Glimpses Boutique

A place to help patients feel beautiful, inside and out:
Hope Boutique at Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City Of Hope Orange County

This is the fifth installment in Glimpses of Hope, our monthly look at the inspiring people and events helping us bring Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County to life. This month, we get a glimpse of the cancer center’s Hope Boutique.
 
The first thing visitors to the Hope Boutique will notice is the warm and welcoming environment. Tasteful design, attractive product displays, and attentive service complement the boutique’s primary reason for being: to offer healing and hope.
 
The oncology-trained cosmetology specialists who work at the Hope Boutique will be doing more than cutting hair and fitting wigs; they will be giving people resources and helping them emotionally and psychologically.
 
“People with cancer often worry about wanting to look ‘normal,’ and they come to us for answers,” said Cassie Polchow, the senior cosmetology-oncology specialist at the Positive Image Center at City of Hope’s Duarte campus. The Positive Image Center, like the Hope Boutique, was established to help patients minimize appearance-related issues, in keeping with City of Hope’s philosophy of both healing the body and sustaining the spirit.
 
“A woman may want to talk about fingernails turning a different color or how her hair may grow back with a different texture,” said Polchow. “We listen, we get to understand how the person is feeling, and then we offer recommendations to help them achieve what’s important to them.”
 
Focused on support
Located on the third floor of Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County, the Hope Boutique is purposeful in its design and mission, noted Judy Rose, City of Hope Orange County’s director of supportive and integrative care programs.
 
“Everything here is designed to focus on comfort and create a supportive environment,” Rose said. “We want the Hope Boutique to feel like you are shopping in a favorite store. The trained cosmetologist, salon station, the private fitting rooms, and the retail space are here to support you wherever you are on your cancer journey.”
 
Helping people with cancer strengthen and nurture their self-confidence exemplifies City of Hope’s whole-person approach, which encompasses caring for the mind, body, and spirit.
 
“Self-image can play a big part in how you think and feel about yourself when you are undergoing treatment for cancer. It can be challenging to know that you may lose your hair during chemotherapy, for example, even when knowing that the treatment could save your life,” said Wade Smith, M.D., a medical oncologist at City of Hope Newport Beach Fashion Island specializing in breast cancer.
 
“What sets City of Hope apart is how we see patients as whole people - people who are much more than their illness. That’s why aesthetic services like those at Hope Boutique are so beneficial. A holistic patient experience helps the patient feel empowered, which research suggests can have positive effects on treatment.”

            Also read: Infusion Bays At City Of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center Designed Around Patient Preferences

Glimpses Boutique
A glimpse of The Hope Boutique at Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County becoming a reality

 
Personalized care
A licensed, oncology-trained cosmetologist will work one-on-one with patients at the Hope Boutique to offer specialized products and services, including:

  • A private salon space for complimentary head shaves
  • Two private dressing rooms where patients can try on post-op mastectomy bras and camisoles
  • Customized fittings for wigs or breast prostheses
  • A retail section that sells hats, scarves, non-toxic nail polish, aluminum-free deodorant, and other accessories and personal care items

“I’ve had people come back after their treatment is done and say they wouldn’t have gotten through it if they hadn’t come through our doors,” said Polchow.
 
               Also read: Intentional Design of Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County Creates Hope and Healing
 
Emotional connections 
Polchow remembers one patient who didn’t want to have stubble from a shaved head but noticed her hair would naturally fall out when combed. 
 
“She and I sat together for 45 minutes and carefully combed all her hair out,” Polchow said. “She loved it, and her husband said it was the best thing I could have done for her.”
 
Polchow said those interpersonal connections make working at City of Hope particularly meaningful. “Being able to give back to people and their families is tremendously rewarding.”
 
The future is hope, and it’s unfolding in Orange County. Visit cityofhope.org/OC to learn more. And follow us on social media @cityofhopeoc. 
 
To make an appointment at any of our four Orange County locations, click here or call:
Newport Beach Fashion Island: (949) 763-2204
Newport Beach Lido: (949) 999-1400
Irvine Sand Canyon: (949) 333-7580
Huntington Beach: (714) 252-9415

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