Zelda Stein Weiss has dedicated more than half a century of volunteer service and philanthropy to Mon General Hospital. On Thursday, Sept.15, 2011 her commitment was celebrated with the naming of the hospital’s new Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Center of Mon General Hospital in her honor.
Zelda passed away February 15, 2012 at the age of 95. Her unique spirit will be missed throughout Mon General
and the entire community.
“Zelda’s high standards and her commitment to this Health System have been second to none,” Mon Health System President and CEO Darryl Duncan told the 150 friends, community leaders and hospital staff gathered in the hospital’s main lobby for the center’s official dedication.
Weiss involvement in cancer care at Mon General dates back to 1990 when the Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Awareness and Early Detection Project of Mon General Hospital was launched. This program has been providing low cost cancer screenings and cancer information to the residents of Morgantown and the surrounding region.
In addition, thanks to the Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Awareness and Early Detection project, the hospital recently opened two computer kiosks just off the main lobby for patient and visitor use. The kiosks are designed to allow users to look up health information on the internet. Each station consists of a computer, printer and telephone. In addition, the kiosks contain printed cancer information and cancer screening materials.
Weiss has been a member of The Foundation of Mon General Hospital Board of Directors since its inception in 1976. She is also an original member of the Mon General Hospital Auxiliary, formed in 1944.
“Zelda had a vision that we could do comprehensive cancer care right here at Mon General Hospital,” Duncan said. “That’s our goal. That’s where we are heading. We’ve taken a few giant leaps with the addition of Dr. Larry Beall and Dr. Darryl Saunders to the hospital staff this fall and putting their offices right next to the Infusion Center.
“The vision continues. We are going to have comprehensive cancer care here at Mon General Hospital. And you’re the one that started it,” he told Weiss. “It’s very appropriate that your name go on the cancer center.”
Duncan’s comments were echoed by board members and physicians.
“We are honoring one the most dedicated, driven, and beautifully put together women that I have ever met in my entire life,” said Mon Health System Board Chairman Glenn Adrian.
Adrian first met Zelda 22 years ago when he was a new member of The Foundation of Mon General Board. “As a new board member, she wanted to make sure she took the time to introduce herself,” he said. “But, also to remind us as Board members we were there to do a job. ‘You’re going to help us, you’re going to contribute and we’re going to make this hospital better.’ She didn’t say that, but you could see it. Those eyes, warm as they are, they have steely blue in them. It was from that moment on that I understood the great commitment that Zelda has for this hospital.
“Bricks and mortar are great,” he said. “But a community hospital is all about people. I would say to you today that if we opened up the bricks and mortar of Mon General Hospital, on its heart would be emblazoned the name of Zelda Stein Weiss. That’s the kind of commitment that must continue.”
“Zelda Stein Weiss is a name that when you mention it to anyone who has known her, it evokes a warm feeling,” said Mon General Board of Directors Chairman Sarah Minear, thanking her for helping to make Mon General the finest hospital in the region. “The powerful combination of Zelda’s keen intellect and her deep compassion to help others is an inspiration to anyone who has met her.”
“From the first time we met, I knew that I was in the presence of an extraordinary woman; a lady with tremendous self-confidence, poise, warmth, wisdom and intellect,” said Mon General Hospital Foundation Board Chairman Steve LaCagnin in comments read at the dedication. “I know that I speak for The Foundation Board and the hospital when I say we have been blessed to have her as a volunteer, benefactor, critic, supporter, and friend. It can truly be said that Zelda has been instrumental with our hospital achieving excellence, and by virtue of that, Zelda has made our community a better place in which to live and raise our families.
Oncologist Charles L. Beall, MD, said Weiss was the definition of philanthropy and thanked her for her generosity.
To officially name the cancer center, Duncan and Zelda’s son, Ken Weiss, unveiled a mockup of the new “Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Center of Mon General Hosiptal” sign. The new name can also be seen at the East Canopy elevator.
Also during the Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Center dedication, the hospital celebrated the grand opening of its new Infusion Center. Tours were offered during the three hour program.
Mon General Hosiptal’s new Infusion Center is located on the 3rd Floor of the hospital’s North Tower. The Infusion Center is part of the Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Center and is where many Mon General oncology patients receive treatment on an outpatient basis.
“This is a new day for cancer care at Mon General Hospital,” said Oncologist Darrell Saunders, MD, thanking Weiss for her support. “With the building of the new Infusion Center and soon to be doctors’ offices, we will be able for the first time to have cancer care under one roof which will make it a lot easier for our patients.”
Infusion Therapy includes the administration of intravenous (IV) medication, intravenous fluid and/or blood products as ordered by the patient’s physician.
The Infusion Center was relocated from the 1st Floor of the hospital’s South Tower to make room for a new Orthopedic Center. The Infusion Center features eight treatment rooms. Six of the rooms are private and two are semi-private. The new center also includes a dictation room for physicians and a private consultation room.
“This is a positive move for the Infusion Center,” said Ellison Ponzurick, Director of Mon General Hospital’s Oncology Service Line. “The move will place the center adjacent to the Oncology physician offices and will bring it closer to clinical services.”
“The new Oncology Center is light, airy, quiet and calming,” Ponzurick said. “Every room has a window, so there is a lot of natural light. Special ceiling tiles were used to reduce noise.”