MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Mon Health Equipment and Supplies has donated more than $50,000 worth of mastectomy bras, camisoles and mastectomy forms to the Bra Bank at Mon Health Cancer Center.
According to a release, the Bra Bank, which has officially been open for two weeks, supplies these items and more to women, who cannot afford them, after their mastectomy procedures at no cost to them. It is operated by Tricia Julian, the oncology nurse navigator for the Mon Health Cancer Center. She said it was about three months ago when Jeanette Lancaster, executive director of Mon Health Equipment and Supplies, contacted her after the Morgantown and Fairmont office’s consolidated.
“When we consolidated the offices, we found that we had an extensive amount of inventory,” Lancaster said. “Some of which, or a lot of which, had been discontinued by the manufacturer or just was nonmoving product that just was sitting on our shelf. In order to reduce our inventory and make sure that we had an appropriate supply for the ladies who are coming in and getting fitted at our location, we decided to reach out to the hospital first.”
When she reached out, she was met with excitement from Julian because it had been her dream to start a Bra Bank.
“When I came here, I really wanted to, first of all, get the wig bank open, which were able to do with the support of our foundation,” Julian said. “Jeannette contacted about, probably three months ago and told me that they were going to – that they had some supplies that they were going to discontinue and asked if I wanted them. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity so we have a very, very generous supply.”
Julian strongly advocated for a Bra Bank because she had seen the positive impact it had on women’s lives in Fairmont.
A woman she helped went through a devastating event, but was able to receive help from the Bra Bank.
“She, unfortunately, had a house fire and she had her mastectomy bra on and the form,” Julian said. “That was the only one that she was able to salvage. And she needed extra supplies and she needed them quickly, so we were able to give her those from the bra bank and she didn’t have to wait. She didn’t have to purchase them and get reimbursed and so on, so it’s really a big benefit. We have a large patient population who are afflicted with breast cancer who are in need of these services.”
Now, shelves at the Bra Bank are stocked and women can take advantage. The Bank, currently, has no permanent home and is being housed within the Wig Bank.
Those who are interested can contact Julian’s office to setup an appointment at: 304-2852622.
The best part, Julian said, is the service is not limited to Mon Health patients.
“We offer these services to anyone regardless of where they are getting treatment,” Julian said. “I don’t care if they’re getting treatment outside of here. Of course, we obviously want to take care of all of our patients who are getting treatment here, but we take care of as many as we can from outside agencies as well.”
It is this mission, Lancaster said, that inspired her to pick up the phone and offer supplies to Julian.
She said her goal was to help women in need.
“What we look to happen is for more ladies who have had to go through this life altering surgery and do not have appropriations for reconstructive surgery or are not a candidate for it or again, who don’t have insurance, or higher copays, deductibles, that sort of thing so that they can also feel whole again,” she said. “That’s very important to us whether it is being provided from our location down at our store at Mon Health Equipment and supply, or whether they’re getting it from Tricia and he team here at Mon Health Medical Center.”
Moving forward, Lancaster said, she and her team will always look to donate extra supplies in their inventory to the Bra Bank and to help out as much as possible.
For that and everything else, Julian said she is grateful for Lancaster and her team.
“I am so proud when I go to talk to patients and tell them all of the services that we have and I think that’s due, in large part, to all the collaboration between our different departments and our different facilities,” Lancaster said. “My true heartfelt thanks goes out to Jeanette and her team.”
Again, if you are interested, then can contact Julian’s office to setup an appointment at: (304) 285-2622.