Nancy Pencer, a woman who gives with style and grace

Nancy Pencer, a long-time Mount Sinai supporter and philanthropic leader is an inspiration to the entire community.  Not only does she run her own charitable foundation, the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Trust, but she has generously given across many areas of Mount Sinai Hospital from musculoskeletal research to women’s and infants’ health. 

Her own charitable efforts are focused on cancer research and were inspired when her late husband Gerry Pencer was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  Together, they dealt with their own cancer journey by helping others affected by the disease.  Since its inception, the Trust has raised millions for cancer research through exciting events that have become the hottest tickets in the city.

Photo caption: The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Endoscopy Centre team shown here with their weekly fresh flowers from Nancy 

Helping others comes naturally to Nancy; one of her most impactful contributions to Mount Sinai has been the complete renovation and outfitting of the Gerry & Nancy Pencer Endoscopy Centre, a unit that the family has renovated twice.  The second time around, was to honour the memory of Gerry and to create a unit that was a special place for staff and patients. 

Nancy carefully selected the materials, furnishings and textiles to create a welcoming environment for patients. It was important to Nancy that the colours be conducive for patients and had a calming effect.  The Gerry & Nancy Endoscopy Unit was the first unit in the hospital to introduce vinyl flooring and has now become a best practice across the hospital in terms of infection control.  It is also one of the only units to have wallpaper which makes it feel unique for a clinical space. All the materials were selected with patient safety and infection control in mind.  Nancy also hand-picked paintings and prints from the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation’s art collection that would work in the space .The result is a beautifully-designed space that completely enhances the patient experience. 

“She has made the atmosphere so calming for the patients and staff, said Sharon Ball, Nursing Unit Administrator.  “The patients feel like they are getting superb care and it enhances their entire experience.”

Although the renovation was completed in 2007, Nancy still sends fresh flowers every week and makes sure all the plants in the unit are watered and taken care of.   Every time the flowers arrive, the staff thinks of Nancy and her generosity, but it also makes them think of Gerry, a beautiful legacy that lives on.   Nancy visits periodically and stays connected with the staff including sending a thoughtful gift for the staff during the holiday season.

“Nancy gives from the heart.  She doesn’t do it for accolades; she does it because she truly cares.  She makes us feel so appreciated and looked after, said Barbara Zita, RN, Endoscopy Unit.  “We are all very proud of this unit and grateful to Nancy, her late husband Gerry and the entire family for their generosity. “ 

Nancy’s philanthropic support and graciousness has provided a sanctuary for both staff and patients in the unit and her special touches go above and beyond.  We applaud her as she carries on helping others and enriching the lives of those around her. 

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Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation

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