Julia Hanna

Autumn greetings Mideast Region!

I am your newly elected President of the MidEast Region Board. I reside in Huntington, West Virginia with my very precocious wiener dog fur child, “Stinky”. I have 3 grown children, 2 grandsons and a granddaughter due to be delivered on December 6, 2022. A Christmas blessing for sure! I have 29 years of nursing experience having worked in acute and long-term patient care as well as the medical device industry. I have been a certified wound and ostomy nurse since 2009. I am currently a Wound Care Clinical Specialist within the 3M Medical Solutions Division.

As we come to the end of 2022, I am hopeful that you are all planning to spend quality time with friends and family and are looking forward to the new year with renewed hope and optimism. As your new President, I am looking forward to the new year! The Mideast Region Board recently welcomed President-Elect, Patti Burke, Director 3, Lisa Berning and Director 4, Tracy Swift. Michele Kessie won re-election as Director 2. Our first board meeting took place on October 19, 2022 and we are set to continue working on our strategic plan with our why- “To share our passion to elevate your profession” top of mind.

In case you missed it, our annual fall conference was held in Lexington, Kentucky on September 22-24, 2022. I cannot begin to express how proud I am of our Centralized Conference Planning Committee members for working so diligently to deliver a successful conference. If you were able to attend, be on the lookout for a conference survey in your email inbox and be sure to complete it. If you are not receiving emails from the Mideast Region, be sure to check the spam folder. Input from our members is critical to planning for the next year’s conference as well as carrying out our strategic plan initiatives.

If you have been considering it, now is the time to volunteer with the Mideast Region! Opportunities for growth include participation on a task force or committee related to mentoring, communications, awards and scholarships or volunteering on the Centralized Conference Planning Committee.

I look forward to serving as your President. If you need further information or have any questions or concerns, you may email info@mideastregion.org or you can contact me directly at Julia.Colliflower@yahoo.com or on my personal cell at 304-633-6907.

Julia Hanna MHA, BSN, RN, CWON
President, MidEast Region WOCN®

Patti Burke

I’m Patti Burke, your President-Elect for the MidEast Region (MER). I have been a nurse for 39 years and practicing wound, ostomy and continence care for 27 years. During my nursing career I have worked in acute care and in industry as a Clinical Nurse Consult, Sales Consultant and a Clinical Product Manager. As a WOC Nurse I have practiced in all settings of the healthcare continuum and currently work in acute care. As a new member of the MER Board there are two areas that I would like to focus on during my term on the Board, increasing membership engagement and assisting with a mentorship program for the MER membership.

Growing up, I was always encouraged to get involve and make a difference. As a new CWOCN, I volunteered as the Liaison to the Greater Cincinnati United Ostomy Association, and I continue to stay involved in the organization as one of their newsletter editors. I have also held the following positions:

  • President of the Greater Cincinnati Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse’s Association
  • MER Trustee (Director) #3
  • Wound, Ostomy, Continence Certification Board
  • Chair of the PGP Committee
  • Chair of the Marketing Committee
  • Treasurer
  • President

Through these positions I have learned that sometimes people see leadership skills that you don’t see in yourself. Thanks to these individuals that encouraged me to run for positions, I got to share my talents, elevated my WOC skills, learned new skills, networked with colleagues who were willing to share their knowledge and gifts and developed lasting friendships. I highly encourage people to get involved, because what you give in time and talent, you will get back two-fold.

Those of us who are fortunate to work with a WOC Team or have an active local group of WOC Nurses who meet regularly, benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experience. Many WOC Nurses are in a solo practice and do not have the benefits of living in an area where there are other practicing WOC Nurses. While on the Certification Board, I met many WOC Nurses who felt alone with no other WOC Nurses to offer support. It is so important when a WOC Nurse is new to the role to have a mentor to help guide them and offer support. Mentors can be beneficial in transforming a new WOC nurse’s practice from novice to expert. I am excited that part of the MER Strategic Plan is to develop a mentor program. This program will be able to support the WOC Nurses in the MER, so stay tuned for more information as we roll out this program.

We need your ideas and participation to grow our region and enhance the WOC profession. Volunteer commitments can be tailored to your interest and availability. Most of all, volunteering can assist in your professional growth. Please feel free to contact me at pattie.burke@fuse.net if you would like to be a mentor or volunteer. Strength in an organization comes through an engaged membership, we look forward to your participation in the MidEast Region!

Patti Burke BSN, RN, CWOCN
President-Elect, MidEast Region WOCN®

Becky Smith

Hello from Kentucky!

I reside in Bardstown, Kentucky and have been an RN for 21 years and WOC for the past 9 years. My experience includes home health, marketing & acute care. I presently work with myNexus (Elevance Health) performing utilization reviews for wound & ostomy home health patients.

I look forward to serving you on the MER board & working on the strategic plan to learn more about our profession. We are currently researching to learn why the number of WOC nurses are decreasing and ways to increase visibility and respect of the WOC role. Our goal is to promote the value and role of the WOC nurse! We are always open to suggestions or input, so feel free to contact me at bbsmith2238@gmail.com if you have any information or questions.

Becky Smith BSN, RN, CWOCN
Secretary, MidEast Region WOCN®

Linda Coulter

As the year comes to a close, there is a flurry of treasurer activities underway. The annual audit was just completed. Special shout-out to Teresa Argento and Sarah Strong, MER members at large, for attending that important and required meeting, along with President-Elect Patti Burke and Board Member Tracy Swift.

The MER Conference Budget is being finalized as is our year-end financial report to the National WOC Nurses Society. It’s also the time of year when the region donates to the Youth Rally, Friends of Ostomates Worldwide, the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, and the WOC Nurses Society’s “Fund the Future” campaign. It is because of support from you, our members, that the region can support these diverse groups. Thank you!

When not balancing our big blue checkbook, I’m spending time with my partner, Dana, watching birds and playing darts. That is, when I can tear myself away from petting our 2 dogs, Henry and Raj. I look forward to seeing you at our next MER event. Thank you, again, for supporting the MER and for the positive difference you make in people’s lives. The world is a better place because of the work you do.

Linda Coulter
Treasurer, MidEast Region WOCN®

Monica Davis
Director 1

As Director 1, I am looking forward to this next year as the Board continues to support sharing our passion to elevate our profession. The specific goals Director 1 is seeking to promote this year is with expanding our forms of communication with our members to be able to reach our members in a way that best meets their needs, and developing the mentoring program. I am looking forward to having the opportunity this year to begin the development of a mentoring resource for our new members. The goal is to better support those joining our profession to help support their growth and share our passions among our colleagues. If you have any questions regarding communication or mentoring ideas, please feel free to reach out to us at info@mideastregion.org.

Monica Davis RN, MSH, FNP-C, CWOCN
Director 1 MidEast Region WOCN®

Michele L. Kessie
Director 2

I am Michele L Kessie, your current Director #2. I love making a difference in the lives of our patients and families and sharing my passion with staff to help them make a difference too.

I am the only CWOC Nurse at University Hospitals Home care. The sharing of my knowledge with staff, patients and caregivers helps meet the needs of all of our patients. have been doing home care for 30 years and the last 15 years as a WOC Nurse. In my role as a CWOC Nurse, I am an active member in our system wide WOC Nurse Collaborative. I also participate in University Hospitals Home Care infection control committee. I provide education to staff (new and seasoned), as always sharing my passion for improving patient satisfaction.

As your Director #2, working with awards and scholarships, I will continue working on the awards and scholarships and encourage poster presentations at the national conference. I have created a small task force to take a closer look at our awards and scholarships. My goal is to have each award and scholarship be awarded to our members each year. With your help in nominating individuals or yourself, this could become a reality!

Please visit https://mideastregion.org/, take a look at the awards and scholarships and nominate a colleague or yourself.

Michele L. Kessie BSN, RN, CWOCN
Director 2, MidEast Region WOCN®

Lisa Berning
Director 3

Hello fellow WOC nurses,

My name is Lisa Berning, I have been a WOC nurse for over 34 years in acute care.
I am very excited to take on the role of Director 3 overseeing conference planning and continuing education. My goals as Director #3 include working closely with the Centralized Conference Planning Committee to provide you with a conference with diverse evidence-based topics covering all four specialties as we focus on our Mideast Region strategic plan to increase the visibility and respect of the WOC nurse role, elevating our practice, and developing a strong mentoring program to help support and encourage our new WOC colleagues.

In order to do this, we need your help! You will be receiving a brief survey within the next few weeks. Please complete the survey when received as future conferences depend on your input. Due to multiple factors the board is considering not holding a conference yearly. If you strongly believe we should continue to provide yearly conferences, please let us know in the survey. Thank you in advance!

Lisa Berning BSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN
Director 3, MidEast Region WOCN®

Tracy Swift
Director 4

Hi, my name is Tracy Swift and I am currently serving as Director 4.

I am a pediatric WOC nurse working at Riley Children’s hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was formerly on the committee as a chair to the Director 4 and kept up with government affairs.

My goals for this next year as Director 4 are to reach out to the members of the MER and recruit individuals who are interested in becoming more involved and helping to serve on the Nominations/Elections committee.

Next year we will be voting for Director 1 and Director 3. I would also love for anyone who is interested in government affairs, to join me as my committee chairperson to help keep us informed of the policies and litigation that affects our patients and our role.

Currently, Congress is busy working on next year’s budget, so we are in a lull as it were currently. Previous topics that we are actively working on include increased reimbursement for our ostomates for their much-needed monthly supplies. This has occurred primarily on a local state level, but it has also been brought to our Congressional leaders as well.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to become more involved and/or if you have any interest in government affairs.

For those who were at the regional conference in September and provided your contact information about your willingness to get involved, I will be reaching out to you in the new year to help get you any information you may need.

Best regards,
Tracy Swift BSN, RN, CWOCN
Director 4, MidEast Region WOCN®