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A Season for Giving
Nestor A. Ramirez-Lopez, MD
ISMS President
Nestor A. Ramirez, MD, MPH

As we enjoy the holiday season, people of many different ethnicities and religions are gathering to celebrate their traditions with family and friends. Regardless of the name of the yearly commemoration, the spirit of giving and sharing permeates this season.

ISMS follows a tradition of giving that is ingrained in our service to our member physicians and their families and patients. This tradition goes on throughout the whole year – we never stop giving our best to all our members.

During the holidays, we give our support to the ISMS Alliance holiday card program and raise funds for the ISMS Educational and Scientific Foundation (ESF) to support its many worthwhile projects. We also formed, in partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program (RIMSAP). By providing help in the medical school admission process and low-interest loans that require participants to practice in rural communities after finishing their training, RIMSAP helps students who might otherwise not be able to attend medical school. At the same time, the program promotes access to medical care in rural areas across Illinois.

ISMS also administers the Raymond E. Hoffman, MD, Medical Benevolence Fund, designed to help physicians or their dependents by providing assistance to overcome a temporary period of economic catastrophe. We are proud to be able to help our members in their time of need.

During this time of the year, we thank all of our members for their commitment to giving to those less fortunate than us. Through medical volunteerism and providing charity care, your giving helps to improve the health and wellness of the people of Illinois.

While the modern world surrounds us with crass commercialism, we strive to follow our higher ideals and contribute to the well-being and happiness of others. It is a good thing that the holidays come during the winter season, as this creates many opportunities to give. Whether it's providing uncompensated care at a clinic, delivering hot meals to a homeless shelter, giving to a coat or mitten drive for children, or donating to one of the many worthy charities in your community, we are blessed with many avenues for giving of our time and talents. Give at your place of worship, with gifts of money or of your time. Give, give, give and keep on giving. You will get instant satisfaction and a lasting feeling of a job well done.

Happy Holidays, and may your god go with you.

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