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Honoring a Legacy with a Gift to the Temple Lung Center

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A transformative seven-figure gift names the Robert O. Witty Advanced Interventional Pulmonary Procedural Suite

Over 50 years of marriage, Nancy Witty witnessed countless examples of her husband Bob’s life as a giver. After he passed away in May 2018, Mrs. Witty knew that once she had gotten her affairs in order, she would give a major gift in his memory.

“I wanted to honor his legacy,” Mrs. Witty said in a phone interview from her home in Dryden, N.Y., “and I wanted to recognize the exceptional care he received as a patient. So, I knew right away that I wanted to give a gift to Temple University Hospital, and especially to the Temple Lung Center.”

Her husband had undergone a left lung transplant at the hospital in October 2017, and then needed follow-up care that required him to visit the lung center’s bronchoscopy suite about twice a month. During that period, the couple had gotten to know the doctors, and especially the nurses, and were impressed with “how caring and professional” they were, she said.

Mrs. Witty’s recent seven-figure gift to the Temple Lung Center is being used to build a new, expanded bronchoscopy suite — formally known as the Advanced Interventional Pulmonary Procedural Suite. It will have three procedure rooms, a clinical support space, and rooms for storage and the sterile processing of the scopes used in treatment.

Since this summer, the current bronchoscopy suite on the first floor of Temple University Hospital, has carried a plaque bearing Robert O. Witty’s name. The new suite, expected to be completed next fall, also will be named in his memory.

“This was a transformative gift,” said Gerard J. Criner, MD, Chair and Professor, Thoracic Medicine and Surgery and Director of the Temple Lung Center. “This new, state-of-the art bronchoscopy suite will allow us to double our treatment capacity and incorporate the new technology that is required to provide leading-edge treatment to our rapidly expanding number of lung patients.”

“These expanded facilities will serve to solidify Temple’s position as one of the top lung programs in the nation,” said Abhinav Rastogi, Chief Operating Officer of Temple University Hospital and Executive Vice President of Temple University Health System.

For years, the Temple Lung Center has been a pioneer in the development, testing, and use of innovative treatments for patients with serious lung disease. It is a national leader in treating common and complex lung problems, including asthma, emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis. It is one of the busiest centers for pulmonary care in the country, treating thousands of patients each year.

I wanted to honor his legacy. And I thought, what better way than to give to the Temple Lung Center. They were there for us in our time of need.

Nancy Witty

Mrs. Witty believes that making this gift has helped to bring her closure. “It just made me feel I was doing the right thing,” she said. “I think if you have the ability to do it, you should donate. It doesn’t have to be a large amount. Just give whatever you can.”

Nina Weisbord, Chief Advancement Officer for Temple Health and Interim Vice President, Temple University Institutional Advancement, echoed Mrs. Witty’s sentiments.  “Each gift, no matter how large or small, moves us further in our mission,” she said, “and, most importantly, helps us to deliver the best possible care to our patients.”

To make a gift to the Temple Lung Center visit giving.temple.edu/lungcenter