Physician Gets Creative With Contribution
When Dr. Martin Herman arrived at Le Bonheur Children's in 1994, he enrolled in the hospital's retirement plan where his contributions were matched by Le Bonheur. Later, when Le Bonheur became part of Methodist Healthcare, Herman rolled his retirement funds into an IRA where they have remained until now.
As Le Bonheur embarked on the campaign to build a new hospital, Herman and his wife, Lynette, talked about how they could make a gift to the new hospital through the Physicians' Campaign. It was then they remembered the untouched fund that Herman had participated in 13 years earlier. Both agreed it was a great idea to donate the funds they had invested at Le Bonheur. "Part of the funds were matched by Le Bonheur so we wanted to give it back, Herman says.
The Hermans recently cashed in the plan to make a signifi cant gift to the new hospital.
"It's a privilege to serve the children of this community," Herman says. "The reason we decided to make this gift was because physicians should support Le Bonheur. Le Bonheur is home for us. We spend 50 percent of our life here and the children of Memphis deserve the best care possible."
One late-summer day, Herman, who is a pediatric emergency specialist in Le Bonheur's Emergency Department (ED), cared for a mother and child who were both sick and in need of medical care. Treating a parent and child together is not typical of the cases that the ED sees daily. They treat 70,000 children each year, which makes Le Bonheur one of the busiest pediatric EDs in the U.S.
"Le Bonheur's the only game in town," Herman says. "People in the community are not aware that there is only one comprehensive children's hospital in this area. Le Bonheur is the only place in this region to take care of all children. There's no other children's hospital for 150 miles or more in any direction. If Le Bonheur went away, so would a lot of children's health care in this area. There is no place else to take up the baton."
Married for 26 years, the Hermans have fi ve adult children between them. Herman worked as a mechanic to pay for his undergraduate college degree. While enrolled in pharmacy school at the University of Maryland, he sold encyclopedias doorto- door. When he attended medical school at the University of Maryland, he worked as a pharmacist at Johns Hopkins. His internship at the University of Maryland was followed by residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. He worked three years for the National Health Services Corp. providing care in rural Mississippi before opening his own practice.
Herman believes that in life you must give back. "I give to Le Bonheur every day but I also take a lot from this place," he says. "There is nothing in the world like working with a child who starts out crying and fearful and in the end is hugging you and gives you a great big smile. There's not enough money in the world to replace that feeling."