Ann Unterberg, Former MMC Foundation Chair, Receives First of Judith W. Dawkins Ambassador of Excellence Award
Long Branch, NJ –Amy Robach, breast cancer survivor and news anchor from ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) and 20/20 programs, provided the keynote address at the Leon Hess Cancer Center Council at Monmouth Medical Center’s 23rd Annual Power of Pink Luncheon on July 19 at the Hartshorn Mansion in Little Silver. The event drew hundreds of attendees and raised funds for The Leon Hess Cancer Center, particularly for the purchase of Deep Inspiration Breath Hold equipment, advanced technology used for breast cancer patients to minimize radiation exposure to the heart during treatment.
In her remarks, Robach reflected on her unexpected journey with breast cancer after being diagnosed following an on-air mammogram on GMA and encouraged women to be proactive about their well-being, “Don’t take your health for granted,” she said. “You never know – at the time of my diagnosis I felt healthy. Take your health seriously and get the regular screenings that you need. You have the power as the patient to take control and I encourage you to take care of your body, mind and soul.”
The luncheon also featured the inaugural presentation of the Judith W. Dawkins Ambassador of Excellence Award. Brigadier General Pete Dawkins presented Ann Unterberg with the award. For exemplifying Judi’s visionary guidance, exceptional leadership and using the highest ethical standard for the betterment of the patients and families who rely on Monmouth Medical Center for transformational care.
Like Judi, Ann has been deeply rooted in philanthropy at Monmouth Medical Center. Ann’s commitment and generosity has led the charge for Monmouth to be at the forefront of exceptional medical care throughout our Region, while keeping families close to home in times of medical crisis.
Pete and his family celebrated Judi’s life at the event. A long-time member of the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation Board and a founding Board member of the Women’s Council for the Leon Hess Cancer Center, Judi played an integral role in the unprecedented growth of the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center and Leon Hess Cancer Center at MMC.
“Monmouth Medical Center meant so much to Judi, but Judi meant so much to all of us,” said Bill Arnold, President and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center. “Judi was passionate about increasing access to advanced treatment equipment and we are honored to continue Judi’s commitment to women’s health by bringing comprehensive health programs to women throughout the community.”
Pete says the award is a fitting way for her to be remembered: as a champion, always striving to make things better for those around her. “An important part of Judi’s memorial was the creation of this award, with the idea that it will be presented every year to a member of the hospital medical staff, board of trustees or someone who has played a significant role in the broader Monmouth Medical Center community,” said Pete. “When we set out to select someone to receive the very first award, we thought it was going to be very difficult to choose, but it turned out to be the easiest thing in the world when we selected Ann Unterberg.”
For the past three decades, Unterberg has dedicated herself to the lives of women and children, helping the underserved, improving education, supporting the arts, as well as promoting conservation. She has served as a hospital trustee since 2005 and served as chair of Monmouth Medical Center Foundation from 2011 to 2017.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude. This award means a great deal to me and I am both humbled and proud at the same time,” said Unterberg. “I was always in awe of how deeply Judi cared and working with her, a likeminded and spirited woman, was some of the best and most rewarding times of my life. Her work continues here today. Health is a right for all of us – good health care is at the core of our community and today we see how the power of a group can transform a community.”
Along with her husband Tom, Unterberg has funded The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, the Thomas and Ann Unterberg Pediatric Emergency Department and several mammography suites in the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center. The Unterberg family’s commitment to the health of their community also includes their investment in the Unterberg Learning Center at Monmouth Medical Center, as well as the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University.
The Power of Pink Luncheon raises funds to enhance the quality of care delivered to cancer patients at Monmouth Medical Center. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $3 million for the Leon Hess Cancer Cente. the region’s only facility designated as an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
The Leon Hess Cancer Center Council unites The Women’s Council for the Leon Hess Cancer Center and the Women of Wilentz for the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center. Together, these dedicated volunteers have raised more than six million dollars to benefit The Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center, the region’s only facility designated as an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.