Development Box: Honoring a Commitment to Women’s Health at Tax Time

When Amy Crofts, a Network member for more than three decades, needed to start taking her required minimum IRA distribution, she thought of the organization. A retired nurse and nurse-midwife, Amy was drawn to the Network’s push for drugs to undergo rigorous approval standards and demonstrate long-term evidence that they are safe. Our commitment to never accept funds from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers or insurance companies also impressed her. As a result, Amy decided to help advance the Network’s mission with a donation from her required IRA distribution.

Amy made this gift in memory of her friend Lois Olsen, who passed away on September 17, 2015. Lois was originally from Wisconsin; she became a nurse in 1949 and was certified as a midwife a year later. For the next 12 years, she provided health care through her mission efforts in rural Tiama, in Sierra Leone. Lois eventually returned to the States and served as a nurse-midwife; a consultant for the Wisconsin Division of Health; and a professor, teaching students in both the U.S. and Africa. Amy and Lois met when they worked together at a Chicago hospital during the 1970s.

Like many women, Lois challenged the status quo. She pushed her hospital employer to let women have a family member or friend present during labor – which had been unthinkable for hospitals in the late 70s. Amy also pushed their employer to modernize and allow mothers to hold their infants in the first minutes after birth. Donating her mandatory distribution to the Network, which was founded by pioneers in women’s health care, was a natural fit and met Amy’s desire to support women and children and, at the same time, remember a dear friend.

If you’re interested in making a gift through your IRA or another retirement plan, please contact Michelle M. Lockwood, Development Director, at 202.682.2640 or [email protected].