Munson Health
 
Elizabeth C Hosick

Note: This article first appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Focus.

Elizabeth (Betsie) Hosick, MD, spent her career as an anesthesiologist keeping patients safe. When she recently learned about the number of Benzie County residents who are sometimes at risk driving on icy roads to Traverse City for dialysis treatments, she felt compelled to help - in a big way.

Her $1 million donation is advancing a project to provide dialysis treatments at Frankfort’s Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. Dialysis services will begin this year in a temporary unit while a permanent unit is under construction.

As a philanthropist, Betsie is pragmatic. Following the example of her generous grandmother, Elizabeth (Lane) Oliver, Betsie enjoys supporting projects that benefit the community now, rather than after she is gone. Her grandmother made a sizeable donation to Frankfort’s hospital in memory of her husband, Paul Oliver, a Chicago surgeon who provided care to Benzie County residents during the Great Depression. Betsie was 12 when she accompanied her grandmother to the hospital’s dedication in 1952.

"I was old enough to remember some of her donations," she said. "The important thing was she donated while she was alive. First of all, it makes you feel good to do it. Second, you know where your money is going and how it is being used and that, to me, is a big deal. If you leave it in a will, you don’t have that assurance."

Betsie was convinced of the need for dialysis services after attending a presentation at the hospital. "I am glad to be able to help. The population in Benzie County is older, and as people are living longer, we’ll need more services available locally."

Betsie continues to enjoy the family’s Crystal Lake summer cottage, designed by her grandmother in the early 1920s. One of the pleasures of being retired, Betsie said, is driving from her home in Champaign, Ill. each year in time for the spring wildflowers, and reuniting with old friends who also spent their childhood summers learning to sail on Crystal Lake.

Betsie has carried on the Oliver family legacy of philanthropy with several recent gifts, including a lead gift to the new Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, named for her grandmother, who founded the Crystal Lake Art Colony more than 60 years ago. In 2007, she helped enhance the hospital’s wellness programs through acquisition of what is now known as the Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center. Her name is also on a lecture hall at her alma mater, University of Maryland in Baltimore, where she graduated in 1966 as one of six women in a class of 140. She subsequently spent 30 years teaching medical students and residents, 16 years as medical director of ambulatory surgery, and 12 years as chair of anesthesiology in a 200-person multi-specialty service.

Betsie continues to be impressed with the high quality of service at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. The hospital was one of only four hospitals in the nation to receive two 2011 Summit Awards from Press Ganey Associates for outstanding patient satisfaction. "The hospital I worked in was always trying to get that award," she said.