LPGA Professionals Visit Somerset Medical Center

Somerset Medical Center Visit

To a player, putting during an LPGA Tour event can come with a lot of stress - it could be the only thing standing between a player and victory.

On May 15, however, LPGA players hit putting greens at the Somserset Medical Center's Steeplechase Cancer Center, replacing the high-pressure event environment with a fun demonstration with Center patients and staff.

Jodi Ewart, Caroline Hedwall and Jennifer Johnson visited the Sybase Match Play Championship's official charity partner, taking a tour of the facility with Medical Director Kathleen Toomey, dishing out putting tips and visiting with patients.

For the three women, a visit to the Steeplechase Cancer Center provided them with a new, focused outlook.

"I'm blessed to be healthy, to be able to play golf," Johnson said. "Seeing the people getting the infusions for hours, it's tough to watch."

The visit and putting demonstration helped to brighten up a rainy day, giving the players a break from the greens and the patients a welcome distraction.

While on the visit, the players interacted one-on-one with Steeplechase Center patients and hospital staff, offering tips, talking with them and autographing golf balls.

To Ewart, the chance to spend time with the patients was a highlight of the day.

"Being able to help people, doing the putting thing, they were so happy to be able to spend a couple of minutes with us," Ewart said. "To be a part of a fun part of their day, giving autogrape golf balls, it's something they'll be able to keep and treasure."

Throughout the tour of the Center, one of Toomey's focuses was on making the Center a peaceful, calming place for patients to receive treatment and family members to wait and visit. Gone are the days of treatments in dark basements, replaced with gorgeous gardens and light-filled rooms decorated with soothing nature photos.

To see the respect and attention the Steeplechase Center had for patients was comforting for Johnson.

"It's great to know how much they are always thinking about the patients, trying to make it a relaxing place," Johnson said. "It's good knowing the patients are in good care."

Toomey also educated the players on cancer treatment and how it's evolved over the years, highlighting a rise in survival rates.

With proceeds from Sybase Match Play Championship benefitting the Somerset Medical Center and the Steeplechase Cancer Center, the players got to see firsthand how the Tour assists the community."They save so many more patients now, compared to 25 years ago," Hedwall said.  "It's good to know we're headed in the right direction."

"It was great seeing what we're doing, and how the LPGA is helping," Ewart said.

Topics: Outside the Ropes, Sybase Match Play Championship, Ewart Shadoff, Jodi, Hedwall, Caroline, Johnson, Jennifer [+]

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