Physician Shows Gratitude by Giving Back

Lynn Ostenson

Longtime physician Lynn Ostenson made a gift in her estate plan to benefit programs that are close to her heart at Good Samaritan.

Lynn Ostenson, M.D., was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and always interested in health care. It wasn't until her soon-to-be husband, Richard, convinced her to apply for medical school that she focused on becoming a physician.

Both attended medical school at the University of Washington and completed residencies in Arkansas. Lynn spent 25 years in primary care, first at American Lake Veterans Hospital and much later at local assisted living facilities. Richard became an oncologist and established a practice in Puyallup. They also raised two children.

Lynn has a long relationship with MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital. Richard worked closely with the hospital and other oncologists to establish a cancer center at Good Samaritan Hospital; the building is named the Richard C. Ostenson Cancer Center in his honor. In 2004, Richard himself was diagnosed with cancer. He continued to work as an administrator for the center until he passed away in 2005.

Shortly after her husband's passing, Lynn became one of the founders of Good Samaritan's Palliative Care program, a program designed to ease the suffering caused by a life-threatening or life-limiting illness or injury.

"I have always thought end-of-life care and decision-making were important. But, as a general internist you don't always have time for the extended conversations required to fully inform patients and families about their complex choices. With palliative care, I was able to do that. It was extremely important to me, especially after what I went through with my husband," Lynn says.

A Time to Give Back

Lynn served as a physician for palliative care patients and their families until she retired in 2012.

"When I retired, there was a shift; I have a different perspective on what is important. I live every day with gratitude and I share by giving back," she explains.

Lynn continues to support her community and plans for its future health. She volunteers as a certified tax preparer, is a director on the board of Good Samaritan Foundation and established a scholarship in basic sciences at Pacific Lutheran University for African American students.

Like most people, her focus has been on providing for her children and their families. By working with an estate planning professional, she was pleased to discover that she could take care of her family and leave a legacy gift.

"I would encourage people to learn about legacy giving. There are so many options; you can see how it can fit into your existing plans," she says.

More About Legacy Giving

Making a legacy gift is an affordable way to provide meaningful support to a cause that is close to your heart. For Dr. Lynn Ostenson, those programs are palliative care and Children's Therapy Unit.

Regardless of your income or estate size, you can make an essential investment in healing and a healthy future for our community. There may also be tax benefits.

Support What Matters Most to You

Contact our gift planning team at 253-403-3093 or to discuss making a charitable gift that best meets your family's needs and supports our patients for years to come.