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Gratitude inspires
stories of hope

Penny Bari

Purpose as a nurse and caregiver

I’m extremely grateful I’m able to give back monetarily and through service. Volunteering and donating give me purpose.

Penny Bari has a long history of taking care of others. When Penny was young, her grandmother lived with her family; Penny helped care for her and even gave her grandmother insulin shots.

Most children would have been squeamish, but not Penny. She was bright and loved science. This path led her to attend Barnes College of Nursing in St. Louis where she received a scholarship. After she graduated in 1961, she went on to work as a nurse at the former Barnes Hospital for 30 years.

“I have such gratitude for my nursing education and my time as a nurse at Barnes,” Penny says. “It was an incredible experience. Being a nurse has influenced everything I’ve done in my life.”

Eventually, she brought her nursing expertise home when her husband and mother became seriously ill.

“I became a better nurse after caring for both my husband and my mother,” Penny says. “I gained a greater understanding of the emotional involvement that family members go through.”

After Penny retired from nursing and her husband passed away, she missed caring for others. “That’s when a neighbor asked me to volunteer in health clinics for underserved areas,” Penny says. “That was the spark I needed to give back.”

Penny not only gives her time but she also supports nursing scholarships at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. (Barnes College of Nursing is a legacy school of Goldfarb.) In addition, she continues to volunteer at a local hospital and serves on the Goldfarb Alumni Advisory Council.

“My nursing education has enriched my life and allowed me to continue helping others even after I retired,” Penny says. “That’s why I want to support nursing scholarships at Goldfarb as well as the school’s important impact on nursing education. As health care changes, nurses will play a bigger role than ever.”

She continues: “I’m extremely grateful I’m able to give back monetarily and through service. Volunteering and donating give me purpose.”