Donor Spotlight

Drs. Ila and Vinod Shah

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation Director Dr. Ila Shah and her husband Dr. Vinod K. Shah continued their generous support of CSM and commitment to student success by recently giving the college a $100,000 gift.

Drs. Ila and Vinod Shah Present CSM with $100,000 to Help Students Studying Nursing, Allied Health Programs

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation Director Dr. Ila Shah and her husband Dr. Vinod K. Shah continued their generous support of CSM and commitment to student success by giving the college a $100,000 gift to mark Vinod Shah’s recent birthday. The funds will be used to bolster the Southern Maryland Nursing and Health Alliance Scholarship set up by the Shahs in 2016 in support of nursing and allied health programs.

“When you support education, you are giving a gift which is really remarkable,” Vinod Shah said. “Being a doctor, I think saving lives is important but with education, it’s more than saving lives. You are making a life.”

“We have been practicing in the community since 1974,” said Ila Shah, “I have seen the students, from all over the place, doing the work and trying to get an education. I’m very proud of [CSM] because of the support they have given. We are employing a lot of medical students from CSM [including] the nurses and all of the health alliances. Our scholarship is specifically for the nurses, medical assistants and the health alliance.”

“The Shahs weave their amazing generosity throughout Southern Maryland,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “Our students are so incredibly fortunate to have the Shahs in their corner, being their champion and cheering them on. The CSM Foundation is honored to join forces with the Shahs and work hard – every day – to change lives.”

Ila Shah, who was honored with the CSM Trustee Distinguished Service Award in 2018, is a retired pediatrician who serves on the CSM Foundation Board. The co-founder of MedStar Shah Medical Group, she is a leader in the health sciences industry locally and globally and is known as a visionary who uses her expertise and network of colleagues to reduce barriers to education and healthcare.

“She is passionate about education and understands how important it is toward the vitality of our community and she believes no one should be denied an education due to financial difficulties,” said Trustee Chair Ted Harwood, when announcing the award for Ila Shah.

In addition to being a generous philanthropist, Ila Shah is known for her love and compassion for the well-being of children, as reflected through her support of the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at CSM located on the La Plata Campus, Harwood continued, adding that the Shahs were instrumental in the purchase of tricycles and shade umbrellas for the children.

“Dr. Shah is a humanitarian who also makes an impact internationally,” Harwood added. “Through her service as a member of the Rotary Club of Charlotte Hall, Dr. Shah often partners with Rotary International on global projects. For example, she recently led the effort to bring clean drinking water to 18 villages in India and she is currently working with a team of doctors to provide cataract surgeries on 1,400 blind adults and children in Nigeria.”

“Dr. Shah makes the world a better place and we are fortunate to have her as a friend and supporter,” Murphy continued.

When asked about her spirit of giving and service, Ila Shah’s answer was quick.

“The community has given me so much love and affection,” she said, “I cannot put a price tag on that.”

The Southern Maryland Nursing and Health Alliance Scholarship will provide financial support for students who are pursuing careers in nursing, pre-nursing, medical lab technician or phlebotomy technician. Scholarship applicants must be a resident of Calvert, Charles or St. Mary’s counties; demonstrate financial need; possess and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA; and be enrolled in one of specified Health Science programs at CSM.

Recipients will receive financial assistance for tuition, fees and books for nursing, pre-nursing, medical lab tech, phlebotomy tech and future programs identified by the donor as well as up to $1,500 per semester for four consecutive semesters if they comply with the eligibility requirements and remain in good academic standing.