Jul 28, 2023 Actress, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur Stephanie March Provides Keynote Address at Monmouth Medical Center’s Record-Breaking Power of Pink Luncheon

Power of Pink Group 2023

Keynote speaker Stephanie March, third from right, gathers with, from left, Dr. Richard Lazzaro, Chief of Thoracic Surgery for the RWJBarnbas Health Southern Region; Dr. Steven Libutti, Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health; Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; Claire Knopf, Chair, MMC Foundation Board Chair and Co-Chair for the Leon Hess Cancer Center Council; Caitlin Olson, Vice President of Development, MMC and MMC Southern Campus (MMCSC); and Eric Carney, President & CEO, MMC and MMCC

Long Branch, NJ, July 28, 2023 Attendance and proceed records were broken at Monmouth Medical Center’s (MMC) 28th annual Power of Pink Luncheon, which was held on July 20th to raise funds for a cancer wellness and recovery unit at the new Vogel Medical Campus in Tinton Falls. The hospital broke ground last month on the Vogel Medical Campus, which will offer seamless access to comprehensive cancer care together with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Keynote speaker Stephanie March, an actress best known for starring as Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot in the NBC series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” provided a touching address, sharing her mother’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis and care journey, and her gradual comprehension through that journey with her mother of what real “care” is.

“The one thing I really did not fully comprehend was CARE,” she said in discussing her mother’s arduous cancer journey. “I did not understand until much later, what real ‘care’ is. It is a lesson I am still piecing together, which is why I am so honored and so moved to have the opportunity to speak to you today.”

The luncheon, presented by dedicated MMC Foundation community leaders who make up the Leon Hess Cancer Center Council, was held at the Rumson waterfront home of Amy and Daniel Reich. Daniel is the Co-Founder of Troops and Tula skincare. The event was co-chaired by Sima Yakoby Epstein and Debbie Menkowitz, along with boutique co-chairs Jessica Buchner and Michelle Kutsak.

In concluding her remarks, March told the audience how her mother would have absolutely loved the Power of Pink luncheon noting, “for all the obvious reasons, of course; this sensational home, covered in tablescapes and populated by such beautifully turned-out people.”

“She would have delighted in the blended company of scientists and citizens; humanitarians and philanthropists,” she said. “Your efforts on behalf of people suffering through this monstrous disease will save lives. Your CARE will save lives and for that I say thank you.”

Eric Carney, President and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center recognized the cancer survivors – or as they like to be called, “cancer thrivers” – in the audience and introduced the program’s grateful patient speaker, Karen Siciliano, who has served on the board of MMC and is a longtime supporter of the hospital’s Jacqueline Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center. Sicilaino shared her mother’s and her own breast cancer journeys through a moving testimonial video, and told the audience that in addition to her role as a board member and donor, she was there as a messenger.

“My message today is twofold,” she said. “First, get your screening mammograms – no matter how busy you are. And second, please continue to support the Jacqueline Wilentz Breast Center, this amazing facility that we as a community created because we thought we deserve the best care right in our backyard.”

Also on the program, Dr. Steven Libutti, Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health; Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, told the audience that for many patients and their families, a cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a long journey, and that is why it is so important for individuals to have access to state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer care close to home.

“We know that cancer doesn’t travel well, and patients shouldn’t have to leave the state or go far from home to receive the best care possible, and that is why we have created an integrated multidisciplinary network of exceptional cancer specialists and researchers to revolutionize care for our patients and communities across New Jersey,” Dr. Libutti said. “And it’s why our health system is making a major investment in groundbreaking cancer research, innovative clinical trials, and new cancer centers like the one we broke ground on last month at the Vogel Medical Campus.”

To learn more about clinical trials or to schedule an appointment with an oncologists, call 844.CANCERNJ or visit www.rwjbh.org/beatcancer. To learn more about the Vogel Medical Campus, visit rwjbh.org/vmc. To learn how you can support Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.rwjbh.org/monmouth-medical-center/giving/

Contact: Elizabeth Brennan

Kathy Horan