Ira and Lisa Pinnelas Invest in the Health of Central Florida

Dr. Ira and Lisa Pinnelas play a critical role in helping families, healing children and building a stronger community. Ira is a Pediatric Hospitalist working at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

They have committed to support The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families through several means, including the gifting of stock. Giving to The Howard Phillips Center through stock donations not only supports the organization, but it also provides the donor a way to generously give through investment dollars.

When and where did you first meet one another?

Lisa: We met in South Florida in the restaurant where we were both working our way through college. Ira was studying elsewhere, but spent summers and breaks in South Florida working as a waiter. We got to know each other over a couple years before we ever began to date. I had the early opportunity to see just how kind, generous, ambitious, funny and charming he really is.

Ira: Our first date was on May 27, 1986 and we went to see the movie “Top Gun”. We have been together now for 32 years. We feel blessed to be married almost 30 years and to have two wonderful grown children.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Ira: We love going to movies and the theater. I am originally from Brooklyn and completed clinical training in New York and New Jersey when we were first married. Back then, we lived on a shoestring budget but creatively enjoyed theater, my old Brooklyn neighborhood, and the NYC parks and landmarks.

Lisa: We enjoy traveling and have been so lucky to travel inside and outside of the U.S. We especially look forward to any opportunity to go back to New York to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, to enjoy theater and to just walk through Central Park. We have also fallen in love with California, now that our youngest child has made Los Angeles his new home.

What might someone be surprised to learn about each of you?

Ira: I don’t know if many people know that I have a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. At first, my mom was worried that meant I was not going to be a doctor. But I felt that it was going to be useful to a medical degree, especially as we look into the future of medicine.

Lisa: As a couple, I think people are often surprised to discover that we eloped 30 years ago instead of planning a big elaborate wedding.

Why did you choose to support the mission of The Howard Phillips Center through a gift of stock?

Ira: I feel that if you are lucky enough to have built a portfolio, a gift of stock is sometimes easier to commit to than a gift coming out of your annual salary/cash flow. It is a very simple process. If you have a stock that has grown nicely, you can gift it and be exempt of the tax that would normally be charged on that gain (because it was given to a qualifying charity). I try to lead by example. When it is appropriate, I like to tell my younger fellow physicians that just like planning and saving for their future and for retirement is imperative, there should also come a specific time when giving back is a deliberate part of the plan.

How does a gift to The Howard Phillips Center make an impact in the community?

Ira: I see first-hand how kids are impacted by The Howard Phillips Center. We take care of the most vulnerable kids in our community and every child needs to be cared for. In addition to the vital services provided to abused children, The Howard Phillips Center also advocates for kids and their families through developmental services to help babies and toddlers with challenges and delays meet their fullest potential. They also provide important healthcare to at-risk teens through on-sight visits to area high schools.

Lisa: I am grateful that The Howard Phillips Center also focuses on abuse and neglect prevention. They are often able to identify families in need of help, guidance and skills when they are in the hospital and this assistance to parents through the program is often able to prevent a future problem. Their Healthy Families programs have a 98 percent success rate over the past nine years. I think that illustrates just how good the work is that they do. The Howard Phillips Center works for children who have been victims, brings hope to those who could be and helps them all in becoming amazing members of society.

What is the one, most important thing you would share with friends or family about The Howard Phillips Center?

Ira: They need us! It is so important to our community. They could not do what they do without philanthropy.

Have Stock to Sell?

Donating stock is an easy and cost-effective way to provide immediate support for the vital mission of Orlando Health. In one simple step, you can transfer shares of appreciated stock to the Orlando Health Foundation, avoiding all capital gains tax and providing you a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock, up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income. Contact Tiffany Collier, Director of Planned & Major Gifts, at 321.841.7010 to learn more, or review our stock transfer instructions online at