Sharon Izzi Honors Memory of Husband Donald with Endowed Scholarship
Sharon Izzi, R.N., B.S.N., C.S.N. (A.S. Nursing HU ’81), established the Dr. Donald L. Izzi Family Practice Certified Physician Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of her husband and recognize his respect for the students in the Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Program of the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Sharon and Donald met in 1981 when she was a nurse in the Oncology Unit at Hahnemann Hospital and his mother was her patient. “I entered her room and suddenly found myself looking into the beautiful eyes of my future husband,” Sharon says. “Donald’s mother introduced us, and it was ‘kismet.’ We were married within 14 months.”
Donald ran a solo Family Practice from 1974 to 1998. He frequently accepted homegrown vegetables or homemade pies as payment for house calls. Many times, his only remuneration was the satisfaction he derived from knowing he had provided care to one of the three generations of families in his practice. Donald later served as Medical Director and Managing Physician for the New Jersey State Police.
As Associate Director of the Clinical Learning and Resource Center at the College of Nursing and Health Professions from 2006 to 2008, Sharon helped prepare for the residency weeks of graduate Family Nurse Practitioner students. “In 2007, I asked my husband to teach the beginning students for one week in May and the graduating students for one week in June,” she recalls. “My dear Donald was energized and enthusiastic, and every time I passed the classroom, I saw that both teacher and students were equally engaged.”
The sessions were so successful that Donald agreed to teach the students as long as he was needed. Sadly, the following year he was in stage 4 of pancreatic cancer and physically unable to fulfill his commitment.
“Donald was very impressed with the caliber of graduate students in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program,” Sharon says, “so after his passing, my two girls and I decided to establish a scholarship for deserving Family Nurse Practitioners who exemplify strong clinical skills, advocacy, and the vision to go beyond the usual diagnostics. My husband left an amazing legacy of hard work and caring, and he is sorely missed by many, especially Sarah, Natalie, and me.”