Nancy and Robert S. Blank, Esq., Pennsylvania Hospital’s 2014 Good Samaritan Award recipients, were honored at a formal reception at PAH on May 14. Since its inception in 1985, the Good Samaritan Award has been given annually to an individual(s) who has provided exemplary volunteer leadership and support with a spirit of generosity and caring for PAH.
Shown from L to R: Robert Blank, Esq.; Dr. Michael Buckley, Nancy Blank, and Thomas Sharbaugh.
“Penn Medicine is only the latest community within Penn to benefit from Nancy and Bob’s support,” said PAH Executive Director, R. Michael Buckley, MD. “Their generosity has long contributed to Penn’s status and we are so very grateful and appreciative of their continued work and support on behalf of the Penn Medicine and Pennsylvania Hospital.”
A graduate of Penn’s Law School, Mr. Blank is the son of and the father of Penn alumni. All three of the Blank’s children – and their spouses – are graduates of Penn. He is a Penn trustee emeritus, the recipient of Penn Law’s Distinguished Graduate and Alumni Achievement Awards, and has served as an Overseer at the Law School and Wharton School.
Since 2005, Mr. Blank has served as a member of the Penn Medicine Board. A valued former member of the Executive Committee, he has acted in multiple roles on the Audit and Compliance Committee, including Chair.
The Blank’s latest significant philanthropic contribution is in memory and honor of their friend, cardiologist and long-time, beloved PAH physician and teacher, Dr. Kenneth Kershbaum. The Blank’s generous contribution will support lifesaving innovations and disseminating new knowledge through the dedication of the Kenneth L. Kershbaum Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Pennsylvania Hospital.
In recent years, cardiologists and heart surgeons have begun to collaborate on innovative procedures to repair hearts that are far less invasive than open-heart surgery. For the many heart disease patients too frail for surgery, these new options are lifesaving, extending the lives of individuals whose disease would otherwise be untreatable.
The Blank’s support will allow real-time visual transmission of the work taking place in the Kershbaum Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which will enable PAH to train many more students, early-career doctors, and colleagues in interventional cardiac procedures. It will also support technologicalenhancements that will give students and physicians the opportunity to learn from PAH cardiology specialists.
The Blank’s generous contribution will also endow the Kershbaum Memorial Lectureship and Award for Humanism and Professionalism in Cardiology, in memory and honor of Dr. Kershbaum, perpetuating the tradition of compassion, dedication and humanistic care that was characteristic of Dr. Kershbaum’s practice of medicine.
“Nancy and Bob have dedicated their lives to taking responsibility for the world around them by working hard and giving of themselves to help make it a better place,” said Thomas Sharbaugh, chair of the PAH Board of Manager. “Through their dedication of time and effort and philanthropic support, they are living examples of those who live to help make life less difficult for others.”
The historic basis for the Good Samaritan Award is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan from the Book of Luke in the Bible, 10:25-37:
A traveler was attacked by thieves who robbed him and left him injured and dying by the side of the road. Two different holy men passed by, leaving him dying, but then a stranger, a Samaritan, stopped and bound his wounds and took him to a nearby inn to recover. The stranger gave the innkeeper some money for the man’s care and told the innkeeper, “Take care of him and I will repay thee.”
In 1751, PAH founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond chose the lesson of the Good Samaritan as the theme for the seal of our hospital – just one of the iconic images synonymous with PAH.