Housed within the Weinberg Center are the Hoffberger Breast Center; the Breast Reconstruction and Restoration Center; Cosmetic Medicine and Surgery; the Neil B. Rosenshein, M.D., Institute for Gynecologic Care; the Gynecologic Oncology Center; the Lya Segall Ovarian Cancer Institute; the Tyanna O’Brien Center for Women’s Imagine; the Medi-Spa; and the Women’s Health Boutique.

Donor Impact On
Women's Health

Fiscal Year 2023 was the perfect time to reflect on the remarkable strides made in the 20 years since Mercy opened the Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine.

 

Dr. Rosenshein with a patient.

Dr. Im at the da Vinci Robot.

Mercy has always been committed to Catherine McAuley’s vision of caring for women in a way that empowers them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Our original Center for Women’s Health & Medicine was created in 1994; then in 1995, the Center blossomed under the leadership of Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein, M.D.—one of the nation’s foremost gynecologic oncologists.

In 2003, a transformative gift from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, combined with other donations made to the Building on the Quality of Mercy capital campaign, allowed us to open a new building with more than 118,000 square feet dedicated to expanding our women’s health programs.

Today, women comprise more than 64% of Mercy’s patients; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine offers them multifaceted, interdisciplinary approaches to wellness. From reproductive health to preventive care to treatments for cancer, this world-class Center of Excellence helps women face unique health challenges that require specialized attention.

Many of our patients are so impressed by the outstanding clinical care offered at the Weinberg Center that they want the same experience for their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends—and so we come to care for multiple generations within the same family. Private support has been essential in creating, expanding, and equipping many of the Weinberg Center’s specialty centers to serve an increasing number of women.

For example, in 2008, the Tyanna Foundation raised funds in memory of Tyanna Barre O’Brien, who lost her battle with breast cancer. This foundation was established by her daughters, who continue to raise money in her memory all over the country. With their support, Mercy opened the Tyanna O’Brien Center for Women’s Imaging at Mercy, where our highly trained radiologists use top-of-the-line imaging equipment to diagnose and treat breast-related diseases. Over the years, financial support from our grateful patients and Corporate Partners have helped this department keep up with technological advances by upgrading CT, MRI, and PET scans, as well as new ultrasounds. This way, Mercy can continue offering women one of the best diagnostic experiences in the state.

Should a woman receive a complicated diagnosis, she can be assured of the best of care at the Weinberg Center. For example, ovarian cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose and therefore hard to treat in time. Thanks to generous support from Donald Segal and Dr. Barbara McAlpine Segal in honor of Don’s mother, Mercy opened the Lya Segall Ovarian Cancer Institute in 2014. Over the last decade, thousands of women from across the mid-Atlantic region have turned to the top-rated ovarian cancer doctors here for their compassionate care, diagnostic services, and high-quality surgical skills.

The Weinberg Center offers women the option of both traditional and robotic surgeries. In Fiscal Year 2023, under the leadership of Dr. Dwight Im, Medical Director of the Neil B. Rosenshein, M.D., Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy, nearly 1,500 robotic gynecologic surgeries were conducted using the da Vinci Surgical System. This tele-operated machine, which consists of multiple robotic arms that precisely mimic hand movements made by a surgeon, was obtained in part thanks to unrestricted philanthropy.

We are deeply grateful to the donors who bring such state-of-the-art technologies to our community hospital. In a more recent example, a former patient of Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Medical Director of the Hoffberger Breast Center, was so pleased with her care that in Fiscal Year 2023 she made a donation toward the purchase of Spy-Phi equipment. A Spy-Phi allows surgeons to use near-infrared fluorescence to visualize micro-vessels in the breast for better accuracy during mastectomies and reconstruction procedures. It is the only equipment of its kind in the world, and our doctors are thrilled to be able to offer it to our female patients, all thanks to a donor’s generosity.

Indeed, over the past two decades since the Weinberg Center opened its doors, whether Mercy made strides in gynecologic and breast surgeries, women’s imaging, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, prevention education, or clinical research, our donors have always been at the forefront of promoting better health outcomes for women.

Unfortunately, not all women in our community have equal access to high-quality care, resources, or the latest health information. Socioeconomic disparities, cultural biases, and a limited network of personal support can act as barriers to women receiving the clinical care they deserve. Mercy’s Charity Care programs help to address these inequities.

Our community stakeholders and philanthropic partners provide additional support. For example, the Tyanna Foundation’s annual BreastFest event raises funds for things such as transportation to appointments, prosthetics, lymphedema garments, imaging services, and much more to benefit Mercy’s breast cancer patients. The Mildred Mindell Cancer Foundation provides grant funds for free wigs and head coverings for women undergoing cancer treatment.

When it comes to women’s health services at Mercy, philanthropic support has allowed us to open new clinical spaces, obtain the latest technology, conduct research trials, and keep experts on staff. And yet, there is continual need for growth and advancement in this field. Our work on behalf of women—forever grounded in the mission and the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy—will always depend on generous donors. As we look forward to the Weinberg Center’s 30th anniversary and Mercy’s 150th anniversary this November, we are grateful to those who help to ensure women get the very best of care when they turn to Mercy. 

Dr. Friedman and Breast Center team.

AS WE REFLECT ON GENEROUS DONORS to Mercy’s programs for women’s health, we fondly remember our good friend and champion Lois Hoffberger Halpert, who passed away in October of 2023. Lois had served on the Mercy Health Services Board of Trustees since 1999. During her six full terms as a board member, she also served as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Weinberg Center and was part of Mercy’s Capital Campaign Planning Committee. Lois was a Trustee of the Hoffberger Foundation, now known as Hoffberger Family Philanthropies, which established The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy and has gifted Mercy with an endowment to support breast care for women without financial resources. The Mercy Family extends our heartfelt condolences to Lois’ family; she was a visionary and will be deeply missed. Her legacy will live on through the patients whose lives she touched at Mercy.

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