The Blog

The Woiner Foundation delivers chemo care bags to Hillman Cancer Center

On Friday, March 9th, The Woiner Foundation delivered 10 chemo care bags to be distributed to pancreatic cancer patients at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside.

The colorful neoprene bags included organic snacks, a Panera Bread gift card, organic skincare products donated by Badger Balm, a beautiful Sterling Silver “hope” bracelet or necklace and a hand-knitted purple hat donated to the foundation at last year’s 321 Ride fundraising event.

“Anyone who has sat with a person going through cancer treatment, or undergone treatment themselves, knows what a draining time that can be, ” said Woiner Foundation Executive Director Jessica Fera.  “We hope the bags make the patients smile and add a little bright spot to an otherwise difficult day.”

The Woiner Foundation gives iPads to Family Hospice

i Aug 18th No Comments by

The Woiner Foundation presented Family Hospice and Palliative Care in Mt. Lebanon with a gift of eight iPad minis and protective cases on Monday. The iPads were purchased thanks to the generosity of the John R. and Margaret S. McCartan Charitable Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, through its “Wish Book” program.

“The iPads will be used in our two inpatient centers, one in Lawrenceville and the other in Mt. Lebanon,” said Lynn Helbling Sirinek, Vice President of Philanthropy at Family Hospice. “This technology will enable family members who are unable to visit their loved one to communicate via Skype.  We will be loading music and movies onto a couple of the iPads.  These devices will also be utilized by family members as a diversion during what can be long and difficult days.”

The iPads were given in loving memory of Tim and Rita Woiner, who were both cared for by Family Hospice; Tim, in 2010 during his battle with melanoma, and Rita, in 2014 during her battle with pancreatic cancer.

“Family Hospice provided exceptional care and great comfort to my mom and dad, and to our entire family, during the most difficult times in our lives,” said Jessica Fera, Executive Director of The Woiner Foundation. “We’re thankful to be able to give back and to help other families, in my parents’ honor.”

The Wish Book Project is a unique opportunity to connect donors to the needs of community nonprofits. This year’s Wish Book featured 70 organizations, from all avenues of the nonprofit sector, with wish requests totaling $175,000. The Woiner Foundation partnered with Family Hospice to submit this grant request on its behalf.

View photos from the presentation:

About The Woiner Foundation

The Woiner Foundation is a Pittsburgh-based, volunteer-run nonprofit organization, whose mission is to fight melanoma and pancreatic cancer by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors and families and fundraising for research.

Founded in 2013 by Jessica and Ric Fera and Rita Woiner, the foundation has raised more than $80,000 through annual fundraising events, including a golf outing and its largest event, the 3-2-1 Ride, a family-friendly bike ride that takes place in October. More than 90% of the funds raised have been used to support cancer research, prevention and patient care initiatives through the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, the Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

About Family Hospice

Celebrating our 35th anniversary of service in 2015, Family Hospice and Palliative Care provides quality, compassionate care throughout Western Pennsylvania.  Our expert staff serves nine counties in the region, helping patients with life-limiting illness make choices about their care, supporting family and friends who are grieving, and educating both professionals and the community about end-of-life issues.

Family Hospice is the largest independent, nonprofit, community-based hospice organization in the state and is accredited by The Joint Commission for meeting specific high-level performance standards.  More than 3,600 patients annually receive care from Family Hospice in a variety of settings, including private homes, nursing facilities, hospitals and our two inpatient centers in Mt. Lebanon and Lawrenceville.  For more information, visit, and

UPMC offers full body skin screenings in primary care offices

i Nov 5th No Comments by

The rates of melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years.

In the United States, about 76,690 new melanomas will be diagnosed this year.  Most skin cancers can be cured if detected early.  The best way to detect skin cancer is to check your skin regularly, about once a month.  You should examine the skin all over your body, from head to toe.

In addition, UPMC primary care physicians are now offering screening for skin cancer as part of your annual physical.  UPMC PCP’s have received specialized training in the early detection of skin cancer as part of a UPMC quality initiative.  As part of your next visit, UPMC recommends screening for skin cancer if you are over 35 years old.

This quality improvement program to increase full body skin exams was developed in conjunction with the UPMC CancerCenter.  A similar program was offered in northern Germany and decreased the death rate from melanoma by 48%.

At your annual visit, please ask for a full body skin examination.

For more information, please contact Wendy Waugh at 412-623-4700 or

(This information was originally published in a flyer distributed by UPMC to all participants in the Woiner Foundation’s 2nd annual 3-2-1 Ride event.)

The Woiner Foundation reaches GuideStar Exchange Bronze Participation Level

i Nov 15th No Comments by

PrintThe Woiner Foundation today received the GuideStar Exchange Bronze participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. This level demonstrates The Woiner Foundation’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

“We are working hard to showcase our progress toward our mission and our belief in being transparent about our work, to our supporters,” said Jessica Fera, The Woiner Foundation’s founder and executive director.” As a GuideStar Exchange participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar’s immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media.”

In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange logo, The Woiner Foundation had to fill out every required field of our nonprofit report page on for the Bronze level of participation.

Going forward, the foundation is committed to providing the necessary information to become a GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant.

About the GuideStar Exchange

The GuideStar Exchange is an initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. With millions of people coming to GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations, the GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with GuideStar’s many audiences. Becoming a GuideStar Exchange participant is free of charge. To join, organizations need to update their report pages, completing all required fields for participation. The GuideStar Exchange level logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all Exchange participants’ nonprofit reports.