A program called “Look Good Feel Better” (LGFB), which is designed to help cancer patients improve their self-confidence by regaining control of their appearance, is underway through the Northwest Hospital Foundation.  Pandemic-related directives have changed the way the program is being offered.  It was previously held at UPMC Northwest, but is now conducted live online.

The makeovers include complimentary makeup and tips from volunteer beauty experts on skin, hair, accessories and other fashion options.  “Hairstyles and cosmetics are more than superficial concerns for women battling a life-threatening disease,” said Theresa Edder, executive director of the foundation that sponsors the program.  “Maintaining a positive self-image can have a beneficial impact on a patient’s recovery, especially for at-risk women during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Shirl Baughman, BSN RN and nurse navigator at UPMC Northwest said, “COVID has brought changes to the LGFB program, some of them positive.  Participants and volunteers have adapted to virtual classes.”  Until the hospital allows for in-person classes again, the LGFB program will continue to hold live virtual classes.  “These classes offer the opportunity for at-risk women to attend safely from home,” Baughman said.

LGFB workshops are free for all women undergoing cancer treatment.  Registered attendees receive makeup and skin care kits by mail or in person from Baughman prior to their scheduled online class.  “Most kits are mailed to participants.  If a patient is currently receiving treatment, I can deliver a kit in-person.  That way, they do not have to wait and can take a class offered sooner,” said Baughman.

To register for a free online workshop, individuals may visit  Additional information is available by contacting Baughman at 676-7746.

Funded by Northwest Hospital Foundation, the program is offered through a collaboration of the Look Good Feel Better Foundation and the Professional Beauty Association.

Dignity Health Cancer Institute is a member of the Look Good Feel Better Alliance.




Dr. Bawab and Evan Ward


UPMC Northwest Hospital is putting some of its smallest patients in the driver’s seat. Pediatric patients can now drive themselves to the operating room in miniature battery-powered cars. Most kids are stressed when it comes to operations and procedures, so the operating room staff came up with an innovative way to help calm their fears.

Patients are riding to the operating room in style thanks to an anonymous donation to the Northwest Hospital Foundation. Kids ranging from ages 2 to 10 can choose from a Jeep or Mercedes-Benz convertible. The cars light up, and they can play music with Bluetooth technology. The vehicles can be operated by the kids or by a nurse or doctor with a remote controller.

Since the cars were put in use almost a month ago, the driving experience is already working its magic. Children such as Evan Ward, son of Michael and Amanda Ward of Franklin, PA, are feeling less anxious about their upcoming procedures.

“Evan had a wonderful surgical experience at UPMC Northwest. The staff was diligent and very attentive to him when he arrived. Once he was settled in, the time quickly passed as he was given the opportunity to drive the new electric cars that they are utilizing for their pediatric patients. Instead of being apprehensive about the unfamiliar environment he was in, he was calm, laughing, and he enjoyed driving around the hallway where everyone greeted him. We are so thankful that Evan will remember his surgery day as a positive and fun experience,” said the Wards.

The program makes the staff and surgeon’s jobs easier, too. It puts their minds at ease to know the kids are happier, relaxed and having fun.

According to Dr. Ibrahim Bawab, Head of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UPMC Northwest: “Surgery day can be stressful for almost everyone and especially for kids. As a surgeon who also manages the pediatric population, I’ve witnessed the anxiety and agitation firsthand, mostly when the kids are being separated from their parents and wheeled to the operating room.

“Luckily, now with the new cars at UPMC Northwest, the kids can be more at ease, they can ride the miniature cars, and head toward the operating room in style. This will certainly help decrease anxiety and create an overall environment of fun and playfulness,” said Dr. Bawab.



It was the stench of a Grinch celebration, at UPMC Northwest Hospital’s Family Birthing Center, which on Saturday, celebrated its Eighth Annual Baby’s First Christmas Party to honor the babies born at the hospital last year.

Family Birthing Center staff dressed up for the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” theme to greet more than 70 special newborn guests, including Emalyn Griffie of East Brady, PA, born May 5th and her parents Dustin and Melissa Griffie, along with her 5-year-old brother Jase.

The special guests were joined by more than 200 of their own family members, who enjoyed refreshments, basket giveaways, and coloring for the older children.

Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by to make a special appearance so that each new baby could have their first Christmas photo taken with them. Each baby also received an ornament to commemorate this special occasion. Dr. Kyle E. Shilk, DO Anesthesiology, and his wife Pediatrician Heidi Ochs, DO, took on the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus. They said, “It was a real pleasure in getting to share time with families and being able to be part of their Christmas memories. We look forward to sharing in the tradition in the future.”

This annual event also gives the Family Birthing Center staff a chance to reconnect with babies and families.

UPMC Northwest averages 600 newborn deliveries a year. The Family Birthing Center has three labor, delivery, and recovery rooms; a 10-bed postpartum unit; and a 12-bed newborn nursery.

To learn more about this and other events sponsored by Northwest Hospital Foundation, contact Theresa Edder, Executive Director at (814) 676-7145 or visit


Employees who donate to the UPMC Northwest Nursing Education Fund may dress down at work on Fridays between July and September.

Staff may wear a UPMC T-shirt, jersey of a favorite sports team, or any seasonal scrub top.

Fund donations will be accepted in the Administration Office or Human Resources Office or can be given to any Administrator on Duty.



During the month of July, Trails to Ales Brewery is donating 3% from sales of its Sandy Creek Shandy brew to benefit the Northwest Hospital Foundation Medication Hardship Fund.  Ales Brewery is located at 1270 Liberty Street in Franklin, Pennsylvania.

Many residents without full health insurance coverage often must decide between putting food on the table or going without medication.

The Medication Hardship Fund ensures patients can obtain their medications and reduces the chance of costly hospital readmissions.


UPMC Northwest received a cardiac device primarily for use in the emergency room but one that can be deployed throughout the hospital.  The $14,000 device, which is a gift from the Northwest Hospital Foundation, is the LUCAS 3, V 3.1 Chest Compression System (LUCAS), which aids in resuscitation of cardiac patients.

“I am happy to say that our facility is very privileged to have this level of support from the Foundation,” Emergency Department Director Heidi Boitnott said.  “The Foundation has allowed us to secure equipment that we may not have otherwise been able to obtain.”

The LUCAS device delivers consistent, high-quality chest compressions at recommended rate and depth while allowing for chest recoil.  That means fewer interruptions compared with manual CPR, leading to higher compression ratios and doubling of blood flow to the heart and brain.

Studies demonstrate the LUCAS device improves quality of chest compressions, increases carbon dioxide monitoring levels, and sustains lifesaving blood circulation during prolonged resuscitation attempts.

“Prolonged CPR can occur in many situations, including when serious, inclement weather delays a transport,” Boitnott said.  “LUCAS can free up personnel to let them focus on other critical emergency patient care, such as defibrillation, intubation, and IV placement.”


Bringing a friend or family member to Northwest Hospital for a procedure?

Skip the waiting area and enjoy the Walking Trail!

Through the generosity of our community, the Trail offers a smooth, paved surface, three seating areas, and doggie stations for your fur-babies.

Pictured:  Vicky & Charlie


Northwest Hospital Foundation will celebrate with cancer survivors and their families and friends at the Annual Survivors Celebration Picnic on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.  The picnic celebrating life will be held at the UPMC Northwest Pavilion.  Please RSVP to attend by August 9.

Wendell August commemorative ornaments in memory or in honor of a loved one can be ordered by July 22.


National Nurses Week

Posted by: admin Tags: | Categories: Our News


National Nurses Week begins May 6 and ends on May 12.

Thank you to all the nurses at Northwest Hospital for your dedication to your profession and to your patients!

Has a nurse touched your heart?

It’s the perfect time to give back and honor a nurse.