High Hopes Salon Caters to Cancer Patients

High Hopes Salon 

Martha Siekman Cancer Center Location Provides Private, Comfortable Service

Hair loss is one traumatic part of cancer treatment for women. A new salon inside the Martha Siekman Cancer Center at Appleton Medical Center is designed to help make that part of the journey a little less painful.

The High Hopes Hair Salon opened this fall and offers cancer patients a private salon environment where a licensed cosmetologist provides services such as hair shaving, fittings for wigs, scarves and hats, information on scalp health and new hair growth, and the first haircut once the patient’s hair begins growing back in. The salon recently held its grand opening.

“It’s very private – just one-on-one,” said Lisa Kellnhauser, the cosmetologist who works at the salon. “A cancer patient doesn’t have to sit in a regular salon where there may be other people around them while they are going through the difficult time. The High Hopes Hair Salon is geared to the patient and doing whatever we can to make them feel as comfortable as possible.”

The first floor salon by the cancer center replaced one that had been on the hospital’s second floor. “It’s right here and very convenient,” Kellnhauser said.

The new salon was made possible by a $10,000 gift from the Patricia Ann High Cancer Fund, a designated fund of the Appleton Medical Center Foundation. Dean High said he gave to the project since he knew it’s something his wife, who battled terminal cancer for 11 months before dying, would have wanted.

“The salon provides patients with a very comfortable and private place to receive cosmetology services. Hopefully, using the salon services will make patients feel better about themselves as they undergo the rigors of their respective cancer treatments,” High said.

The salon is designed around the patient’s needs, he added. For example, the styling chairs swivel so patients can easily be turned away from the mirror while their hair is being shaved. “That has been very well received,” High said.

“It’s important for patients to feel good about themselves and the salon services are designed to assist them in this regard,” he continued. “The salon will not cure cancer, nor replace treatments, but it may improve patients’ attitudes and boost their spirits.”

The wigs, scarves and hats provided by the salon are all donated and the costs to the patient are kept very minimal, Kellnhauser said. “The salon is all about building confidence in patients. For many patients, hair loss is the first visible sign to the rest of the world that something is wrong and the patients benefit from us being able to provide these services in a private, familiar environment,” she said.

High said the salon’s name is a perfect fit. “Hope was all my wife Pat had given her diagnosis…hope is that we find a way to treat and stop this terrible disease and hope is that everyone who passes through the doors of the High Hopes Salon will be cured of their cancer,” he said. “This would have been Pat’s ‘hope.’”

If you would like to make a gift to support similar projects, please contact Kara Muchow at the Appleton Medical Center Foundation at (920) 738-6248.

Appleton Medical Center is a 160-bed acute care hospital that opened in 1958. In addition to general medical and surgical care, services include the Appleton Heart Institute, a fully staffed emergency department, pediatrics, birthing services, a comprehensive cancer center, and ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus, which integrates orthopedics, sports medicine, outpatient rehabilitation and other services. Appleton Medical Center is an accredited Chest Pain Center by the national Society of Chest Pain Centers.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.