OHSU Professor Creates IRA Gift to Benefit Research

Jon Hanifin, MD Professor of Dermatology

Jon Hanifin, MD Professor of Dermatology

If your skin is itchy and inflamed, Dr. Jon Hanifin may be just the person you need. He is the leading expert in the research and treatment of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. “I’ve been at OHSU since 1971, so I’m probably the oldest practicing doctor and researcher in this field. Most are retired at my age,” laughed Dr. Hanifin. “But I love taking care of my patients and love my research into eczema because it will help even more patients. That’s what’s special about OHSU—it allows me to do both.”

While there has been significant progress through the years in the treatment of eczema, Dr. Hanifin says there is still more to do. That’s one reason why he has made a gift to OHSU from his IRA to benefit continued research into atopic dermatitis.

“For example, we need more research to pinpoint whether eczema has multiple biomarkers, or if all atopic dermatitis stems from one biomarker,” explained Dr. Hanifin. “We also need more studies on whether childhood eczema comes back in adulthood or if there is a separate type of adult onset eczema. There are still so many questions to answer.”

Dr. Hanifin made a gift directly to OHSU from his IRA after his accountant recommended this way of giving. “We were talking about how I could provide a gift that would create an eczema research fund at OHSU. I also realized I had a couple of IRAs I could potentially utilize. My accountant explained that a qualified charitable distribution from my IRA would allow me to make a gift to OHSU and not have to pay taxes on those IRA assets when withdrawn. It was a win-win.

“I wish I had known about giving through IRAs years ago,” Dr. Hanifin continued. “I plan to continue making gifts this way, and I hope others will consider IRA or other gifts to OHSU. If you believe in the work we do or just want to recognize the quality care OHSU provides, it is a great way to give.”