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News & Press: WOCN Society

What's New With The WOCN Society's Regions And Affiliates?

Friday, August 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristin Petty
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WOCN Society Region and Affiliate Yearly Newsletter
Baltimore Affiliate

The Greater Baltimore Affiliate of the WOCN®Society advances the practice of wound, ostomy and continence nursing by promoting the professional growth of our members through collaboration, communication, and advanced education with the goal of providing the highest standards of care for persons with wounds, ostomies, or incontinence and their families/caregivers who support them.   

The Greater Baltimore Affiliate members have been working hard at planning the upcoming MAR WOCN 2019 Conference in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The theme is “Opening the Gates” for Evidence-Based Practice in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. There is an incredible line-up of keynote speakers! Members have also lined up great nightly entertainment, including trivia night and a signature “WOCtail”. We look forward to toasting with our fellow WOC nurse colleagues and our WOCtails!

We are proud to announce two members of the Greater Baltimore Affiliate were recently published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing ( JWOCN ). Cynthia A. Walker’s article, “ Hospitalists' Needs Assessment and Perceived Barriers in Wound Care Management ,” was published in the March/April 2019 issue. Cindy Shephard’s article, “ Role of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse in Continence Care; 2018 Update ,” was published in the May/June 2019 issue. Thank you both for sharing your expertise and knowledge.

We look forward to everyone coming together at the upcoming MAR WOCN 2019 Conference in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and celebrating and honoring our specialty of WOC nursing together.
Hampton Roads Affiliate

The Hampton Roads (HR) Affiliate of the WOCN Society continues to be a passionate force for the local community. The HR Affiliate continues to hold monthly educational dinner meetings that have strong attendance.

Members have been extraordinarily active in the community. On the Southside, Kathy Merk helps with member support to provide monthly education to the ostomy support group. On the Peninsula, Claudia Thomas facilitates events and sits on the MAR board as Treasurer. Bridgete Ahern compiled a detailed comprehensive list of local certified outpatient ostomy nurse resources to distribute to the ostomy community. In the SNGH Cardiac OR, Bridgete trialed alternating air overlay technology for pressure injury prevention and she is pursuing an MSN degree with an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty. Our current affiliate President, Ferne Elsass, serves on the MAR board as Secretary and is a board-appointed member of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB ® ) Public Policy Committee. Ferne presented at the CHKD Pediatric Trauma Conference on Pediatric Burn Care, and presented a poster on Single Use Negative Pressure and the Pediatric Patient at WOCNext 2019 and SAWC. Ferne appeared on a local broadcast discussing the dangers of sunburn and provided an educational dinner presentation for the Society’s Greater Delaware ValleyAffiliate. Sheryl Bailey sat on the WOCNCB committee that wrote and developed the CFCN flash cards. Eva Sauls completed her BSN at 65 years young. Way to go, Eva! Mary Hohenwarter and CJ Crane have re-certified in ostomy. Christina Bergey has re-certified in wound, ostomy and continence.
HR WOCN July Social-Meeting 2019
HR Affiliate at their July Social Meeting in 2019.
WOCN Conference in Philadelphia PA 2018
HR Affiliate at the 50th Annual Conference in Philadelphia in 2018.
Washington D.C. Affiliate

The Washington D.C. Affiliate is an active group of clinicians in all areas of practice. We hold meetings every other month throughout the year and have as many as 20-25 members attend. During these meetings we have a vendor sponsored presentation followed by a presentation of clinical expertise. We travel throughout the Metro D.C. area taking turns hosting meetings. We are plagued by some of the country’s worst traffic, so this year we piloted an online meeting and it was a hit! We’ll be doing more of that next year.

Our greatest resource is each other. Our LISTSERV email platform is busy with inquiries about quick and reliable collaboration, from product evaluation to clinical nightmares. We are in the beginning stages of planning our bi-annual Memorial Education Conference that will be held in April 2020. This will be a day filled with lectures and hands-on breakout sessions presented by the experts within our Affiliate for our target audiences of bedside nurses, front-line nurses and technicians, as well as students. Several of our members have presented posters and lectures at various conferences throughout the year.
Mideast Region

The Mideast Region will hold its annual conference from September 26-28, 2019, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Featured presenters include Dr. Elizabeth Ayello, Dr. Mikel Gray and Dr. Sally Arnold. The Norma Gill Oration topic will be Pediatric Diversions and Pouching Concerns, which will be presented by Lisa Kirk, MSN, CWOCN, from Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University.

To provide a more standardized approach to conference planning, the Mideast Region is transitioning to a Regional Planning Committee, which focuses on the continuing education and speaker portion of the agenda, and contracting with a conference planner. Conferences will still move from state-to-state as before, but now local members will have the ability to be a part of the planning process. All members are welcome and encouraged to participate on this committee no matter what state you are from. Participating as a board or committee member is an effective way to develop each person’s own leadership skills and increase networking potential, not to mention increase visibility in the specialty. Don’t wait to be asked-- consider volunteering to run for office or participating as a committee member for the Mideast Region. If not elected on the first attempt, don't despair;. It is through ongoing involvement that name recognition and visibility lead to success. In support of the WOCN Society's “Fund the Future” campaign, members voted to support two scholarships at the national level.
Iowa Affiliate

Iowa continues to have a strong Society Affiliate with members involved locally and nationally. The 2019 Ostomy Education Day was held on April 6 in Waterloo, Iowa, with 55 participants. We had many Iowa WOC nurses serve at this event amd reach out to those with ostomies and to those who care or support someone with an ostomy.

Our 21st Annual Iowa Affiliate fall conference is scheduled for September 12-13, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa, with a Super Hero theme. We will be offering a pre-conference on September 12 titled, "Hero's in Continence Care." We will have a mix of local and national speakers, and various topics on wound, ostomy, continence and professional practice. The conference will have something for everyone from "Novice to Expert".

More than 25 Iowa Affiliate members attended WOCNext 2019 in Nashville, several of whom presented posters and sessions. We continue to be a strong affiliate being involved locally and nationally.

We currently have members that serve on the Society’s national committees, such as the Membership Committee, the National Conference Planning Committee, the Leadership Development Committee and the Public Policy Committee.
Nebraska Affiliate

The Nebraska (NE) Affiliate has been making big strides in the past couple of years planning and offering education to certified wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nurses, and nurses interested in wound, ostomy, and continence care. NE held its first Annual Conference this year, which was a huge success due to their persistence and passion to ensure high quality education with excellent presentations from experts in the area.

NE is currently planning its 2nd Annual Conference for April 17, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska, with new emerging topics, including fistula management, updates on the new pressure injury prevention guidelines, and other wound, ostomy, and continence topics. Participants will have the chance to visit with vendors to stay up-to-date on the latest products and devices to help them manage those with basic and complex needs in wound, ostomy, and continence nursing. It will be a great opportunity to network with others within Nebraska, as well as surrounding states to help improve patient care and smooth transitions between settings.

The NE’s mission is to continue to provide other education and networking opportunities in the near future for not only WOC nurses to work at the top of their scope, but to also improve patient outcomes throughout Nebraska.
Northern Illinois Affiliate

Here are our the Northern Illinois Affiliate 2019 Highlights:

Committee Events
Public Policy & Advocacy Committee
  • We started WOC Nurse Week off with the inaugural meeting.
  • We even received an inspirational video message from the Society’s President, at the time, Kelly Jaszarowski, and a phone call from Kathleen Lawrence, the Society’s National Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator!
  • Thank you to the Chair, Kathleen Hudson and the committee Members.
Community Education Committee
  • May 1 was the 26th Anniversary Community Education Program - Expanding on the Basics.
  • Over 180 local RNs, LPNs, patient care techs and other healthcare professionals joined us.
  • Thank you to the Chair, Diane Hogeveen, Vice-Chair, Allison Reid, and the committee Members.
Professional Education Committee
  • October 2019 marks the 22nd Annual Program. Thank you to the Chair, Mary Sandrik, Vice-Chair, Kathy O’Toole, and the committee Members.
Hospitality Committee
  • In Fall 2019, the committee chair will recruit members and will have its inaugural meeting. Thank you to the Chair, Laura Williamson.
WOCNext 2019 Event
We had 7 committee members who presented at 3 sessions and submitted 5 abstracts at WOCNext 2019 in Nashville. Thank you to Christine Baker, Nancy Chaiken, Janice Colwell, Kathleen Hudson, Marina Makovetskaia, Allison Reid and Susan Solmos. We had 26 members attend our onsite regional and affiliate meeting.

Website and Facebook
  • We have updated our website to improve navigation, resource retrieval and attract visitors. Visit to learn more.
  • Our Facebook group attracted 24 new members.
St. Louis Affiliate

The St. Louis Affiliate “Woundstock” Annual Wound Conference, to be held on September 12, 2019, at St. Louis University, is a must-attend event in our area. We have been so successful so far that we have been able to provide housing for the volunteers at our booth this year. We were also able to provide a “Meet n’ Greet” for the National Pressure Ulcer Prevention (NPUAP) speakers when they came to St. Louis for their Annual Conference in March 2019.

We had a booth at WOCNext 2019 in Nashville for the first time. Besides being fun, it was great to network among ourselves, and the meeting attendees, while promoting Woundstock.

The fruits of our volunteer commitment to our conferences have finally returned to us, giving our group a cohesive and stronger presence in our community. We are able to continue hosting both a wound conference and an ostomy/continence conference as yearly events.
New England Region

We are back from attending WOCNext 2019 in Nashville, where our region had a booth in the exhibit hall for the first time. We displayed historical items from the region, a digital frame with photos of member activities, logo merchandise, Youth Rally activity information, and honored members who have served at the national level of the Society and for the WOCNCB®. Several of our members presented posters at WOCNext 2019. Everyone had fun enjoying the music scene in Nashville and networking with colleagues. 

The New England Region will hold its 2019 Annual Fall Conference, “Creating Change Together”, in Manchester, New Hampshire, from October 18-19, at the DoubleTree Hilton Downtown Manchester Hotel. The conference will offer 11 Contact Hour credits over 2 days and will include networking opportunities and large vendor hall. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit New England. Members will display current posters and will present “Challenges in Practice.” As always, we will be holding a silent auction to raise funds for Youth Rally. We will honor the WOC Nurse of the Year from the region and award $10,000 in scholarships to nurses pursuing education in WOC nursing. Please visit our website for the agenda, speakers and topics. This year we will focus on wellness and offer yoga classes and a variety of wound, ostomy, continence and professional sessions. I hope to see you there.

Mary Willis, MS, RN, CWOCN, President of the New England Region.
Metro NY Affiliate

What is new with Metro New York Affiliate? The Metro New York Affiliate has been very busy this past Spring. At our Spring meeting in April 2019 we raised $200 dollars for the Fund the Future campaign. On March 24, our Affiliate participated in the Colon and Rectal Cancer Challenge on Randall’s Island and raised $1,319 dollars for the cause. Our member Nora Sammon participated in the Take Steps Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation on May 5 as a Nurse Representative to answer questions about these conditions. On May 18, our member Rachelle Sideris participated in the Brooklyn Health Fair. The Bladder Cancer Walk held on May 19 was led by our President, Bea Forlizzi, at Hudson River Park. We had a very successful time at WOCNext 2019 in Nashville, with seven of our members presenting and sharing their research. As we move forward this year, we will be nominating a new Treasurer for 2020.
Western PA Affiliate

The Western PA Affiliate holds meeting five times a year at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Each meeting is sponsored by a wound, ostomy and/or continence company who provides education prior to each Affiliate meeting. At each meeting, there are multiple reporting groups that discuss regional and national issues within the Society. The Affiliate provides competencies once a year in September. The competency education is provided by fellow WOC nurses within the Affiliate. There is a speaker within each topic of wound, ostomy, continence and professional practice. This provides competency within the Affiliate and allows for networking.

The Affiliate also has a private Facebook group which provides communication between the Affiliate members. With the increase in social networking, this year the President of the Affiliate would like the Affiliate members to use this tool as a way of networking with other WOC nurses within the Affiliate between each meeting, discuss upcoming conferences, and for WOC nurses to discuss more difficult cases and provide feedback from other members.

At the end of 2018, the Pittsburgh Affiliated Support Group of the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) received an endowment of funds that were to be used locally for education purposes for WOC nurses. The Western PA Affiliate created a scholarship committee, which developed an application and process to offer scholarships for WOC nurse training, education, certification, conference costs and advanced education.

The Western PA affiliate is always looking for more WOC nurses to join and participate in meetings, education and networking. If interested please contact Kelly McCurdy at .
Northwest Region

Hello from the Northwest (NW) Region! Our group is getting ready to hold our annual NW Region Conference on October 17-18 in Medford, Orgeon. We are combining the NW Region and Asante Conferences to create a great conference for all clinicians interested in the WOC specialties. We have an amazing lineup of speakers this year and are excited to learn them:
  • Julie Rizzo, MD, FACS: Burn Care Strategies for Health Care Providers
  • James McGuire, PT, DPM, CPed, FAPWHc: Using the ABCESS Approach to Improve Outcomes in the Management of Lower Extremity Foot Wounds
  • Tracey Vlahovic, DPM, FFPM, FCPS: Dermatological Conditions that Impact the Lower Leg
  • Marie Gehling MSN, NP-C, CWOCN, and John Samies, MD, FSHEA: Topically Speaking; The ABC’s of Topically Applied Products for Biofilm-Based Wound Management
  • Maryanne Obst, RN, CWON, CCRN: Complex Abdominal Wounds and Fistula Nightmares: Tricks and Tips
  • Mikel Gray, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, PNP-BC, CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN: Peristomal and Moisture Associated Skin Damage
Please visit for more information. We hope to see you there!
South Central Region

The South Central Region (SCR) is comprised of 367 outstanding members representing the 5 states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Our focus this year has been on planning our regional conference and reaching out to our communities through an increased presence on social media. In 2019, the SCR has accomplished the following:
  • Supported ostomy and IBD support groups (UOAA, Crohn’s Colitis Foundation, and Youth Rally) through fundraising efforts and community walks.
  • Participated in public policy through testimony before the Texas House on a bill to increase reimbursement for WOC nurse patient education related to wound care.
  • Instrumental in teaching 25 Montgomery High School students who all passed their Certified Nursing Assistant exam with an emphasis on Pressure Injury Prevention.
  • Honored to have 3 SCR WOC nurse recipients in this year’s Great 100 in the Dallas- Fort Worth area.
  • Responded to a national story of a suicide by a 10-year-old boy with a colostomy by establishing a new pediatric ostomy support group in the Houston Area.
Our Regional Conference, to be held October 24-26, will include many nationally-recognized speakers who will address the full scope of the WOC practice. The theme is the "HeART of WOC nursing." The heart is the passion we have for what we do and the never-ending drive to go the extra mile for our patients and promote best practices. The art is bringing the entire Region together to share our creativity and expand our knowledge base.
Southeast Region

The Southeast Region is hosting its Annual Conference October 3-5, 2019, in Columbus, Georgia. The agenda is robust and diverse and will provide great information for the practice of the WOC nurse. Registration is now open. Up to 17 Contact Hours are available during the conference. Please visit for more information.

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