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Donor Family Profile: Dennis and Susan Gilardi

By May 1, 2017November 24th, 2020No Comments

Your Contributions Make a Difference

Read about why two long-time Marin civic leaders support Marin Community Clinics.

Susan and Dennis Gilardi’s connection to healthcare and helping those in need goes back a long way.dennis-susan-gilardi

Susan’s father was an old-style physician – a general practitioner and surgeon who did everything from setting bones to delivering babies. One memory that has stayed with her since childhood: her father accepting in-kind payments from patients who were unable to pay cash for his services – boysenberries from their yards, fresh eggs from their chicken coops, or a hand-made quilt. Dennis’ grandfather, who ran a butcher shop in Marin, helped people during the Depression when they couldn’t afford to buy meat, often not collecting on their accounts.

Family legacies took root

These legacies of helping those in need took root in both of them, as did the value placed on education. Through their association with seniors who lived in their neighborhood, they also become sensitive to the needs of older adults. Given these interests, it’s no surprise that the Gilardis’ philanthropic efforts have focused on healthcare, education and senior services – all of which dovetail with Marin Community Clinics’ mission.

“We’re impressed with the mission of the Clinics to help the underserved,” explains Susan. “It’s come a long way since the early days when care was provided in trailers at the Marin General parking lot. This is a success story we can all applaud.”

The Gilardis’ speak enthusiastically about Marin Community Clinics – how it increases access to care, the strong leadership, excellent multi-lingual staff, and comprehensive services. (In 2015, the Clinics opened its first on-site radiology service, thanks in part to the generosity of the Gilardis’.)

They are also very impressed with the cost-effectiveness of the Clinics for the entire community.

“Marin Community Clinics has not only taken a huge burden off hospital emergency rooms, where many clients used to go for basic primary care,” reports Dennis, “but also has developed very close working relationships with the rest of Marin’s healthcare community.”

A plea for helping those less fortunate

Like many, the Gilardis are concerned about the future of healthcare in the U.S. and what it may mean to the poor and disadvantaged. “We are a nation of immigrants – all of us,” explain Susan and Dennis. “Our own ancestors came from Italy, Bavaria, and Switzerland looking for a better life. How can we who have means not help those who are less fortunate?

The people served by Marin Community Clinics are part of the fabric of Marin. We need to make sure that everyone in our community has access to quality health care. And we need to work together to make sure this continues.”