Retired attorney Charles Rechlin believes in the transformational power of education, addiction recovery and giving back to his local community. It's no wonder, then, that the idea of establishing the first-ever endowment fund to benefit Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Summer Institute for Medical Students struck the Coachella Valley resident as a win-win-win opportunity. "The more I learned about the Summer Institute for Medical Students program, the more I understood the tremendous impact of educating our future medical professionals about alcoholism and drug addiction," Rechlin explains. While primary care physicians often find themselves on the frontlines of assessing and addressing addiction, many lack an in-depth understanding of the disease. On average, medical students receive only two to 10 hours of education about addiction—a disease that strikes one in 10 Americans over the age of 12. Great strides against addiction can be made by educating medical students about the disease. "It seems to me that too many physicians today don't have sufficient background to diagnose addiction or advise patients on how to seek recovery," Rechlin observes. In creating the endowment fund, Rechlin is able to support such educational efforts both today and tomorrow. While a portion of the endowment fund can be put to use each year, the principal continues to grow. The endowment has been initially funded with a $50,000 cash donation by Rechlin, whose future gifting and estate plans currently contemplate a total of $500,000 in gifts to the endowment and another $500,000 to support patient assistance at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. Rechlin encourages other donors to join him in building the endowment. "There is great satisfaction in knowing you have a role in preparing future physicians to not only recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction, but to also provide patients with the answers and help they need," Rechlin attests. For students selected to participate in the weeklong Summer Institute for Medical Students, philanthropic gifts cover all expenses, including program materials, flights, hotel, meals and, of course, a once-in-a-lifetime insider's view into the world of addiction treatment and recovery. In 2017, 180 medical students from 114 medical schools took part, with sessions held at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, and at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City, Minnesota. And with each medical student who participates comes the potential to bring healing and hope to thousands more patients. We invite you to learn more about how the power of your giving supports addiction education and awareness. Please call 1-888-535-9485 or email us at Giving@HazeldenBettyFord.org or give online today.