David Cohen, M.D., and his wife, Lisa. Photo: Tyler Trumbo, MCV Foundation

No Limits: Alumni Couple's Experience Inspires Planned Gift to Medicine

David Cohen, M.D., and his wife, Lisa, look back on their time on the MCV Campus as students, faculty — and even as patients — with reverence akin to extended family.

Dr. Cohen’s ties are to the VCU School of Medicine Department of Radiology, and Lisa Cohen graduated from the VCU School of Nursing. For nearly a decade, the MCV Campus was a big part of their lives, and they have cherished the fulfilling careers their time on campus allowed them to create.

“MCV gave us so much — it sculpted us into better people,” said Lisa Cohen, who studied on campus and worked in several areas, from critical care nursing and working with burn patients, to the intensive care unit.

For that reason, when the Cohens decided to give back, rather than split their gift into several segments for various departments, they instead kept it simple.

The Cohens have included an unrestricted gift to the School of Medicine in their estate plans that will enrich the lives of future students and their families.  

Unrestricted funds allow the school to use the funding where it is needed most.

“We kept the gift unrestricted because we didn’t have strong feelings about where the money needed to go, and the School of Medicine will find a good use for it,” said Dr. Cohen, who began his career on the MCV Campus and is now a general radiologist at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. “We felt like one unrestricted gift would be the best course of action for both of us to give back.”

Lisa Cohen echoed her husband.

“We felt like we needed to give back so that other people and other students will have the same experience we did in the future,” Lisa Cohen said. “If we don’t give back, those experiences won’t be there, and we should be striving to make our communities better for future students.”

The Cohens hope the gift through their will can ensure that future students, faculty and patients benefit from the excellent education and care available on the MCV Campus at VCU Health.

“We wanted to leave some type of mark on the university as an acknowledgement of the gift it gave us,” Dr. Cohen said. “We wanted something that we knew would benefit the population in a larger way with more impact.”

If you would like to learn more about how to make a gift through your estate or will, please contact Ann Deppman, J.D., VCU’s assistant vice president of planned giving.