Chris and Karen Kaiser, ’79
An investment in the future of healthcare

Photo of Chris and Karen Kaiser, '79
Chris and Karen Kaiser, ’79

As a retiree of Ohio State, Chris Kaiser witnessed first-hand the innovative and life-saving research, training, and patient care performed every day by the Department of Surgery. After a 25-year career, Chris retired as chief operating officer of OSU Surgery, LLC.

Chris worked with Dr. E. Christopher Ellison for 13 years and admired him as a great clinician, leader, and mentor. Dr. Ellison’s passion for medicine, enthusiasm for teaching future surgeons, and deep compassion for his patients was evident to everyone who crossed his path.

As Dr. Ellison moves into retirement, his work and impact will live on through the Edwin H. and E. Christopher Ellison Endowment Fund. The fund was established in 2012 to honor the accomplishments of the late Dr. Edwin H. Ellison and of his son, Dr. E. Christopher Ellison. Gifts to the fund provide support for ongoing needs, program enhancements, and special initiatives in the Department of Surgery. As of December, the endowment is fully funded.

Chris Kaiser and his wife Karen feel a strong sense of commitment and affinity not just to the Department of Surgery but to Ohio State and the Columbus area generally. Karen graduated from Ohio State in 1979 with a degree in elementary education and teaches second grade at St. Brendan School in Hilliard. Their children, Kimberly, ’10, and Kevin, ’12, also graduated from Ohio State.

The Kaisers have expressed their commitment to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center through a charitable gift annuity. Their gift honors Dr. Ellison’s tremendous impact on past and current generations of surgeons, staff, and patients. It ensures that the fund bearing his name continues to positively impact future surgeons, research, and patient-care innovations.

“Dr. Ellison was a tremendous individual, and I felt honored to work with him,” said Chris. “I hope our gift will help make an impact on the financial stability of the Department of Surgery and continue to foster excellence in research and academics for many years into the future.”

A charitable gift annuity is a simple agreement between a donor and The Ohio State University Foundation. In exchange for a gift of cash or appreciated securities, The Ohio State University Foundation pays designated annuitants a fixed annuity payment for life. After the lifetime of the last annuitant, the remaining funds become available for use by Ohio State as specified in the agreement.

“Charitable gift annuities are a sensible vehicle for any retirement plan,” said Chris. “They provide a way to meet monthly living expenses while diversifying the risk of investment management.”

If you are interested in learning more about creating a charitable gift annuity benefiting Ohio State, please click here or contact the Office of Estate and Gift Planning at 800-327-7907 or at


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