Message from the President:
Dear Mideast Region Member,
We find ourselves in a pandemic with potential consequences that are unprecedented in our lifetimes. I wanted to state that first and foremost, the health and safety of you and your loved ones is most important. Many of you are on the front lines in your workplaces to care for people who are sickened or will be sickened with the Covid-19 virus, which creates constant low-level stress for you. This makes each of you one of the many heroes of these times who are still going to work to help keep life moving forward. There are many unknowns we face, and each day brings more news.
While you are mainly focused on day to day concerns, you may also be wondering about conferences for this year. The national office is closely monitoring the situation so decisions concerning the June WOCNext Conference and how that affects us all can be made. Your health and safety is the primary concern. Conversations are ongoing, and as information is available, it will be communicated to you through the WOCN® email blasts so you know the status of that event. It is no easy decision and the national office takes this seriously.
Now on to the Mideast Region Conference planned for October. A number of issues concerning our conference have forced the Mideast Region Board to make decisions about this year’s conference. Factors that we have discussed include terms of our contract with the hotel, how other event cancellations can create a water-shed effect for the fall, availability and cost of presenters, and whether it is feasible to reschedule. We do not know what will happen with WOCNext, and it is difficult to forecast how the current situation will affect October with regards to your ability to travel and attend a conference. If we forge ahead only to have to cancel later in the year, the financial consequence could be severe. If we cancel now, we can minimize our losses and start to work on the 2021 conference. On the other hand, thanks to all who have worked hard to hold our annual conferences over the last 12 years, we are in a good place with our finances.
After the board met to discuss all the factors involved with the conference, we made a decision that we felt was based on weighing the options, and how that affects our region. That being said, it is with great sadness that I have to announce we are canceling the 2020 Mideast Region conference. Instead, we will focus on preparations for 2021. All is not lost though, the board is actively working on plans to provide an online event in place of our conference. While it is certainly not the networking we enjoy with our colleagues, there is still much we can do. First, some of you have been working hard on poster presentations. This can be provided online from our MER website. Second, we can provide an agenda of online presentations that can be accessed at your convenience for CEs, and third, we can still hold awards and nominations. The cost to hosting this kind of event will be minimal thanks to the availability of talented volunteers who wish to provide you education and the ability to access that information. Watch our website for information on the details as work on the details.
I wish to personally thank the Cincinnati, Ohio planning committee for putting on a successful conference for us all. The location, the boat trip, the presenters, the vendor fair, and the food was phenomenal. Anyone who has been involved in planning our conferences is well aware of the details that are included in this process, and this talented group addressed each area with love and attention that makes us all proud to be Mideast Region members.
As a region we are strong and passionately committed to the well-being of our patients. We will weather this and be able to move forward in a positive way. Do take especially good care of yourselves and your loved ones so we can remain strong.
President, Mideast Region of the WOCN®
President Elect: Deb Crawford
In these uncertain times, it is important for us to not lose hope and keep our focus on our Mission. As a professional society, our Mideast Region supports its members by promoting education, clinical and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of expert health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies, and continence related issues. We have the opportunity to think and act creatively, like never before in the history of this organization. These are truly exciting times with new opportunities for virtual learning, teleconferencing, and showcasing our e-posters! I am excited to see your suggestions and encourage your involvement by volunteering to assist to make our website more interactive. Please use the “contact us” button on the website with any ideas!
Treasurer: Tim Larsen
As of March 18th, here are our balances: $13,512.97 – checking and $223,531.25 – savings. The Cincinnati conference was quite successful and that final report will be forthcoming as the final information and accounting is available.
Director #1: Tim Luttrell
The Mideast Region website remains up and available for you to connect with the board, and to find information such as past Mideast Region newsletters, photos, and news around the region. To contact us, simply go to the website at www.mideastregion.org and select the “contact us” option. Due to online security concerns we no longer post specific contact information for board members, but our webmaster monitors the information and forwards it to the correct person.
Get Ready for Poster Presentations!
Director #2: Amanda Blanton
This year’s poster presentations will be online. This means we can still hold our poster awards. Are you working hard on your poster presentation for the WOCNext? Great! Don’t forget to submit your abstract through the Mideast Region website. While you are there, don’t forget we have many awards and scholarships available for our members. You might find it interesting to scroll through and consider nominating a colleague. It does make a person feel so wonderful to be thought of, and we love to present those awards. Why not make someone’s day? Are you planning on school to advance your career? Check out our scholarships.
Get Involved in Events!
Director #3: Beth Fangman
Since we have determined the 2020 conference in Noblesville, Indiana will need to be canceled, we are planning an online event to take its place. We are very excited about this option and quite interested to see how this works out. Today’s technology provides us many low-cost options to keep us operational. Stay tuned! Want to be involved in the planning of the online event? Let us know through the website. More to come on 2021.
Time to Nominate!
Director #4: Rebecca Smith
This year we will elect the following board positions:
- Director 2
- Director 4
Read more about each role here. Your experience as a board member is valuable in many ways. First, you earn PGP points that can be used for recertification. You can also further develop your leadership skills that are useful for your own career and learn more about WOCN® operations. Your board participation also includes funding for regional and national conference attendance. Does your future include the desire to be more involved in the society? Want to connect more closely with your colleagues? I do hope you will consider one of these positions. It is not hard, and the rewards are great! Contact us to nominate yourself or a colleague.