ONANCOCK, Virginia – Two generous donations from the Ignatius DiNardo Foundation in Salisbury, Maryland are helping patients in need on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
The foundation was created after the early and unexpected 2019 death of beloved Salisbury internist Ignatius DiNardo, M.D. who had served his community and his patients for decades with generosity and dedication. DiNardo’s family created the foundation to honor his memory through helping others.
Originally from Baltimore, DiNardo was given a scholarship to Georgetown University medical school and in return was required to serve a medically underserved community after residency. Princess Anne, Maryland was one of the options, and the one DiNardo chose for the start of his lifelong career serving the Eastern Shore. “Dad fell in love with the Shore,” said Gregory DiNardo, Dr. DiNardo’s son and a spokesperson for the Foundation. “That’s why we wanted to continue to make an impact here and to focus on providing assistance to patients on the Shore.”
As the family mourned, the doctor’s colleagues and former patients came forward to support the family with stories of DiNardo’s generosity. “We heard countless stories, including stories of him reaching into his pocket to give them $20 for a prescription that they couldn’t afford,” said Gregory DiNardo. “There were stories of him answering phone calls at 3 in the morning when a patient was struggling with something, and he didn’t charge them anything, just listened and provided advice.”
This legacy was what they wanted to remember and preserve through the foundation. Since the doctor’s passing, his family has been working with Maryland Eastern Shore hospitals to offer personal protective equipment as well as financial assistance to patients in need especially in vulnerable populations.
The foundation decided to expand to help patients who have experienced cardiac- or COVID-related health problems on Virginia’s Eastern Shore or are hospice or cancer patients. “We just love Onancock,” said Gregory DiNardo, “and we thought this was a good opportunity to partner with Riverside to get the funds to the right people at the right time.”
The Riverside Foundation is working with Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital to distribute the funding to patients in need. In the six months since making the first donation to Riverside, the DiNardo Foundation funding has provided transportation assistance for a patient undergoing cancer treatment, grocery assistance for patients whose budget was squeezed by treatment expenses, and treatment-related expenses for the comfort of hospice patients, among other forms of assistance. The DiNardo Foundation has since made a second gift to extend assistance to even more Shore patients.
“These thoughtful gifts in memory of Dr. DiNardo have had a significant impact on our most vulnerable patients,” said John Peterman, President of Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. “Patients who are distracted from healing by financial pressures are less likely to experience a good outcome. With this funding, we can help them focus all of their attention on the healing process. It’s an incredibly generous and kindhearted form of assistance.”
Donations to the DiNardo Foundation can be made online by visiting dinardofoundation.org. All proceeds go directly to patients and community members in need. To make a gift directly to Riverside, visit www.riversideonline.com/foundation or call 757-302-2140.