Munson Health
David and Cathie Martin

Note: This article first appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Focus.

David and Cathie Martin have been part of the medical community in Traverse City for 30 years. Consequently, they have both professional and personal reasons for supporting Munson Healthcare through their estate planning.

"As a physician, it is important to me to practice medicine with the best doctors and nurses and with state-of-the-art technology," said Dr. Martin, an Infection Disease Specialist who is well known for his dedication to quality improvement at Munson Medical Center. "At the end of my career, I want to look back knowing I worked at the ‘best’ and not a mediocre health care center. That kind of quality doesn’t come cheap. It requires a giving attitude of time and money, especially from those working within its walls."

Like everyone else in the community, the Martins count on having access to great care locally and have used Munson services on many occasions. "It’s where we go for medical care and, most importantly, where our children and grandchildren receive care," Dr. Martin said.

While David attended medical school, Cathie worked in hospital administration. Being involved in the health care industry from an early age helped the Martins see firsthand the need hospitals have for additional funds.

"We know that income generated by patient care is never enough to stay current in technology and staffing," Dr. Martin said. "Despite prudent planning, Munson’s income has decreased like everyone’s due to the volatile market. Gifting to our hospital has never been more important."

The Martins also remember what it was like during their lean years. "In the early 1980s, we were like any other family living paycheck to paycheck," Cathie said. "Training years didn’t allow us to save money before moving here and setting up practice. We borrowed for everything - house, office, cars, and furniture. Our gifts to Munson were usually $25 to $50 a year."

Cathie worked part time, which allowed her to volunteer in the community and for the hospital. "Our contributions were small, but together with our time we felt we were doing our part. Twelve years ago I was invited to serve on the Foundation Board. I accepted, hoping to promote the message that any and all kinds of contributions are important."

"With our children grown and our debts paid, we’ve been able to help our hospital more," Cathie said. "Including Munson in our estate giving has been an excellent way to allow us to continue to support our local hospital. After we’re gone, our grandchildren and their families will be cared for with same top quality we’ve come to expect."