Cooper Foundation’s Fifth Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch Raises More Than $620,000

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CAMDEN, NJ — George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care, and Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, announced today that the Fifth Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch raised more than $620,000 for breast and gynecologic cancer research and clinical programs at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

“MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is a leader in providing world-class cancer care to patients from across the region,” said Norcross. “The success of Pink Roses Teal Magnolias shows the tremendous support for our doctors, nurses and medical staff, who dedicate their lives to fighting this disease.”

More than 800 women attended this year’s brunch held at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, N.J.  The event honored Drs. Sucha O. Asbell and Umur Atabek and Nurses Susan Maltman and Evelyn Robles-Rodriguez with the Pink and Teal Hero Award for their outstanding contributions to cancer care and treatment. (Bios of the honorees are included below.)

“Cancer touches the lives of all of us,” said Levin, an ovarian cancer survivor. “The Pink Roses Teal Magnolias brunch is a way to celebrate survivorship and honor the loved ones we lost to the disease as we raise money to enhance treatment and one day find a cure.”

Since the first brunch in 2010, fundraising for Pink Roses Teal Magnolias has topped a total of $2.4 million

This year’s event featured inspiring stories from breast cancer survivors Chris Corwin, of Ocean City;  Sandi Morina, of Clarksboro, and Carolyn Shelby, of Westampton, as well as Jennifer Weiss of Voorhees, who underwent genetic testing for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes and had a double mastectomy to prevent cancer.

The program also included a “Survivors Parade” to recognize all cancer survivors in attendance, a health fair, raffles, a silent auction and a live auction of two Bargello quilts, each handmade by Shelby with 1,600 small squares of Batik fabric.   Shelby created the quilts specifically for Pink Roses Teal Magnolias in honor of the medical team at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

The brunch was co-chaired by Donna Forman, Janet Knowles, Josephine McGinness, Theresa Sentel, Mary Ann Todd, Sandee Vogelson, and  Drs. Generosa Grana, Kristin Brill, Tamara LaCouture, Frank Spitz, David Warshal.

Pink & Teal Hero Award Recipients

  • Sucha O. Asbell, MD, FACR, FACRO, FASTRO, Attending Physician, Department of Radiation Oncology of Lower Merion, Pa. Asbell is an experienced radiation oncologist who has been with Cooper since 2009. She is an integral member of the breast cancer team, and also serves as a member of the lung cancer and head and neck cancer care teams. She has extensive experience in CyberKnife radiosurgery. Dr. Asbell is known by her physician colleagues and other members of the cancer care team as a ­fierce patient advocate. She has served on professional journal review committees and served as an officer for a number of professional societies. As a distinguished researcher, Dr. Asbell has published more than 120 articles and several chapters in medical books, journals and other publications.
  • Umur Atabek, MD, FACS, Head, Division of Surgical Oncology of Mount Laurel, N.J. Atabek specializes in breast and gastrointestinal (liver, pancreas, bile duct, gastric, esophageal, colorectal) cancer surgery. Patients benefit from his expertise in surgical techniques including minimally invasive laparoscopic gastrointestinal procedures as well as skin sparing incision for mastectomy with reconstruction that helps maintain shape and contour of the breast. Dr. Atabek is consistently named as a “Top Doctor” by local and regional publications. He has also been recognized by medical students and surgical residents with several awards for excellence in teaching.
  • Susan Maltman, MSN, RN, ONC, Nurse Navigator, Gynecologic Oncology Program, of Swedesboro, N.J. Susan Maltman started her career 23 years ago as a nursing extern on an inpatient unit at Cooper University Hospital. Sue has spent her entire nursing career in cancer care, starting as an inpatient unit nurse then assistant nurse manager, nurse manager, practice manager and now nurse navigator. Sue’s patients know that she is always available to answer questions, be their advocate and guide them through their cancer journey with compassion, dignity and honesty. Throughout her career, Sue has continued her education in nursing and in 2010 received her Master of Science in Nursing degree. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Immaculata University teaching in the RN to BSN accelerated degree program.
  • Evelyn Robles-Rodriguez, RN, MSN, APN, AOCN, Oncology Advanced Practice Nurse Director, Outreach, Prevention and Survivorship of Washington Twp, N.J. Evelyn Rodriguez is an Oncology Nurse Practitioner at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. She is a critical member of the cancer clinical care team seeing patients both independently and with our medical oncologists. Evelyn also oversees the MD Anderson at Cooper Cancer Survivorship Program. The Cancer Survivorship Program helps patients who have completed their cancer treatment transition into wellness-focused care, which includes managing the long term physical, emotional and psychological side effects related to their cancer and cancer treatment, and monitoring for cancer recurrence. As the Director of the Cancer Outreach and Education Program, Evelyn manages numerous community outreach and education grants and programs, as well as oncology programs for prevention and early detection.

About MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper:

MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is a fully integrated partnership between Cooper University Healthcare and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – a world-renowned cancer center which began in September 2013.

MD Anderson at Cooper physicians adhere to the philosophy, process and guidelines set by MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, and patients receive the same proven practice standards and treatment protocols provided at MD Anderson. Disease-site specific multidisciplinary teams consisting of physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists work together to provide cancer patients with advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, access to wide range of groundbreaking clinical trials and dynamic patient-physician relationships.  A full complement of support services provides complete, compassionate care for our patients. MD Anderson at Cooper is the only accredited American College of Surgeons Academic Cancer Program in South Jersey.  Cancer services are based in Camden at the new $100 million MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper located on the Health Sciences Campus as well as in Voorhees, New Jersey.

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