Nurse’s Connection Inspires Planned Gift

For Elizabeth Lane, supporting Brigham and Women’s Hospital feels like a homecoming. Starting in the late 1960s, she spent 15 years on staff as a cardiac surgical nurse.

“It was the best job I ever had,” says Lane, who is retired and splits her time between Massachusetts and California. “I didn’t feel as though I was working. We had a magnificent team of people. It’s nice to be in an atmosphere where you’re working in a field of excellence.”

Lane worked closely with some of the world’s most pioneering physicians and surgeons, including former chiefs of cardiac surgery Lawrence H. Cohn, MD, and the late Jack Collins, MD. Her decision to give to BWH was shaped by her experiences witnessing groundbreaking medical and surgical advances and helping patients through their most vulnerable moments.

Today, she sees that same spirit of unity and deep commitment to patients in the Center of Nursing Excellence, to which she recently funded a $250,000 charitable gift annuity (CGA). She felt inspired to give back after Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services, invited her to tour the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

“I have given to cardiovascular medicine in the past, and it was incredible to see the advances in medicine and surgery that have happened since I left,” says Lane. “And meeting Jackie Somerville, I was so impressed with her patient-centered approach. I thought, ‘She is a nurse’s nurse.’”

Lane’s passion for caregiving continues to make a difference in others’ lives. She set up her CGA to provide extra income for her family while simultaneously supporting educational opportunities for nursing at BWH.

“It feels good to help people I love while also supporting nursing care at the Brigham,” says Lane. “To have been on one of the nation’s finest nursing staffs—and to have gained so many wonderful things from this institution—I felt the least I could do is this.”