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An Abiding Love for Yale Turns into a Lasting Gift – In 15 Minutes

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2023


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

“Yale provides such an outstanding education and exceptional experiences for anyone who attends that it feels like an education from Yale makes anything possible. The opportunities are just extraordinary. People end up with the perspective that they can make a difference in the world,” Dr. Lisa Ragen Ide, MD ’89, MPH, said.

For Ide and her husband, Dr. Arthur Wheaton Ide III, MD, making a difference came in the form of scholarship giving. The couple recently learned that it was possible to endow a scholarship at the Yale School of Public Health at half the usual cost, thanks to a generous matching gift program by anonymous donors to inspire scholarship giving at the school. Learning of this, the couple created the Lisa Ragen Ide MD ’89, and Dr. 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 such as 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 it from an Individual Retirement Account. They had wanted to make a planned gift to Yale but did not want to redraft their wills. Using an IRA meant doing little more than signing on the (electronic) dotted line.

“It could not have been easier,” Lisa Ragen Ide said. “If it took 15 minutes, I would be surprised.” 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 fit. Her father, the late Brooks Geer Ragen, ’55, endowed scholarships and professorships, a tradition that her mother, Suzanne Ragen, continues. Two of her brothers and two of her children also attended Yale College.

She was moved by the Yale campaign for Humanity and saw the Yale School of Public Health as a perfect fit with the mission “to improve the world now and for future generations.” Though she attended Yale 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 Yale 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 said. 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. 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 for addressing the social determinants of health, the socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral factors that research has shown to be strong influences on health, and a commitment to make good health accessible to everyone.

“We feel so strongly about the importance of public health and public health education in the U.S.,” she said.

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