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Alum Supports Psychiatry at Rush With Annuity

Rush alumnus and Rush Heritage Society member Edward Weiner, MDEdward Weiner, MD, knew from age 4 that he wanted to be a doctor. The first person in his family to become a physician, Weiner started out at an osteopathic school before transferring to Rush Medical College for his third year. He was a member of the college’s Class of 1973, the first class to graduate from the re-established Rush.

“Rush gave me a chance,” said Weiner, who now runs a private primary care practice out of Great Barrington, Mass.

When he was looking to transfer to medical school, Weiner found Rush to be extremely approachable, encouraging him to apply right away. “I asked for an application, and they said, ‘What’s your address?’ I could tell things were different.”

In gratitude for his education, Weiner and his wife, Marsha, have chosen to support Rush University Medical Center with charitable gift annuities: two generous cash gifts in exchange for fixed quarterly payments for the rest of their lives.

With a charitable gift annuity, Rush invests the principal of the gift, and the donor receives fixed interest payments for life. Upon the donor’s death, the remaining gift principal reverts to the charity for the purpose stipulated by the donor. Both of the Weiners’ gifts will support the Edward and Marsha Weiner Fund for Psychiatry.

Learn more about charitable gift annuities at Rush.

At Rush, “I was very interested in psychiatry,” Weiner said, and now he incorporates mental health into his medical practice. He created his own model of medicine early on in his practice, which he started in Dallas right after graduating. About half of each appointment is a physical exam, and the other half is psychotherapy. A specialist in addictions and eating disorders, Weiner said, “I don’t know how to separate mental health and physical health.”

A Sound Charitable Investment

Weiner doesn’t always know what to expect when a patient walks through the door. But when it comes to his investments, Weiner, who also has made a generous bequest to Rush, wants to know exactly what to expect. “I only like to bet on sure things,” said Weiner, a member of the Rush Heritage Society, Rush’s planned giving recognition society.

In fact, his 2008 gift to Rush in the form of a charitable gift annuity was the best investment he made that year, he said. “My financial advisor says that the best annuity rate you can hope for is 4 percent.” In 2008, Weiner’s rate was 6.3 percent, and his recent gift in 2012 has a 4.2 percent annuity rate.

Weiner compares the mutual benefit of charitable gift annuities to the experience he has when taking out an acquaintance’s dog every time he and his wife go hiking in the nearby Berkshires.

“People say, ‘That’s so great for the dog,’” Weiner said. “Well, it happens to be great for us too.”

Read more about Weiner's Rush experience.

The best way to learn more about Rush’s planned giving options, including current annuity return rates, is to contact Susan Sasvari, senior director of gift planning, at (312) 942-3691 or

Looking for other ways to give to Rush?