Sep 26, 2022 Monmouth Medical Center Hosts Eighth Annual Swing Pink Event to Benefit Breast Cancer Services

Erica Herbst

Breast cancer patient Erica Herbst shares her breast cancer journey during the Swing Pink luncheon.

Long Branch, N.J., September 26th, 2022—More than 150 people came together under perfect blue skies at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown for the eighth annual Swing Pink event on September 19th to benefit Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) breast cancer services.

The event, which sold out each of its activities, raised record-setting proceeds of more than $90,000 to benefit breast cancer services at MMC’s Vogel Medical Campus. A groundbreaking on the new outpatient care center in Tinton Falls, which will include comprehensive cancer care in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is expected in early 2023.

Eric Carney, President and CEO of MMC and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, is pictured with Swing Pink event co-chairs, from right, Alex Conley, Casey Kegelman, Jessica Angstriech, Sonya Moroney, Terry Ingram, Eric, Kristin Hoey, Debbie O’Donoghue, Maggie Weikel, Susan Olson, Kim Smith, and Stephanie Flynn.

Swing Pink, led by co-chairs Terry Ingram and Debbie O'Donoghue, and supported by the Leon Hess Cancer Center Council, was a day filled with activity, lunch, and celebration. The morning started with participation in tennis, paddle, golf or pickle ball, followed by a celebratory luncheon outdoors on the patio, underwritten by the Ingram Family and featuring an update on cancer services at Monmouth Medical Center by Julie Chaudhuri, regional administrative director of cancer services for the RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region. Guest speaker for the event was Oceanport resident and local business owner Erica Herbst, who shared her breast cancer journey since being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2021.

In her early 40’s at the time of her diagnosis, Erica, a single mom with a 13-year-old daughter, shared that as a very fit and active person, she initially thought the problem she was experiencing with her breast might be related to a recent athletic injury. Diagnosed on her first mammogram, she is a patient of Trishala Meghal, MD, an MMC medical oncologist and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, and is currently enrolled in the Her2Climb clinical trial, which is investigating whether adding the medication tucatinib to existing drug protocols for her condition can prevent the cancer from spreading to the brain.

“With HER2-positive breast cancer, the chances of it recurring in the brain are quite high,” says Dr. Meghal. “Preventing that from occurring might allow us to give a patient other helpful, systemic therapies for a longer period of time.”

In her remarks, Erica shared her positive outlook and hopefulness for the future. She also praised the care she is receiving from MMC and shared the story of Dr. Meghal checking in on her infusion treatment from her vacation hiking in the Grand Canyon.

“I am grateful to have the Monmouth medical team on my side!” she said.

About Monmouth Medical Center
Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) facility, along with The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, is a regional teaching campus for Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. As the first hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties, Monmouth Medical Center offers the most experienced surgeons in robotics and other minimally invasive procedures as well as bariatric and joint and spine surgery. Monmouth Medical Center delivers more babies annually than all other hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined and the fourth most in the state. The hospital offers access to the region’s top cardiologists and the award-winning, nationally recognized RWJBarnabas Heart Centers. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has conferred Magnet® recognition for Monmouth Medical Center, one of just 509 U.S. health care organizations out of more than 6,300 U.S. hospitals to achieve Magnet recognition. It is the only hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties to consistently receive an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization, and has been named a Leapfrog Top Teaching Hospital for a third time. MMC is one of just 414 of the more than 6,000 hospital hospitals in the United Stated named to Newsweek's Global Best Hospitals' list and one of 148 U.S. hospitals named to the digital platform Money’s inaugural list of the Best Hospitals in America. Additionally, it is one of 34 U.S. hospitals honored by the Emergency Nurses Association with the 2022–2025 Lantern Award for excellence in emergency care, and for the seventh consecutive year, was honored by Healthgrades with the Obstetrics and Gynecology and Labor and Delivery Excellence Awards. RWJBarnabas Health and Monmouth Medical Center, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey — the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center — brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside patients, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials.