Joseph “Joe” Heller, PhD, of Arizona, is continuing a legacy of philanthropy to National Jewish Health that his mother, Esther, started in the 1940s. After more than 20 years of supporting the hospital, Joe gave a “blended gift,” which combines two giving vehicles.
In this case, he gave an outright gift and a bequest, which is especially beneficial because the gifts provide vital funding now and for the future.
The Heller Family’s Long History of Support
Esther Heller became involved with philanthropic efforts for the hospital as a member of a New York City auxiliary that raised money for National Jewish Health.
She was part of an incredible fundraising group of more than 1,500 auxiliary chapters across the country that hosted events, including dinners, flea markets and bingo games, to support the hospital’s patient care and innovative research.
The Next Generation of Giving – and Beyond
After growing up in New Jersey, Joe spent more than 35 years in California, where he focused his career and volunteer activities on public health and disease prevention. He retired as chair of the Department of Psychology at California State University, Sacramento in 1996.
Joe then moved to Arizona and became more interested in National Jewish Health because of his mother’s longtime involvement. Joe began donating in 1994 with an $18 gift and also began attending biannual donor luncheons in Tucson.
In 2015, he decided to double his yearly donation, which had grown over the years, with a $25,000 gift to name an exam room in honor of his parents. The plaque will read, the “Leo and Esther Heller Exam Room – Given in their memory by their loving son Joseph R. Heller, PhD.”
In addition, Joe included National Jewish Health in his will and anticipates that the institution will receive approximately $30,000 from his bequest.
“I have focused my personal and professional efforts on prevention,” said Joe. “With genetic research, I hope that we can prevent diseases from occurring.”
Through his exceptional generosity, Joe will help future generations of people with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related conditions.
Learn more about how you can support patients at National Jewish Health