Boutique serves vital need

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A new women’s health boutique proves that good things come in small packages.

Vitality - A Survivors Boutique opened in the Cookeville Regional Medical Center in March. While the space measures just 200 square feet, it offers one-stop shopping for women undergoing cancer treatment.

“It’s very small but we’ve got it stocked,” said Debbie Williams, marketing and physician relations representative. “It helps the patient not to have to go all over town just to get a wig or a turban.”

The boutique also offers mastectomy bras, compression hosiery, sleepwear, nutritionals and scarves, with new items “coming in every month,” she said. Vitality is an offshoot of Buckeye Home Medical Equipment, a full-service HME with six locations. Buckeye bid for the chance to open a boutique in the medical center, which was recently remodeled.

“It was such a needed service and we just felt like the time was right,” said Williams. “We’ve (gotten coverage) in the local paper and received all kinds of calls.”

The location doesn’t hurt. Vitality is located near the reception area in the hospital’s cancer center. Finishing touches will include a private fitting area and a soothing water fountain, said Williams.

Boutique manager Karen Wilson is a certified mastectomy fitter with a personal connection to cancer. That was important, said Williams.

“She’s been a caregiver herself and is the most compassionate person,” she said. “It gives patients a good feeling just to come in. That’s the key to success.”