When we think of hospital gift shops, we think of “Get Well” balloons, birthday cards and bouquets of tulips. Rarely do we envision snazzy duds and chic scarves, let alone jewelry or Build-A-Bear buddies. LifeBridge Health facilities are upending our expectations in delightful ways by offering patients, families and employees the best in luxury, style and, of course, fun!
“The shops give patients and visitors a welcome break from the hospital environment; plus, the employees have a great time shopping during breaks,” says David Garner, director of Retail Health.
Anyone who’s visited Sinai’s campus lately has most likely left with a lighter wallet. In the past few months, our gift shop has moved and merged with the retail pharmacy; a Bijoux Terner store has opened; and Bearamy, the official mascot of Build-A-Bear Workshop, cut the ribbon in front of the location near the new Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital.
For Rachel Joseph, director of Business Development, the expansion was about “creating new sources of revenue for LifeBridge, [and also] enhancing the patient, visitor and employee experience. These shops provide important amenities to patients and employees who spend long hours on our campus.”
The Sinai gift shop has long been a lifesaver for employees who needed to snag a birthday card for a co-worker or wanted to spruce up their office with a cute tchotchke, but it’s also a neighborhood institution. Allen Feinberg, who has been managing the gift shop for over five years, says that “people who were once patients are coming back as non-visitors because we have great people working here and great merchandise.”
Next is the Bijoux Terner boutique. After its March 1 opening, it’s become the one-stop shop for gorgeous gifts (and a little splurge for yourself, too). You’ll find sumptuous scarves, jewelry, watches, handbags and more for just $10. That’s right, $10. Mike Irani, the store manager, says that their aim is to send customers out with a smile.
“A hospital is not normally a happy place for patients and their families unless they’re expecting the birth of a child. We provide a pleasant experience to the patients and their loved ones from the moment they enter the shop.”
If you swipe your badge at Levindale or Northwest, you can shop ’til you drop. The Israelson Boutique at the Levindale Town Center offers a touch of team pride in addition to the traditional cards, flowers, drinks and jewelry: You can share a little LBH spirit by rockin’ a Levindale-themed hat or shirt.
Even if you come for the goodies, you’ll stay for the company. As soon as you enter the shop, you’re greeted by head retail associate JoAnne Edghill, who has been with the shop since it opened last February. For JoAnn, every shift is a chance to make someone’s day brighter. ”I have the freedom to be creative and assist customers,” she says. “I’ve seen the morale of the patients boosted, and they seem less stressed.
Whether you want to pick up a stuffed tiger for your young cousin or a summer dress for hitting the town after work, you should stop by the Northwest Hospital gift shop. It’s truly a labor of love, run exclusively by volunteers and managed by Audrey Lifcovich and her husband, Mark. Audrey is a pillar of the Northwest community; not only has she volunteered for 20 years, she also raises money for the Northwest Auxiliary. Her efforts helped secure over $250,000 for the healing garden.
For Audrey, the shop does more than bring in revenue; it gifts us with a sense of togetherness. “[It's] convenient for patients and employees,” she says. “Plus, many community members come here to shop … they know how much we care about them and want to give back.”
The famous designer Yves St. Laurent once remarked that “fashions fade, style is eternal.” If there’s one thing that will never go out of style at LifeBridge Health, it’s offering quality care — and a touch of flair — every day.
To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.