Donor Profile — Howard and Irene Stein
Atlanta couple supports Shepherd Center in gratitude for the rehabilitation care their son received at Shepherd Center for a spinal cord injury.
Written By Matt Winkeljohn
Howard and Irene Stein of Atlanta have known of and been kind to Shepherd Center for many years, and they now know the staff on a more personal level.
Their son, Bruce Stein, M.D., sustained an incomplete C-3 spinal cord injury in December 2011, and the family has spent countless hours at the facility since as he has undergone rehabilitation for quadriplegia.
The Steins made a contribution to Shepherd not only to honor the work done with their injured son, but also out of respect for the hospital’s rehabilitation professionals as human beings.
“We had knowledge of Shepherd Center for many years,” Howard says. “The staff members are wonderful people, and now we feel very close to them. These are people we would like to know better. They run a wonderful institution in helping others.”
Howard and Irene have made multiple charitable donations to Atlanta institutions since moving to Atlanta in 1976. The Brooklyn natives are very involved at the High Museum of Art, where Howard is a life member of the Board of Trustees.
They have admired the passion of Shepherd Center staff members in working with their son, who recently progressed to using a walker.
“They integrate all of the needs of the patient so they can get back to as close to normal as possible,” Bruce says of Shepherd Center. “I go five days a week for neurorecovery work. My hands are getting better use. I can use an iPhone and feed myself in a limited fashion. I hope to get back to my practice, although I won’t do surgery again.”
Howard and Irene, who will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in February, enjoy traveling and collecting art. They’ve added friends at Shepherd.
“Bruce had the most serious type of damage to his spine,” Howard says. “He was a very athletic type, and he’s doing everything in his power. He has made progress. Not every day is a good day; that goes without saying. We take care of Bruce. He needs help. He still has his office, and hopefully one day he will return to work.
“We’ve got to pray and hope,” Howard adds. “We have a strong relationship with the High Museum, and we hope that we can build the same with Shepherd.”