President: Linda Stricker

Greetings, hoping this newsletter finds each of you enjoying a pleasant summer. If you missed the member meeting in Nashville, here is a recap for you. A number of accomplishments have been achieved by this region in the last 10 years, including two of our members (Kelly Jaszarowski & Dea Kent) being elected to our society’s top position. Due to the hard work of many people in this region, our conferences have been profitable to the point that we were able to further develop our website design, establish a contracted webmaster role to track our site, keep us safe from hackers, and tell us how to best use this important tool. Now, we are moving into a centralized process for conference planning. Dea Kent has taken the lead in taking our region through this transition, and Lisa Berning and the rest of the planning committee members for the 2019 Cincinnati conference have helped to establish contact with a professional conference planner who is managing the business side of the conference and staying with the five state rotation cycle. Maintaining key committee members and including volunteers from the host city provide a good mix of continuity with tapping into the host city presenters to provide a conference agenda to meet our continuing education needs. It is our hope you can attend the next few conferences to see the results.

Did you know the 2020 WOCN® National Conference will be held in Cleveland, Ohio? 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Norma Gill-Thompson’s birth, and Cleveland was selected as the conference site in honor of Norma. In recognition of this, the Mideast Region is planning “birthday party” for our members. Stay tuned, more to come!

Know someone who should be on the communication list for this region but hasn’t heard from us? Are you missing key communications? We do receive a few bounce backs from the email blasts, yours could be one of those. Keeping your WOCN® account up to date, and allowing the messages past your own firewalls help. Still not receiving messages? Don’t forget to visit

President-Elect: Deb Crawford

Since the election, I have been learning the role of President-Elect and supporting our current President Linda with any needs. I am also listening and learning from those on the board while participating in board meetings. My focus behind the scenes is brushing up on parliamentary procedures and updating the operating manual. Each member is encouraged to spend just a bit of time to explore the national and regional websites to see what is there, and how to locate information. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming WOCN and MER conferences this year.

Treasurer: Tim Larsen

The banking accounts are stable and healthy with a checking balance of $27,297 and savings balance of $248,311.26. The member rebate for 2019 was $4680.00, down from 6045.00 last year. This money is sent to the region from the national office and based on the number of active members in our region. We are receiving deposits from Vendors for Cincinnati conference. There were some miscellaneous cost associated with the Indianapolis conference which included the centralized planning committee member attendance with the board member retreat. A brand new banner with MER region information was purchased and used at the national conference. Because of current banking laws which differ from state to state, the Mideast region will change the account signers to the regional and conference treasurers. There will still be two budgets, and the two treasurers will work together on the accounts. Members attending the Nashville member meeting voted to support the WOCN® “fund the future” campaign with a $4000.00 donation, enough to support two scholarships for WOCNEP enrollment.

Director #1 Member Support, Webmaster, Historian, Communication: Judy Mosier

Google Analytics are being reviewed to see what the membership is looking at on the website. Future conference information will be available on the MER website so that members can have easier access for Professional Growth Points (PGP). The webmaster for our region is now assisting to manage the Mideast Region Facebook page. Linda Coulter historian continues to archive the MER history.

Director #2 Scholarships, Awards, Research: Amanda Blanton

A number of outstanding posters were submitted to the national conference, and we had two winners for our annual poster awards from these submissions. Tim Lutrell & Lisa Kirk submitted a wonderful case study use of a low profile gastrostomy device to enhance MACE irrigation, and Kimberly Garrison submitted her poster on a visual tool for pressure injury prevention. Congratulations to both poster award winners. We also recognized the winner of the humanitarian award. Beth Fangman was recognized for her volunteer work in Panama City, Florida following Hurricane Michael.

To all members, don’t forget this region has a number of scholarship opportunities. Are you attending one of the WOC programs? Planning graduate school? If the answer is yes, don’t forget to submit your application from the website for consideration.

Director #3 Education: Beth Fangman

Just a reminder, the registration for the 2019 Mideast Region of the WOCN™ conference is open. Be sure to register early as the Friday evening social event will fill quickly. The Greater Cincinnati conference planning committee is finalizing all the details and are adding a few extra surprises along the way. This will be a fun-filled yet educational event you won’t want to miss! There will be a few updates on the website within a few weeks. For full details regarding the conference agenda, hotel, speakers and overall conference information visit the MER Website at: We look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati.

Director #4 Nominations & Government Affairs: Becky Smith

The 2019 MER election is here! Click here to cast your vote. Do support our regional activities by voting for those you feel will best support the work we do. There are so many benefits to volunteering and getting more involved with your Mideast Region colleagues. To name a few are: professional growth, new friendships, improves your leadership and communication skills, your voice and opinion are valued and continued education at conferences. This year we are selecting a Treasurer, Director 1 (Communications), Director 3 (Conference Planning/fundraising). Click here to review the ballot.

Want to run for office in the future? Please email Becky at if you would like more information or wish to nominate someone.

From Beth Fangman, Humanitarian Award Winner:

Just prior to our vacation in the Florida Panhandle, Hurricane Michael devastated Panama City and other communities north and west of Panama City on October 10th. We were fortunate that the area we were planning to visit only suffered minor damage, but we were prepared to volunteer to assist those affected by the hurricane and purchased supplies for the relief efforts, including trimmers, work gloves, flashlights, bottled water, feminine and personal hygiene products, pet food, diapers and cleaning supplies. On arrival, we volunteered with St Rita Catholic Church’s Hurricane Relief Team to travel to their sister parish of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City. Even though St. Dominic Catholic Church was severely damaged by the storm, Catholic Charities was able to set up a distribution center on their campus to assist the hurricane survivors. Once we arrived at the church, a variety of stations were set up with the various supplies. Once the distribution center opened for business, families drove their cars past each station where needed supplies were loaded into their cars by volunteers. It was amazing the amount of items that had been donated for this relief project! The stations included food, baby needs, pet needs, water, tarps, cleaning supplies, etc. As a WOCN, I choose to work at the station with personal hygiene products, sunscreen and bug spray. Cars with young women were especially pleased to receive the feminine hygiene products. My husband loaded cars with a case of water for each adult and child in need. All of the volunteers and people in need were appreciative and humbled by the overwhelming
generosity and caring spirit of the community.

This week while on vacation, I volunteered at a free medical clinic, Point Washington Medical Clinic at Point Washington United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Following Hurricane Michael, this clinic set up a pop-up medical clinic at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church from October 2018 until March of this year for the hurricane victims. Today, they continue to provide services for some of these Panama City patients in their Santa Rosa location. My husband and I had never experienced a major disaster like this in person. Volunteering was very rewarding for both of us. Even though the media attention has already slowed down, the recovery of this area will take years. I hope to be able to volunteer to assist with this relief on future visits to this area.

Next edition will highlight our other award winner.