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UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

A Generous Surgeon Leaves a Lasting Legacy

Dr. Don Blair

Respected for his skill by other physicians and hospital staff, patients knew him as a dedicated doctor who was always available when needed.

His wife, Leah, and daughters knew him as a devoted husband and father who made the best use of the time he had with his family, since he was frequently at the hospital during meals and family events.

During holidays, the Blair family home was often filled with medical residents from foreign countries. Don wanted to make sure the residents had a place to be and Leah was well known for being a wonderful cook. Don was passionate about teaching and mentoring medical students and they enjoyed his amazing sense of humor.

Iowa Methodist Medical Center (IMMC) also benefited from Don and Leah's generosity. Shortly after Don started his private practice in 1951, the Blairs began giving and continued for the next 60 years. Leah and Don set up charitable trusts during their lifetime, and Leah's trust helped buy new lifesaving cancer equipment in 2004.

One month before Don passed away on June 29, 2012, IMMC received a very generous and unexpected gift of stock from him. His daughters, Barbara and Linda, explained that Don had set up a charitable remainder trust, in the hope that it would eventually benefit his favorite charities at a certain level. When it became clear that the trust would not reach his desired level for IMMC, Don decided to make up the difference before he died. Throughout their lifetimes, including their charitable trust, the Blairs generous contributions to IMMC make them one of the largest physician family donors ever.

IMMC was blessed to know Don, a skilled and generous physician, philanthropist and friend. We are grateful for his lifetime of dedication to patients and Iowa Methodist. In addition, we thank his daughters, Barbara and Linda, for helping their father give back to the charities that were such an important part of his life.

To learn how you can leave your own legacy, please contact Don Ireland-Schunicht at or (515) 241-6304 or Caleb Hegna at or (515) 241-5938.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1415 Woodland Avenue, Suite E200; Des Moines, IA 50309, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.