Virginia Reath / by Maia Kaufman

I met with Virginia Reath, women's health advocate and physician's assistant, yesterday. She is awesome. She was very energetic and made me think of Jane Fonda.  She has been working in women's health since the 1970's, and has seen every route this uphill climb has taken. 

I asked about her thoughts on the need for a space like this, and she got very excited. She believes that the main issue facing women today is a lack of knowledge and understanding of their bodies. There are 1000+ types of oral contraceptives but no one understands what ovulating is.

"Clinicians don't have time to inform women anymore; the people you do ask are uninformed, and the people online are crazy."

She's very excited about my idea and gave me some great advice, as well as offering to help me with products when the time comes to stock the store. 

A few things she mentioned that I want to consider:

  • Offering natural (herbal) options in addition to pharmaceutical ones
  • STD Testing/ Treatments
  • Diaphragm/ Sexual Health Workshops a la 70's/80's sexual revolution
  • Staffing the store with women's and public health students or health education students
  • Stylish but medical uniforms for workers (clinical but also beautiful and comforting design theme)
  • Incorporating conceptual art into the store- trying to get across how poor access to items and education is, but how this idea can help ameliorate that

Her assistant wasn't there, but Virginia told me she's very interested in the project and may be calling me to discuss. In the meantime, I'm going to continue thinking about the design of the concept- how much of it is an art piece vs. actual working store- and about how to get more involved with people in the health care fields.