Charitable Remainder Unitrust ‘a Win-Win Situation’

For Sally Bartalot, the rolling hills and green fields of northwestern Iowa provided more than the corn and soy beans that have been farmed there since the 1800s. They offered the opportunity to establish a lasting gift to National Jewish Health while providing Sally and her husband, Robert, an income stream for life.

Sally began coming to National Jewish Health in the 1990s for treatment of chronic sarcoidosis, in which inflammation occurs in different organs of the body. Her care is managed by Lisa Maier, MD, Chief, Division of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences at National Jewish Health.

At National Jewish Health, patients often work closely with mental health specialists to help them understand how chronic illnesses affect their lives and to help them find healthy and constructive responses to these challenges. As part of her care, Sally began seeing Frederick Wamboldt, MD, who specializes in psychosocial issues related to chronic disease.

“I have had nothing but excellent relationships with everyone at National Jewish Health,” said Sally.

Sally, who is a private art and piano teacher in Denver, started to bring her paintings to show Dr. Wamboldt. Today, more than 30 of Sally’s donated paintings bring warmth to the halls of the Psychosocial and Occupational Medicine Divisions.

In early 2011, Sally received a mailing from National Jewish Health describing ways to receive income in return for a gift and decided that she wanted to create a trust and fund it with her family farm in Iowa.

“I inherited the farm from my parents and an aunt, and it has been managed by an agricultural service since the 1980s,” said Sally. “I decided to set up the trust because it’s a win-win situation.”

Through Sally’s generosity, National Jewish Health established the Sally Lease Bartalot Charitable Remainder Unitrust by transferring the farm to a trust. In March 2012, the sale of the land will close for just under $1.5 million. Sally and Robert will receive quarterly payments of a fixed percentage of the value of the trust for the remainder of their lives.

Upon their deaths, an endowment called the Sally Lease Bartalot Endowed Fund for Psychosocial Medicine will be created. This fund will then spin off approximately 4 percent annually to support research, patient care and clinical training.

Previously, Sally received “two modest payments a year” from the sale of the farm’s produce. With the trust, she and Robert will receive larger payments on a quarterly basis.

To honor Sally’s generosity immediately, the Division has been named the Sally Lease Bartalot Division of Psychosocial Medicine.

“By including my maiden name, I was able to recognize my dad and his relatives who established the farm,” said Sally. “I also donated a portrait of him called ‘Iowa Dad.’”

Sally is grateful for the care she has received at National Jewish Health, and is happy to give back to an institution that has had such an impact on her life.

“I’m the one who is blessed,” she said. “To give to such a place that does its work so well and with so much love!”