Convenience, compassion, and care are the only things stressed at The Boutique, located on the second floor of the Cancer Center at South Shore Hospital. Since opening in 2009, The Boutique has provided personalized assistance for women searching for post-mastectomy clothing items as well as wigs or head coverings. Co-owner Jean Leavitt, a 21-year cancer survivor, owned a similar boutique in Florida before moving to Massachusetts.
“Getting the diagnosis of cancer can be difficult for anyone to accept,” says Leavitt. “We do whatever we can to alleviate some of the stress and to help with the emotional and physical transitions these women will face.”
The Boutique’s welcoming and relaxed atmosphere is the first stop for many women after receiving their diagnosis. “We want to prepare them for what will happen during treatment and chemotherapy and make sure that they know that we will guide them and support them throughout their journey,” says Pamela Lepore, Jean’s partner and The Boutique’s co-owner.
Both Lepore and Leavitt are board-certified mastectomy fitters and conduct patient consultations for wig and hairpiece fittings and post-mastectomy or reconstruction clothing items in a private room. The room has a small vanity and sink that Leavitt and Lepore use to pamper the women during their fitting appointments. “Losing one’s hair is a very emotional process, but wigs have changed a lot and are of much better quality now than years ago. We have some with highlights that really make it seem more like natural hair,” says Lepore.
The Boutique grew out of the full-service salon at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The convenient location in South Weymouth now means that South Shore residents no longer have to travel all the way into Boston for their treatments. “It prevents a lot of extra stress that comes with travelling all the way to Boston from the South Shore,” says Leavitt. “We are becoming an important resource, not only for patients currently going through treatment at South Shore Hospital, but also for the whole South Shore community.”
The Boutique and Cancer Center at South Shore Hospital has assisted at least 3,700 women on the South Shore who have been diagnosed with cancer. “Our patients keep coming back to us, not only during their treatment but also after their recovery, just to tell us how well they’re doing,” says Lepore. The Boutique has achieved Joint Commission accreditation, which means that it accepts Medicare and can bill most major insurance companies on behalf of the patient. “There are so many expenses associated with treatment–like travel–and this benefit is just another relief to patients,” says Leavitt. The Cancer Center also provides free parking and valet services.
The Boutique is open to the public and by appointment Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 781-624-4797.