Every year around the holidays, Dominic Grimaldi sent a gift of cookies or fruit to Dr. Michael Benitez and his staff. It was a small, yet memorable gesture of thanks for the comprehensive and compassionate care he received at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
“Dominic had an inpatient hospitalization following acute illness. With the help of our entire team, he made a significant recovery and was able to return to his customary way of living,” recalls Dr. Benitez, a UMMC cardiologist who provided cardiac care to Dominic for a decade. “He was always courteous, kind, and very unassuming. He was always a gentleman and treated all of our staff in the office with kindness.”
After Dominic passed away in December of an unrelated illness, Dr. Benitez received one final act of kindness—a planned gift. Dominic set up two charitable gift annuities in honor of Dr. Benitez and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“It goes a very long way when patients or their families offer their thanks for our efforts,” says Dr. Benitez. “Most often, this is simply with a smile and a word of thanks. It was enormously generous of Dom to make this contribution in addition to his words of thanks.”
Making a planned gift to the University of Maryland Medical Center is a noble act that conveys a strong commitment to the future of our institution and our patients. There are several types of planned gifts and it is up to the donor to decide which is best for them. Dominic established a charitable gift annuity, which provided him with a fixed income while he was alive in exchange for a sizable donation to UMMC after he passed away.
A legacy gift can make a tremendous impact on a care provider, providing them with essential funding to pursue a new opportunity and/or advance their work. Dr. Benitez plans to use Dominic’s generous gift to further the education of students within the cardiology program.
“Specifically, I am hopeful that it will be used as a ‘seed’ to initiate and grow a new fellowship here at University of Maryland in Advanced Heart Failure & Transplantation,” explains Dr. Benitez. “Such a program would foster the education and training of future physicians caring for and offering hope to our sickest group of patients in cardiology.”
Dominic’s legacy of kindness and giving not only lives on through the future advancements at the University of Maryland Medical Center, but through the memories of all those who cared for him.
“I will remember Dom as a friendly, down to earth, caring man who enjoyed the simple company of others,” says Dr. Benitez. “Always a smile, always a handshake, always a ‘thank you, doc!”