On Monday, May 23, members of the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out (TOGNO) committee delivered a donation of $100,000, the largest in the event’s history, to the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center (JMBCC) at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) in support of patient care services. Each year, the committee holds an annual fundraising event that brings together breast cancer survivors, family, friends, and supporters. The 10th annual event was held in April at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in Johnstown.
“On behalf of the patients and staff of the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center, I would like to thank the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out committee, all those who donated items, and the community for continually supporting this amazing event. The support and generosity year after year continues to increase breast cancer awareness and funds for patient services,” said JMBCC Manager Erin Goins.
JMBCC’s partnership with TOGNO has provided financial assistance to patients for breast imaging examinations; breast biopsies and surgeries; genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes; and education about the importance of breast cancer screenings. Contributions also support equipment and technology needed to screen, detect and diagnose breast cancer, ensuring access to the most up-to-date technology for community members.
According to Meghan Stahl-Skinner, TOGNO chairperson, “Taunia Oechslin started this event 10 years ago as a ‘pay it forward’ project for the caring and personal attention she received at the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since Taunia’s passing in 2009, the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out committee has been dedicated to paying it forward in her honor. We’ve become the largest dinner event in Johnstown with over 800 women in attendance. This year we celebrated our 10th annual event and are proud to present the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center a check for $100,000.”
TOGNO began in 2006 as a small ‘pay it forward’ project by Taunia Oechslin, a breast cancer fighter who was diagnosed at 36 years old and succumbed to the disease on April 9, 2009 at the age of 39. It was her goal that every woman is educated about breast cancer, understands the value of early detection and receives proper treatment. To date, TOGNO has raised $580,000 for the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center to ensure cutting edge care in a state-of-the-art facility for every uninsured and underinsured woman in our community.
Founded in 1906, CSSMCW is an independent, non-profit acute care hospital in northern Somerset County, bordering Cambria County. The 54-bed hospital shares a campus and collaborates with Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSSIMMW), a private, non-profit biomedical research center. With more than 450 employees, WMC is the fourth largest employer in Somerset County. CSSMCW’s mission is to provide excellence in personalized, quality health care services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. For more information visit www.windbercare.org.