PHILADELPHIA – Solutions for Women at Pennsylvania Hospital now sells brightly colored and patterned cotton handbags, available in messenger bag and sling styles, created by a group of 45 women in Swaziland, southern Africa. Manager Debi Ferrarello has expanded the inventory to include items that appeal to all women, including the handcrafted bags and a new organic skin care line.
The women volunteer as cooks in feeding centers that serve impoverished children and orphans; income from the bag sales helps them provide for their families and continue to volunteer. Each bag comes with a tag that tells the story of the woman who created it.
Ms. Ferrarello discovered the bags and the company that distributes them, Timbali Crafts, during a medical mission trip to Swaziland. “I saw how beautiful they were, and I knew they would appeal to customers who wanted one-of-a-kind, artisan-made products,” she says. “Also, by selling these bags, we’re helping women on the other side of the world lift themselves out of poverty.”
The boutique’s other new offering comes directly in response to customers’ requests for natural beauty products. Nurture My Body products are made with certified organic ingredients, such as plant extracts and essential oils. They contain no chemical preservatives, are not tested on animals, and have eco-friendly packaging. The line includes skin, body, hair, and baby care products that have been featured in National Geographic Magazine’s Green Guide and Organic Shopper Magazine.
Solutions for Women continues to offer maternity and breastfeeding support products, including maternity bras and breast pumps, as well as head coverings and skin care items for women undergoing cancer treatment, and aromatherapy and stress-relief items that anyone might enjoy.
“My goal is to offer a variety of health and life-enhancing products in a caring, discreet, knowledgeable environment,” says Ms. Ferrarello. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Nurse with an advanced degree in Community Health Education. She and her staff are certified bra fitters who can help customers find the perfect maternity or nursing bra or pick out a lovely gift for a friend, patient, or as a treat for themselves.
Solutions for Women is open from Monday through Friday, 10 am to 2 pm. Curbside delivery is available; customers can browse the web site at http://www.pennmedicine.org/pahosp/solutions/, and their order will be brought to their cars if they call ahead.
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Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first -- was founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond. Today, the 515-bed acute care facility offers a full-range of diagnostic and therapeutic medical services and is a major teaching and clinical research institution. The hospital has over 25,000 admissions each year, including over 5,000 births. With a national reputation in areas such as orthopaedics, cardiac care, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, otorhinolaryngology (ENT) and urology as well as obstetrics, high-risk maternal and fetal services, neonatology, and behavioral health, the campus also includes specialty treatment centers such as the Joan Karnell Cancer Center, the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, the PENN Neurological Institute and the radiosurgical Gamma Knife Center. Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and is located in the historic Society Hill district of Philadelphia.
PENN Medicine is a $3.6 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to the National Institutes of Health, received over $366 million in NIH grants (excluding contracts) in the 2008 fiscal year. Supporting 1,700 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) includes its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s top ten “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. In addition UPHS includes a primary-care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care, hospice, and nursing home; three multispecialty satellite facilities; as well as the Penn Medicine Rittenhouse campus, which offers comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation facilities and outpatient services in multiple specialties.