A Lifetime of Giving: One Family’s Legacy

September 18, 2022

For nearly three decades, Nancy Black Simches has been an ardent and steadfast supporter of McLean Hospital. Thoughtful and strategic, her philanthropy has furthered the tripartite mission of McLean and its commitment to improving the lives of people and families affected by psychiatric illness.

“McLean is tremendously fortunate to have had Nancy’s trust and friendship over the years,” said McLean President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD.

“She is dedicated to the well-being of children and so astute in her philanthropy. We are currently facing a mental health crisis of unprecedented proportions and Nancy’s support is driving progress—and hope—on multiple fronts.”

In celebration of her philanthropy, Nancy’s family, Sherri and Thomas, wanted to acknowledge her generosity in a way that is both meaningful to her and reflective of her ongoing dedication to advancing the treatment of those struggling with emotional issues. They reached out to McLean for thoughts on a legacy gift, and the Nancy Black Simches Endowed Visiting Scholar Fund was born.

Nancy Simches

Nancy Black Simches

The fund will bring distinguished experts from around the world to McLean to share their knowledge, promote collaboration, and inform practitioners, educators, and researchers alike. Integrated into McLean’s Grand Rounds, the Nancy Black Simches Visiting Scholar Series will comprise eight-to-ten lectures annually.

These lectures will focus on a broad range of behavioral and mental health issues and, in memory of her beloved daughter Joanne, will include topics related to child, adolescent, and young adult mental health, as well as suicide. This endowed lecture series is the third major initiative funded by the Simches family to advance McLean’s mission.

A Legacy of Giving

The first such gift was made in 1991, in memory of Nancy and Richard Simches’ daughter Joanne, who was treated at McLean for serious depression. Sadly, Joanne died tragically at age 25. While at McLean, she received excellent care and developed meaningful relationships with staff.

In honor of their daughter’s courageous battle with mental illness, the Simches’ established the Joanne B. Simches Endowed Research Fund. A seminal launch, the fund supports novel research into a wide range of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders.

Since that time and in recognition of the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, Nancy and Richard dedicated themselves to advancing the treatment of young children and adolescents through a wide range of gifts to McLean and other institutions.

In 2012, Nancy endowed McLean’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as her next major initiative, lending her name and that of her late husband to this division and reinforcing the second leg of McLean’s tripartite mission—clinical care.

A decade later, The Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is a robust and cutting-edge element of McLean’s top-ranked offerings.

“Throughout the years that I have known Nancy, her focus on young people has never wavered,” said Joseph Gold, MD, chief medical officer and former chief of the Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

“She is very special to us for all the ways she supports our youth—truly spanning the full gamut of McLean’s mission.”

And today, with the inception of The Nancy Black Simches Endowed Visiting Scholar Fund, the third leg of McLean’s tripartite mission—education and training—will be bolstered by her philanthropy.

This pinnacle gift will sponsor a visiting lecture series as part of Grand Rounds, McLean’s renowned weekly educational program designed to offer top-notch educational presentations to faculty, trainees, and staff at McLean, as well as to the general public, and will enhance McLean’s preeminent position as a beacon of innovation and thought leadership.

“McLean holds a special place in my heart,” explained Nancy. “I have great hope that, by supporting McLean and its mission, we will come to better understand psychiatric disorders and the lives of those struggling in the shadows of despair.”

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