or alleviate your anxiety or worry.”
So, in 2013, Neil and Emily made a significant gift to support renovations to MedStar Georgetown’s Infusion Center, improving the area’s appearance and heightening comfort for both patients and loved ones. That was followed several years later by an even larger investment to help establish the Hospital’s Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Clinic, the only one of its kind for adults in the Washington, D.C., area.
Now they have expanded their vision and reached new philanthropic heights.
“The Kishters’ latest support is a very tangible and personal signal to others that they believe in what we can accomplish together,” says Pam Maroulis, the Hospital’s vice president of Philanthropy, who’s leading the charge to raise $112 million in community support for the new pavilion. “As the first leadership philanthropic investment to the campaign at the seven-figure level— and coming on the heels of the Zoning Commission’s approval— it gets our campaign off to an early and strong start.”
The new six-story medical/surgical pavilion comprises 477,000 square feet and features a rooftop helipad with direct access to a new Emergency Department, 32 state-of-the- art operating rooms and three levels of underground parking. With 156 single-patient rooms, the pavilion will effectively transform MedStar Georgetown into an all private-room hospital—a major advancement for patient privacy, healing and comfort.
To fund their gift, Neil used a combination of appreciated stock and life insurance, a strategy that he often recommends to his clients at The Kishter Group.
“Helping ultra-affluent individuals and families achieve their philanthropic goals is a big part of what I do,” he says. “I like to practice what I preach. I’ve always believed that if you are fortunate enough to have done well financially, you should give back. It just feels good to know you’ve helped make something important happen, sooner rather than later.”
Adds Emily, “I continue to be in awe of my husband’s resilience, work ethic and generosity, and am thrilled to be part of providing a better environment for patients and their families. Neil is a real inspiration to everyone who knows him.”
Pam couldn’t agree more: “With Neil and Emily leading the way, the pavilion will be the flagship healthcare building in the nation’s capital, giving our patients and our world-class physicians a world-class facility to call home.”