When the pandemic first struck New York City, Nathan Gantcher, a founding and managing member of the investment firm EXOP Capital LLC, searched for ways he could help. As a trustee for both Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he knew that hospitals had been thrust into a dire situation, caring for a sudden influx of seriously ill patients—and that the world was in need of answers that could be found only through research. The Bronx was especially hard hit, says Mr. Gantcher, noting that it’s “one of the most densely populated and poorest regions in the U.S.”
Mr. Gantcher and his wife, Alice, decided to contribute to Einstein’s Critical Response Research & Education Fund. The idea of supporting medical students was their leading motivation. Given the overwhelming need for healthcare workers on the front lines, more than 100 medical students at Einstein opted to graduate early, many to work alongside medical teams treating patients with COVID-19.
Mr. Gantcher says that he understands why a newly minted doctor would jump into the fray. “It’s a labor of love,” he says. “That’s their calling and this is their moment to be a hero. Who wouldn’t support that?”
Mr. Gantcher prefers to support organizations where he can have direct involvement. Contributing time and expertise is “just as important as financial support,” he says. “The most valuable contribution is giving of yourself. That’s how you really make a difference.”
The Gantcher Family Foundation contributes primarily to organizations that focus on education, healthcare, medical research, and Jewish causes. In 2010, when the Einstein Board of Trustees asked him to join, it felt like a natural fit. “Medical schools have three primary sources of income—tuition, grants, and philanthropy,” he said. “Philanthropy is where you can apply some leverage. That’s the key to building a world-class institution.”
True to his philosophy, Mr. Gantcher has put his financial background to work on the Board in his service as treasurer and on various committees. His additional contributions to the Montefiore Health System Board and the Montefiore Medicine Board, alongside his thought leadership and personal philanthropy, have deepened his impact within and outside Einstein and Montefiore’s walls.
He attests that the real benefit comes from what talented people do with his family’s contributions. His recent giving to Einstein’s COVID-19 initiatives has helped researchers discover effective ways to address the virus and has benefited aspiring physicians as they train to join the field. “I’m proud to stand with these brilliant minds who are stopping COVID-19 and changing the future of health,” says Mr. Gantcher.