LEONARD “LENNY” BERRY KANCHER, M.D., a physician specializing in internal medicine for more than four decades, died earlier today Friday, August 11, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Kancher, 70, was surrounded by family members at the time of his passing at home.
A New Orleans native, Kancher founded and served as the medical director for a medical practice in Metairie, the Center for Longevity and Wellness. He was affiliated with East Jefferson General Hospital from 1981-2017.
Following his undergraduate career at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Kancher graduated with honors from the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport and was one of only 32 students in its first graduating class in 1973.
Upon completion of his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston, he served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1974-1976. He became board certified in family practice in 1979 and in 1981 became board certified in internal medicine.
Kancher served as chief of staff at East Jefferson in 1987. He was also on the Board of Directors of eQ Health Solutions, formerly the Louisiana Healthcare Review Board, from 1987-2017 and served as chairman of that board from 1993-2011. He was also a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a member of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Dr. Kancher was a member of the Quality Council of East Jefferson General Hospital from 2008-2017 and a member of the Quality Committee of Gulf South Quality Network from 2011-2017. He was part of the East Bank Internal Medicine Group from 1981-2003.
A lifelong and active member of Congregation Gates of Prayer, he enjoyed spending time at the beach – both on Pensacola Beach and at Ft. Morgan/Gulf Shores. He loved good food and was a familiar face at many area restaurants.
A man with a unique sense of humor and a big heart, he is survived by his wife Kathy Whitaker-Kancher; his brother Allan Kancher (Nancy); his in-laws Roy and Ethylene Whitaker and two brothers-in-law Don Whitaker (Marcie) and Bruce Whitaker.
Funeral services were held at Congregation Gates of Prayer, 4000 W. Esplanade Avenue, in Metairie on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 12:00 noon. Rabbi Robert Loewy officiated. Interment followed immediately at Congregation Gates of Prayer Cemetery, 1428 Joseph St.
Memorial donations are preferred to Congregation Gates of Prayer-Prayer Book Fund. Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home of Metairie was in charge of arrangements.