Following a pilot program at three of its hospitals, the University of Maryland Medical System is now stocking personal care products for patients with highly textured hair from Baltimore-based company Oyin Handmade.
This initiative focuses on addressing issues of diversity, equality and inclusivity for patients across the System, which provides care in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state.
The system is working with Oyin Handmade, a Black-owned business in the Greenmount West neighborhood of Baltimore, to provide patients with Honey Wash Shampoo, Honey Hemp Conditioner and Hair Dew Leave-In Conditioner.
The products were piloted at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Downtown and Midtown campus hospitals and at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Institute, all located in Baltimore. The products, along with combs, brushes and hair picks, have been made available to all 11 member hospitals.
Nurse leader DoRhonja Nichols, DNP, RN, Director of Critical Care & Behavioral Health Services at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, is leading the effort. She said conversations with UMMS nursing leaders identified a need for hair products like these. At some UMMS member organizations, as many as 70% of patients are Black, Nichols said, which made the need clear to nursing leaders.
Nichols said leaders have identified similar needs for skin care and other products that could be introduced in the near future. She led a workgroup that explored products available from local minority-owned vendors and, after trying some of the top products for themselves and soliciting feedback from patients and staff, they settled on Oyin.