Skip to Main Content

An abiding love for Yale turns into a lasting gift – in 15 minutes.

Lisa Ragen Ide and Arthur Wheaton Ide III

For Lisa Ragen Ide, MD ’89, MPH, Yale has always been a place of possibility.

“Yale provides such an outstanding education and such exceptional experiences for anyone who attends that it feels like it makes anything possible. The opportunities there are just extraordinary. People end up with the perspective that they can make a difference in the world,” she says.

She recently learned that it was possible to endow a scholarship at the School of Public Health at only half the usual cost, thanks to a generous matching gift program launched by anonymous donors to inspire scholarship giving at the school. Learning of this, Lisa and her husband created the Lisa Ragen Ide MD ’89 and Arthur Wheaton Ide III MD Scholarship Fund at YSPH.

Their decision was further motivated by the Yale $50 Million Challenge, a program that offers additional endowment funds to the school for gifts made to endowed funds at YSPH. Notably, not only regular gifts, but also planned gift commitments like bequests and lifetime income gifts, contribute towards unlocking these additional endowment funds. When the couple learned that planned gifts qualified for the Challenge, they decided to expand the scholarship fund even further by designating a donation to their scholarship fund from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

The couple had wanted to make a planned gift to Yale but did not look forward to redrafting their wills. Turning to an IRA meant doing little more than signing on the (electronic) dotted line. “It could not have been easier,” she says. “It took less than 15 minutes.” She also sees the gift as making future giving easier too, because the couple can keep adding to the scholarship as part of their annual charitable giving.

Giving to Yale was a natural for Ide whose father, the late Brooks Geer Ragen, ’55, endowed scholarships and professorships, a tradition that her mother, Suzanne Ragen, continues. Her two brothers and two of her children also attended Yale College. She was moved by the For Humanity campaign and saw the School of Public Health as a perfect fit with the mission “to improve the world now and for future generations.” Though she attended the School of Medicine, she worked closely with a YSPH professor, the late Frank Black, as her thesis advisor. Her project with Black led to an opportunity to work with Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, who would later share the Nobel Prize for discovering the virus that causes AIDS.

The self-direction for which the School of Medicine is famous made those opportunities possible and continues to serve her as she tackles a variety of challenges. “My experience with the Yale System at the School of Medicine was really transformative in how I continue to study and transition roles in medicine,” she says. Her career has spanned emergency medicine, occupational health and now telemedicine as she is chief medical officer of Zipnosis, which provides a telehealth platform to large health systems across the country.

Along with those roles, she has also served as a physician at the Center for Victims of Torture in Minnesota for decades. Before beginning his career as a dermatologist, her husband was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. They share a concern with the social determinants of health and a commitment to make good health accessible to everyone. This made a gift to YSPH seem even more natural. “We feel so strongly about the importance of public health and public health education in the U.S.,” she said.