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$75 million new gift from Dwight and Martha Schar to health system raises their total giving to $126 million
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$75 million new gift from Dwight and Martha Schar to health system raises their total giving to $126 million

Virginia philanthropists Dwight and Martha Schar have given more than $126 million to Inova Health System since 1993. Dwight Schar is the retired founder, chair and CEO of Fortune 500 homebuilder NVR.

Inova Health System has raised $83 million over the past year, surpassing the “Schar Challenge” issued by donors Dwight and Martha Schar when they made a $75 million matching gift to Inova.

The Schars’ most recent gift to support Inova’s heart and vascular services and the gifts to match it made by more than 10,000 donors brings the Falls Church-based health system’s total raised over the past year to $158 million, according to a Thursday news release.

Dwight Schar founded Reston-based Fortune 500 company NVR, one of the nation’s largest mortgage bankers and homebuilders, which operates under the Ryan Homes, NVHomes and Heartland Homes brands.

Since 1993, the Schars have donated more than $126 million to Inova, including $50 million in 2015 to establish the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, the hospital system’s Fairfax County hub for cancer treatment and clinical trials, which opened in 2019.

“We are deeply grateful to Dwight and Martha Schar for their extraordinary generosity and powerful call to action, and also to our Northern Virginia community who, together, donated more than $80 million to Inova in just one year,” Inova President and CEO Dr. J. Stephen Jones said in a statement.

“This tremendous achievement is a reflection of a community that cares deeply about having world-class health care locally. It’s a profound vote of trust and a testament to the spirit of giving that defines our Inova community.”

“Early on in this challenge, Martha and I shared our belief in the power of a single act of generosity to spark a wave of transformation — and our community has stepped up in a big way to show this is possible,” Dwight Schar said in a statement. “This is an important step, and I’ll say again: nothing is more important than having world-class health care available to every person in our community.”

Schar retired as NVR’s chair in 2022, after having previously served also as CEO. Since its founding in 1980, NVR has grown to employ more than 6,000 people, and for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023, it reported $9.79 billion in revenue.

“Health care is No. 1 in my books; there’s nothing more important you can offer the community,” Schar stated.

“The metropolitan Washington area has been very good to me and my business, so this is where I feel I can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.”

Inova provides more than 4 million patient visits a year and employs more than 24,000 people across five hospitals and dozens of other facilities, including 37 primary care clinics and Northern Virginia’s only state-designated and nationally verified Level 1 trauma center.

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