Legacy Society: “An Investment in Sound Public Policy”


Fred Telling, with his daughter Jennifer
(left) and wife Barbara (right), in front of
Baby Boomer.

Since the Fund’s creation more than 135 years ago, many thoughtful individuals have had the foresight and generosity to plan for the Fund’s future by making a bequest or another form of planned gift.

We asked Frederick W. Telling, PhD, vice chairman of the Fund’s board, to talk about his reasons for joining the Fund’s Legacy Society and including the Fund in his estate plans. Until retiring in 2007, Dr. Telling was vice president and head of Pfizer Inc’s Corporate Strategic Planning and Policy Division. He now lives in northeast Florida in the “world’s largest fly-in community,” where he can indulge his love of flying—a legacy he has already passed on to his daughter, who first soloed, in a helicopter, on her 16th birthday.

When I joined Pfizer in 1977, the pharmaceutical business fell pretty much outside mainstream health care policy—for most people, drugs were not reimbursed, so the company’s direct involvement with public policy was mostly limited to things like intellectual property issues. With new legislation like the Hatch-Waxman Act, however, which created the generic drug industry, I became increasingly involved with national and state policy issues. That was also when I became more acquainted with the Fund and its work on Medicaid. When Jim Tallon—whose work in the State legislature I knew and admired—joined the Fund in 1993, I thought he was a great choice. So I became involved for both personal and professional reasons.

I’ve always appreciated the Fund’s focus on rational policy alternatives that balance stakeholder needs, trying to make health care more workable—that’s exactly the kind of thing I wanted to be involved with. I continue to be impressed by its initiatives, like efforts  to ensure that qualified New Yorkers enroll in Medicaid—a critical element of the safety net—and receive high-quality services. The Fund’s work to understand high-cost patient populations and manage them better is also vital for improving quality and possibly reducing costs.

To me, leaving a bequest to the Fund is a way to continue to be part of improving the things I care about. I would say to anyone who cares about the development of sound public policy on health care that there is no better way to help make that happen than  investing in the Fund.

For information about the Legacy Society, and the advantages it provides the Fund and you, please contact Director of Development Christina Maggi at [email protected] or 212-494-0728.

This feature is adapted from an article that originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Blueprint, the Fund's print newsletter. Sign up to receive your free subscription to Blueprint and other Fund newsletters and announcements of your choice.

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