Pay It Forward: Patient Supports Jefferson Abington Hospital’s Good Work

 3 min read

For Elliot Stone, paying it forward is a way of life.

When he needed specialized medical care, he turned to Jefferson Abington Hospital. When his wife, children, and grandchildren needed care, there was no doubt where they would go.

“Abington has always been my hospital of choice,” he says. “The staff is great—the nurses, the doctors, the technicians… the girl at the front door! It’s a wonderful experience coming here.”

And how do you say “thank you” for the outstanding clinical care and compassionate attitude?

“By paying it forward—by giving,” he says.

Stone has continued to make generous gifts to the hospital to support its mission of improving lives. He has donated to help create the hospital’s new GI suites in recognition of the great care given to him by Harvey Guttmann, MD, chief of Gastroenterology at Jefferson Abington Hospital, whom he credits with giving him his life back after he suffered a complex gastrointestinal illness. And he has also made gifts to support the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion.

“When I was 20 years old, my mom died of cancer,” he says. “I remember the doctors then saying, ‘Just hold on another six months, another year, we’ll have a cure for cancer.’ Well, we still don’t have a cure for cancer. We have treatments for cancer, but for the most part, we don’t have a cure for cancer.”

When he learned about the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion as it was being built, Stone was excited to accept an invitation to tour the facility. “It was still under construction, so I had to use my imagination, but I could see it was going to be the best cancer center ever. It was designed to make the patients feel comfortable.”

He ticked off the many accoutrements at the center—rooms to accommodate friends and family members who accompany the patient for support; a beauty shop; a wig center; lovely aesthetics and tranquil design; and so on.

“I’ve been there 15, 20 times and I see the people, and I see the expressions on their faces,” he says, noting that the care and compassion the patients receive seem to have a definite positive impact on their care.

And so, with the memory of his mother’s battle with cancer, Stone felt it would be right to honor her with philanthropic support to the facility.

Stone urges others to follow his lead, noting that it doesn’t matter how much is given, as it all adds up.

“We can give big, we can give small,” he says. “A lot of $5 or $10 or $20 donations add up to make a difference.”

It’s important to thank the people who dedicate their lives to the health and wellbeing of the community, he says. “Everyone’s been in the hospital at least once… maybe more… so it’s good to say thank you by paying it forward.”