Essentially Women Ruth Addison Award of Excellence

Congratulations to Patsy Taylor, the 2023 EW Ruth Addison Award of Excellence Winner!

Essentially Women is proud to sponsor the Ruth Addison Award of Excellence. Now in its fourth year, Essentially Women presents this award each year to an individual who has made a significant impact within her company, her community, and the women’s health industry. Nominees can be women’s health providers, mastectomy fitters, manufacturers, and other professionals in the women’s health industry. Nominations are open to all women, regardless of title or position, who work within the women’s health or mastectomy industry. The award will be presented in a ceremony before the keynote at Focus Conference.

Essentially Women has named our annual award after Miss Ruth Addison because of her tremendous impact on the development of the mastectomy fitter role within the industry and her dedicated work to develop the post-mastectomy profession. After working in an orthotics and prosthetics company for 14 years, she opened her own boutique in 1982 to fit women with breast forms. No one else in her area was selling breast forms at that time. She wanted to create a bright, cheery atmosphere because she knew how hard it was for women to come to a store like hers. She has allowed many women to train at her boutique to meet the hands-on training requirements to become a certified mastectomy fitter and has gone toe-to-toe with payers to advocate for proper reimbursement, including increasing the number of mastectomy bras allowed per year. Miss Ruth was one of the original board members of Women's Healthcare Education, which became Essentially Women. She also helped write the Medicare standards for ACHC and traveled the U.S. performing site accreditation surveys. Miss Ruth still works at her boutique in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She exemplifies quality and leadership in the mastectomy fitter profession.

2023 Finalists

Finalists were selected from a deep pool of nominees by the Ruth Addison Award selection committee.
The winner will be announced on Feb. 5, 2023, during a ceremony before the keynote at Focus Conference.

Carol Poole

Carol Poole

Owner, CEO,
A New You
Pink Boutique,
Brandon, FL

Carol Poole has been the owner and CEO of A New You Pink Boutique in Brandon, FL for the past 11 years.  Her mission is to provide compassionate care and quality products that are essential to meet women's psychosocial and physical needs.  Carol holds several certifications in mastectomy prosthetics, orthotics, and breast health to provide the most current information to empower those she serves.  

Prior to joining the healthcare industry, Carol worked in corporate finance for over 30 years as a global business manager and held life coaching certifications in business management and business strategist.

After her sister/co-founder Lisa passed away from breast cancer, Carol founded Lisa’s Pink Petals of Hope®, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization in 2014, with a mission to serve the needs of individuals and families affected by breast cancer.  The organization provides mammogram screenings for early detection to help reduce the mortality rate for those at higher risk, provides pre/post-mastectomy garments to aid those experiencing financial hardship, and patient advocacy to spread awareness.

Carol is a business mentor for CareerSource of Tampa Bay and plays an intricate part in their career-development programs by helping to improve talent and expand workplace learning opportunities through hands-on work experience in targeted Medical industries.

Carol has received numerous community awards for her time, actions, leadership, partnership, and dedication to making the community a better place.

In her spare time, Carol enjoys relaxing by the water, hanging out with family, and playing with her goldendoodle Kash.

Patsy Taylor

Patsy Taylor

Former Boutique Coordinator, Magnolias Breast Health Boutique, Augusta, GA

Patsy Taylor is the former boutique coordinator for Magnolias Breast Health Boutique in Augusta, GA, and retired owner of Designed By Nature, Inc in Greenwood, SC. Patsy started as a medical assistant and returned to school to be a Respiratory Therapist. She worked as a department head of respiratory therapy for many years before going into home respiratory care, DME, in 1989.

Patsy was brought into the world of post-mastectomy because of her sisters’ breast cancer diagnoses. In 1988, one of her sisters developed breast cancer and died in 1989 at age of 48. After her second sister developed breast cancer a couple of years later and had a mastectomy, she helped her find a place for a prosthesis fitting. At the time, the only place available was in a vascular lab in another town. The experience was almost like a medical procedure with few choices of bras. With her contacts in DME, she called a friend in Charleston that had a boutique and asked for her help. After spending the day there, they planned to open a boutique to serve the Laurens area because she felt that a fitting should have more choices and be a better experience. She and her sister worked together at the boutique. Her sister acted as her model to try the products and evaluate them to better fit their customers.

During her tenure, Designed By Nature served several counties and opened a second location in Aiken, SC, to serve a cancer center located nearby. Patsy also became active with the cancer center in Aiken, the Cancer Society, and was the Relay for Life coordinator in her county for several years. She promoted breast cancer awareness and products to help women feel good about themselves again. She witnessed the emotional aspect of breast cancer and mastectomy firsthand. She organized activities such as a bra fashion show and spoke to groups about cancer and the products available to assist women after a mastectomy, lumpectomy, and chemotherapy. Her boutique was eventually purchased by the local hospital.

Due to her expertise in the field, she was contacted to help open a boutique in the Breast Care Center of University Hospital in Augusta, GA. Working closely with Caroline Thomas, the Director of Volunteer Services, they started Magnolia Breast Health Boutique from scratch with the idea to make it a friendly, comfortable, and convenient location for the women coming to the Breast Care Center. This was one of her most gratifying achievements.

She is still involved with the Magnolias Boutique, serving on their board at Piedmont Augusta Hospital, and works in the boutique, as needed. She is enjoying retirement in Laurens, SC, with her husband, Chip, and their furry baby. She is very active in her church, community, and helps a local physician with billing or as medical assistant as needed. Her advice to anyone working with women dealing with chemo or mastectomy is to treat your customers as you would your sisters and you will be successful.

Ramona Hertzell

Ramona  Hertzell

Second to
Greensboro, NC

Ramona Hertzell, CFm, has been the owner of Second to Nature in Greensboro, NC since 1997. Ramona is a pioneer in the post-mastectomy industry. Prior to board certification and accreditation were required to be an insurance provider, she collaborated with ABCOP. When the ABCOP accreditation surveyor came for the first time to her shop, and they had never surveyed a shop like hers before. So, they learned industry standards together.  

Second to Nature in Greensboro has been the first shop in the world to use 3D scanning technology to fit a custom breast prosthesis. They were also one of the first shops in the industry to go paperless, using an electronic health records system.

Ramona has always focused on customer service, giving the patient the best possible fit, and helping these warriors through their journey. Ramona is also invested in continuing education, including attending Focus Conference, and her employees. She is proud to say that half of her employees have been retained for an average of 11-13 years or more. 

It has always been Ramona’s goal to pursue a path that is life changing and makes a difference in the lives of those that walk through her doors.  Her boutique was built and designed for the breast cancer patient to enjoy a great shopping experience.  She has achieved her goal of doing this in this industry and has never looked back in regret.    

In Ramona’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends, enjoys Bible reading and study, traveling, going to the beach, trying unique and tasty food, and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially in the fall. 




Past Winners

EW Ruth Addison Award of Excellence 2020
2020 Award Winner:
Miss Ruth Addison


Sharie Conard
2021 Award Winner:
Sharie Conard



Mary Walsh Aframe
2022 Award Winner:
Mary Walsh Aframe


Mary Walsh Aframe
2023 Award Winner:
Patsy Taylor



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