By Ali Nicole

One year has passed since the Ignatius DiNardo Foundation began serving people in-need on the Eastern Shore, and its growth continues at an astounding rate. Since that time, the foundation has branched out to the tri-county area and beyond to help as many people on Delmarva as possible.

The Ignatius DiNardo Foundation was developed by the family of namesake, Ignatius “Iggy” DiNardo, after his passing in December 2019. Iggy was a physician on the Eastern Shore who went above and beyond to care for his patients, even when they could not pay for services, sometimes taking from his own pocket to ensure all had access to care. 

The 5k Race in November raised $30,000 for the Ignatius DiNardo Foundation. Pictured are Joanie DiNardo, Lilly DiNardo and Greg DiNardo.

His wife, Joanie, daughters, Madeline and Lilly, and son, Greg, were inspired by the loving memories patients, colleagues, and community members shared of Iggy’s generosity and kindness. 

To continue his legacy, the DiNardos created a foundation in his honor to continue to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay medical bills, and they’ve been able to do just that and more.

Last year, the foundation raised $20,000 for their cause. The fund has grown to $55,000 over the past year. “The funds that we have raised, the majority have already gone to help people with their medical expenses and other good causes,” says Greg DiNardo. 

The majority of the funds – $40,000 – has gone directly to paying medical costs by identifying patients in need through hospital partners including TidalHealth, Atlantic General Hospital, and Riverside Memorial Hospital. These partnerships allow the foundation to connect with patients across Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia along the Eastern Shore. Once a partner identifies an individual in need of assistance, the foundation is able to help with any medical expense such as helicopter transport, building ramps for homes, home health care, and COVID-19 treatments.

Health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic quickly became an area of great need as the organization developed and the DiNardo family found an opportunity to help the community. With $15,000 of raised funds, the Ignatius DiNardo Foundation was able to bring PPE such as masks, thermometers, flu vaccines and more directly to vulnerable populations in one-stop-shop events where it would be accessible to those who may have otherwise had trouble accessing it. 

The direct-to-community approach was made possible by partnerships with the Lower Shore Vulnerable Populations Task Force and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Greg explains the Ignatius DiNardo Foundation needed to, “team up with experts who are around those who are struggling and need help.”

Greg and his family, “chose the Community Foundation because we have a pulse on the community,” said Veronique Diriker, chief strategy officer with the organization. The Community Foundation helps donors like the DiNardos make a difference by allocating their funds into grants that impact the causes and areas of need the donors want to address. As a result of this partnership, the foundation was able to team up with the Lower Shore Vulnerable Populations Task Force.

Diriker indicates they will continue to work together to find the best matches for the goals of the DiNardo family. In the future, this may take on the form of many more preventative efforts in addition to continuing to provide medical assistance funds. 

“The Ignatius DiNardo Foundation sees the need for public health in our community, for the people to have access to information and care. They are open to looking at behavioral health, or mental health, to help the community,” said Diriker.

Indeed, Greg indicates that preventative work is something the foundation would like to put more into, in addition to addressing its founding priority. Work on preventive care may include disseminating information about healthy behaviors and nutrition. Mental health is also a major focus, following more than a year of the pandemic and the psychological impact it has had on many. 

Greg acknowledges it’s a large area of need but knows the foundation can help where able. “One of the things I’ve learned through this is you try to do everything, but there are so many people who need help so much. It can get a little overwhelming, but we try to remind ourselves if we’re able to just impact one person, one family, it’s worth it for us.”

Raising funds is a continuous job for the foundation. Last year, the virtual 5k in November raised $30,000 with around 400 participants. Greg DiNardo reports they plan to have another 5k this year, with intentions to expand within and beyond the Shore. Donations to the foundation to help the DiNardos uphold Iggy’s legacy and make a positive impact on Delmarva may be made online at

“My family and I are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve had, and providing resources to others has helped us too. It gives us a chance to give back and make an impact. It’s been an incredibly meaningful experience for us,” said Greg.