Hoping to offer female customers more privacy and a relaxed atmosphere, Kesling Home Heath Care is in the midst of the finishing touches on a new private mastectomy supply and fitting room.
“I would have liked to do it a long time ago,” said Tobie Kesling, business co-owner. “Hopefully, it will make them more comfortable.”
In 1996, Tobie and Curtis Kesling opened the home health care business after his father and uncle closed Kesling’s Drugs after 49 years in business.
The couple decided to take over the durable medical equipment portion of the business and use the family name upon opening.
“The day the drugstore closed, we were over here,” she said.
Kesling Home Heath Care provides a full range of home products and support services for patients.
When the couple opened the business, Tobie decided to offer a line of mastectomy supplies since they are covered under Medicare. She said she wanted to offer customers everything available to them under insurance coverage.
She soon went to school to become a certified fitter, in order to better serve the customer’s needs.
“I wanted to take care of customers fully, instead of having to say ‘No, we don’t have that. Go to Kokomo,’” she said. “... I started with a different company, but they didn’t offer as much product. So, we switched, and now, I’m introducing a new line to offer more product.”
With the new line and new room, Tobie has added swimsuits, head scarves and other products a female chemotherapy or radiation patient would need.
Before the room was built, Tobie used different fitting areas in the building. She didn’t have a specific room designed around the mastectomy supplies.
Since she first started offering the fitting services at Kesling Home Heath Care, Tobie said there’s a lot more to it, compared to the way it used to be.
“You have to document time and have so many hours to be certified,” she said.
There are a number of guidelines that must be met to be a provider in order to continue offering the services. Despite the time commitment, she feels it’s important to continue.
After Tobie went for continuing education credits in September, she decided it was time to add the new space in the business.
Tobie said not everyone realizes Kesling offers a line of mastectomy supplies and fitting services.
“Until you have something happen, you don’t always pay attention to what providers offer,” she said.
She said she feels there is a need for the service in the community.
“We have a lot patients and new ones all the time,” she said.
Tobie said she hopes the newly constructed room will attract more customers and help the business grow.
Tobie plans to have a special opening celebration in October, which is breast cancer awareness month. For now, she is still installing a few more shelves and waiting for more product to arrive.
Having the opportunity to help other women has been rewarding for one main reason.
“A lot of ladies leave here feeling so much better,” said Tobie. “It uplifts their spirits knowing they look normal again.”
Name: Kesling Home Health Care
Address: 1115 W. Market St.
For a fitting: Call the store to schedule a fitting appointment between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Denise Massie is a staff writer at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5151 or firstname.lastname@example.org