Charitable Gift Planning

Dr. Katherine "Kitty" Esterly (10/1925 – 12/2014)

Esterly_lg.jpgAs Delaware’s first neonatologist, Dr. Katherine “Kitty” Esterly served her tiniest patients and their families with compassion and expertise. She joined Delaware Hospital in 1954 as an attending pediatrician and, throughout her five decades of service, was a central part of the Christiana Care Health System family. Thanks to her tireless efforts, Christiana Care has the state’s only Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, constantly ready to serve the smallest and sickest newborns. Countless families have benefitted from her foresight, as well as the heart and soul Dr. Esterly poured into this essential program.

As for being a neonatologist, Dr. Esterly said she enjoyed most the relationships with her patients, especially getting to know the families and having their feedback. “The time with them is brief but intense.”

Deemed the “Mother of Delaware Neonatology” by the state’s leading newspapers, Dr. Esterly was the recipient of numerous awards, including the University of Delaware’s “Medal of Distinction,” the State of Delaware’s “Health Delaware Hero” and the Delaware Public Health Association’s “Medal of Honor.”

Just as Dr. Esterly has contributed to Christiana Care’s advancement through her medical expertise, she was also a consistent and thoughtful donor. In 2002 Dr. Esterly chose to give through a charitable gift annuity (CGA) because of both the benefit to Christiana Care and the income and tax benefits. “The gift annuity was an excellent way for me to give to Christiana and also have ease of mind about my financial circumstances.”

To establish a charitable gift annuity, you simply make a gift (a minimum of $10,000) to Christiana Care Health System and in exchange receive a fixed annual dollar amount for life. The principal remaining at your death will then benefit any Christiana Care program or service that you choose. By calling the Development Office at 302-327-3305 or contacting us by e-mail at, you can learn about the many planning tools we offer—at no charge and with no obligation.



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