For most of his life, Dr. William Silvers served Colorado as a specialist in allergy, asthma and immunology. Now, as a retired physician, Dr. Silvers is partnering with Rose Community Foundation to philanthropically support the local and global medical communities’ fight against COVID-19.
“No longer being on the front lines, I feel like I have the ability to make an impact through my philanthropy,” says Dr. Silvers. “I am working with the team at Rose to see how I can maximize my time, talent and treasure to make a positive difference.”
As the child of Holocaust survivors, Dr. Silvers’ Jewish values have always informed his approach to medicine. For him, “never forget” and tikkun olam (repair of the world) are not just terms – they are principles that guide his actions in support of those in need.
“My striving for Jewish ethics and my background in medicine are at the core of my being and giving,” he explains. “I am passionate about providing health care to those in need.”
As the virus began to spread across the world, Dr. Silvers helped fund the development of an innovative low-cost ventilator, created by an Israeli nonprofit called AmboVent. The inventors say the ventilator can be produced for as little as $500 and that certain parts can be 3D-printed straight from the online design.
“I think it’s novel,” says Dr. Silvers. “These times call for creativity and collaboration. The more I learned about this low-price, easy-to-produce ventilator, the more I was eager to make a philanthropic investment in it.”
As a physician, Dr. Silvers hopes to leverage his expertise to make an impact that extends beyond financial contributions. He continues to be involved with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities.
“I want to move the mile markers for the health and well-being of our community and of the world,” he says. “When you step up by giving money to something, you have an investment in making that something do right. I try to utilize whatever talent or experience I have to be a resource for others.”
Along with his grant to AmboVent, Dr. Silvers provided coronavirus relief funding to Rose Community Foundation’s R.E.S.P.O.N.D. Fund, the Governor’s Colorado COVID Relief Fund and National Jewish Health. He also rushed donations to Allergy & Asthma Network and Indiana University School of Medicine, two groups that he typically supports later in the calendar year.
Dr. Silvers views his retirement not as the conclusion of his service to the community, but as an opportunity to support the issues he cares about in a new way.
“This is my fresh start, my second mountain,” he proclaims. “I have the time and the people at Rose to do it with. This is just the beginning as far as what I want to do to support the Jewish community and the medical world during this crisis.”
Dr. Silvers explains that he utilizes the expertise of the Foundation’s philanthropic services staff to maximize his philanthropic reach. Through his donor-advised fund, he is able to be intentional and more thorough with his giving.
“I think it takes working together with people who have other talents and expertise to find solutions and make a difference; that’s how I collaborate with the team at Rose,” he says. “The staff has showed me how to make a real impact with my fund, rather than just throwing my money out there and hoping it goes to a good cause.”
He has also made a legacy gift to the Foundation, ensuring that his philanthropic goals are fulfilled after he passes.
“I am inspired by the words of the Talmud: ‘Every man should plant a tree, have a child and write a book. These all live on after us,’” says Dr. Silvers. “I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, and the legacy gift is my version of planting a tree. It’s something that will help people even when I’m gone.”