Dear Mideast Region friends,

As we await the final evaluation reviews from the fall conference (attendees and conference planners) we are thrilled to share good news with you. We have much to be thankful for in these days with so much busyness and illness around us. It is not uncommon for most of us to be surrounded with challenging patients. But I am sure each of you have an important story of how you have been impacted by the economy, supply chain issues, family and friend illnesses, death, and separation. Much of this is due to Covid and the fallout of the pandemic.

So, what is positive in our lives? As I begin each day, I remind myself of how I have been blessed, even in the losses I have experienced at work and at home. I look for joy in each small blessing…like when a nurse does the dressing change daily as ordered! These are such unusual times. But we must keep our focus and keep our eyes on our goals, or we may get lost in negativity.

As a board, our goals are beyond the historical fall conference. We have many opportunities to grow leaders in our midst and mentor those interested in stepping forward. (Click here to read more and offer your feedback!) We can give money to multiple groups, programs, and scholarships that we generously support each year.

And we have opportunities to serve one another in our region and globally to those in need. As a matter of fact, those who brought supplies to Noblesville to donate to Friends of Ostomates Worldwide, should be pleased to know our contributions equaled around $10,000 worth of wound and ostomy supplies! Kudos to you who donated!

Please be sure to read below in our Public Policy update about a new type of discrimination that is occurring with our ostomy patients. We need each of you to get involved for the future of our ostomy patients and their needs. Have you heard of or experienced this new discrimination?

I am thankful for the members of the board and their dedication. Please continue reading to learn how they serve you and share their updates on the success of the conference along with the photos courtesy of Luann Reed.

Warm regards and thanksgiving blessings to you and yours,
Deb Crawford
President, Mideast Region of the WOCN®

President-Elect Update from Julia Hanna

“HAPPY FALL Y’ALL” from your President-Elect, Julia Hanna

I have been designated to oversee the upcoming financial audit. As per the Mideast Region operational manual, the treasurer’s records for the past fiscal year will be reconciled with the bank records by myself, a director and a member-at-large. Your treasurer, Linda Coulter, will be available for questions during the audit.

The financial health of the region is important to us all. The region’s finances are the membership’s finances. As we, the Mideast Region Board, execute strategic planning for the future, the region’s financial health is always top of mind.

Treasurer Update from Linda Coulter

Following a successful conference, the Mideast Region’s bank accounts are healthy. Final accounting for the event is being tallied, but I can report the conference was a financial success. This is due to the efforts of our conference planning committee, our board members, the generosity of industry sponsors, and, of course, you! As of October 31, the region boasts a healthy balance of over $260,000 in our accounts.

As the year ends your region will be supporting the Youth Rally, Friends of Ostomates, Worldwide, the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, and our National Society’s “Fund the Future” program. Additionally, as required by the national organization, our accounts will be audited by our President, another board member, and a MER member at large. In January the region’s 2021 financial report will be sent to the National WOC Society.

Finally, as we begin a season of thanks, I would like to thank my fellow board members and you for your generosity and support of the MER. I’m grateful to be able to serve the region as treasurer, while I continue to learn and grow in this position.

Government Affairs Update from Tracy Swift

The following information is available on the WOCN website under public policy and advocacy: Hot Topics

“WOCN joined with the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) to create an FAQ document for patients in response to concerns that long-term care residents were being denied access to facilities because they have an ostomy. This document is intended to answer some frequently asked questions that owners or staff of assisted living facilities may have concerning people with an ostomy who wish to reside in an assisted living facility (ALF). Daily ostomy management is a simple process of toileting, an activity of daily living. People living with an ostomy should be welcomed and treated as any person seeking potential residence. WOCN and UOAA have submitted a proposal to speak at the AHCA/NCAL 2021 Convention and Expo about this topic. WOCN/UOAA will also be speaking individually with several state chapters of these associations throughout 2021 to work on state-specific outreach plans.”

Our ostomy patients and families need our help. Many individuals (ostomates) are being denied access to assisted living facilities. Our WOCN Society has teamed up with the UOAA to help create information in response to this unfair practice.

How can you help? Please contact your local representatives and ask that this form of discrimination be stopped! Don’t know who to contact in your area? Simply go to the WOCN website, under Public Policy and Advocacy, select Voter Voice. Simply enter your zip code and it will give you the names of your local representatives.

You can also get in touch with your local UOAA to learn other ways to assist with getting our patients the care that they should be entitled to.

Director #1 Update from Monica Davis

As Director 1, I am looking forward to the opportunity to help promote our region through communication and membership support, social media platforms, and assist with updated information and education from its original sites to the members within our region. I seek to collaborate with the other members of the board to help develop a mentor program and recruitment program for Nurses interested in growth and development within our specialty. Through these programs we seek to promote growth in leadership of the individuals within our region, and of our region itself.

Director #2 Update from Michele Kessie

As your director # 2 I would like to let you know the winners of some of our 2021 awards are:

Linda Coulter MS, BSN, RN, CWOCN Mideast Region of the WOCN® Patient Educator of the Year
Gina Bazany Mideast Region of the WOCN® Manufacturer’s Representative
Chizu Sakai Imoto BSN, RN, CWOCN Mideast Region of the WOCN® Professional Educator of the Year
Monica Koch BSN, RN, CWON Mideast Region of WOCN® WOC Nurse of the Year Award
Congratulations to these individuals!

We have other awards that no one submitted for. Please take the time to review the Mideast Region website and nominate individuals for awards and scholarships going forward. Also if you are working on a poster please share that information. The deadline for poster submissions to nationals is December 1, 2021

I would love to see at least 8 MER posters submitted this year. We had 7 in 2020!
Thank you, Michele Kessie

Director #3 Update from Laura Jerome

I am honored to be part of the MER Board after having served as the MER Central Conference Planning Committee Chair.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, our MER Conference in Noblesville, Indiana was a success! As Chair of the MER Conference Planning Committee (CCPC), I can attest the CCPC worked very hard to make sure this conference took place in person. There were conference planning and Continued Education over the past 1 1/2 years, I decided to run for the Director 3 position. I look forward to learning and growing in this position to bring educational opportunities to our members.

94 registered to attend, and 108 registered exhibitors covering 36 tables and 5 beds. The CCPC offered one day registration fees per request, with only one registrant for this option.

Feedback about the hotel, food, location, live auction, and conference topics were very positive. Temperature of the rooms and slow internet were the negative takes on the conference.

Director #4 Update from Michelle Beck

Happy Fall Y’all,

Our MER election results were announced at the Conference in Noblesville; Congratulations to our Treasurer: Linda Coulter, Director #1: Monica Davis and Director #3: Laura Jerome. It was great to see our vendors and colleagues face to face. Thank you to all those who worked to make the conference a success. Stay healthy and take some time for selfcare during this difficult time as healthcare providers!

Sincerely, Michelle