Philanthropy Advances Nursing

Legacy of Caring

From the earliest days of her 40-plus-year career as a pediatric nurse, Eileen M. Sporing, MSN, RN, FAAN, saw how philanthropy could benefit nursing. “Over the years I met many grateful families who recognized nursing’s importance and wanted to establish funds for nurses’ use,” says the former senior vice president, patient care services, and chief nursing officer at Boston Children’s. “Their generosity made a difference by giving nurses often-unprecedented opportunities to study, problem-solve or develop their expertise.”

Sporing: generous advocate

Sporing has been a longtime hospital donor herself as well as a tireless advocate for nursing’s professional advancement. “Our nurses continually engage in a balancing act—providing compassionate nurturing at the bedside while staying current with rigorous training in science, technology and medicine,” she says. “It’s a challenge, but we all feel the rewards of pediatric nursing are unique.”

The Sporing Carpenter Chair is the first pediatric chair committed to nursing and interprofessional practice at Boston Children's, and one of only a handful in the country.

When approaching her retirement last year after 24 years at Boston Children’s, she dreamed of creating an endowed pediatric chair for nursing. The highest honor bestowed on our scientific or medical leadership, endowed chairs provide a source of income to help strengthen the work of the honorees in their respective fields. Sporing secured approval from hospital leadership and support from the board, then made her own generous gift—in time to welcome her successor, Laura J. Wood, DNP, MS, RN, as the first incumbent. A recent bequest from Martha MacDowell Carpenter provided additional support, creating the Sporing Carpenter Chair in Nursing. It’s the first pediatric chair committed to nursing and interprofessional practice at Boston Children’s, and one of only a handful in the country. Its funds will provide training and career advancement opportunities.

Carpenter: education promoter

World War II Navy veteran Martha MacDowell Carpenter was herself a fierce promoter of education. After earning a degree in oratory from Emerson College on the GI Bill, she helped finance schooling for many young family members, including her niece, Debbie Tupper, a radiology technologist at Boston Children’s. “Though she had none of her own, my aunt loved children and had volunteered at Boston Children’s as a young woman,” says Tupper. “She was so pleased when I completed my degree and got a job here. She was well aware of the hospital’s reputation in research and care.” Before her death in 2012, Carpenter added a generous bequest for Boston Children’s to her will, stipulating that the funds provide educational opportunities specifically for non-physician clinical staff.

Laura Wood, current senior vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer, sums up the power of the generosity of these two women: “Our mission to provide the highest quality health care demands that front-line nurses and technicians pursue advanced education and preparation throughout their careers. The Sporing Carpenter Chair will make these opportunities—including vital clinical inquiry, research and innovation—more available to our staff, just as Eileen Sporing and Martha McDowell Carpenter envisioned.”

What is a bequest?

Bequests are gifts made from your estate, after your death, according to provisions in your will. It’s not necessary to rewrite your entire will to name an additional beneficiary such as Boston Children’s. A simple codicil can add a gift while leaving the rest of the will unchanged. A bequest gift to Boston Children’s:

  • Keeps your assets available now
  • Removes the value of your bequest from your taxable estate
  • Ensures future patients receive the best possible care

Learn more about bequests or other planned giving opportunities »

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