History of the Mideast Chapter

1974 - An idea comes to life
A group of five Enterostomal Therapists (E.T.’s) began working in 1974 to form regions within The International Association for Enterostomal Therapy (IAET). Their hope was to facilitate better and closer relations with practicing E.T.’s. One of their objectives was to establish a source of professional and individual growth. Nine regions were formed geographically to correspond with the UOA regions. The new Mideast Region would include Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
1975 - The first meeting & beyond
The first meeting of the Mideast Region was on April 5 and 6, 1975 at the Great Lakes U.O.A. – ET Regional Conference in Indianapolis. There were 67 attendees. Nominations for officers were received and Articles of Association were written. Plans were made for application to IAET to officially become a region.


This newly formed group of determined E.T.’s joined together and quickly completed the requirements for regionalization. They were first to complete the national qualifications and proudly accepted their new title. On August 21, 1975 the IAET welcomed the Mideast Region into affiliation at the IAET National Conference in Toronto, Canada. In October a letter was received from Bonnie Bolinger, IAET Corresponding Secretary. She wrote, “It was a very proud moment when we could announce that our very own region was the first to meet the criteria”. She challenged the new members to work together, support, and constantly strive for better patient care.

First Officers & Trustees
The first officers:

  • President Elizabeth C. Gerth, RN. Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Vice President Joan Kerr, RN. Cleveland, Ohio
  • Secretary Sally Thompson. Akron, Ohio
  • Treasurer K. Jane Younger. Louisville, Kentucky

The first trustees:

  • Susan Buffin LPN
  • Bette Lowe RN
  • Louise Young RN
1976 & Beyond
The first membership directory of 97 members was published in August 1975. Betty Lowe began working on the first newsletter, which was published in April 1976. Mary Lou Castillo named it The Mid-East Dropper that same year.

In 1976 it was felt that the region was geographically too large to be effective for its members. IAET announced that Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia would no longer be included in the Mideast region. Since then the Mideast region has included members from the five states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Throughout the years to follow the Mideast Region planned conferences, designed recognition programs, and provided scholarships. But most important of all they supported each other personally and professionally for the purpose of improving the care they provided to their cherished patients.

Past Presidents

Betty Gerth, August 1975 – 1976
Joan Kerr, August 1976 – 1977
Betty Gerth, August 1977 – 1978
Helen Arend, October 1978 – 1979
Joynce Hawley, October 1979 – 1982
Sally Gill-Thompson, October 1982 – 1984
Ethel Pryer, October 1984 – 1986
Shirley Alltop, October 1986 – 1988
Karen Granby, October 1988 – 1990
Brenda Kershbaum, October 1990 – 1991
Joy Cline, September 1991 – 1994
Paula Toth, October 1994 – 1995
Sharon Ballard-Krishnan, October 1995 – 1998
Judy Werner, October 1998 – 2000
Allyn Davies, 2000 – 2002
Terri Ross, 2002 – 2004
Carolyn Smith, 2004 – 2006
Mary Arnold Long, 2006 – 2008
Dea Kent, 2008 – 2010
Cecilia Krusling, 2010 – 2012
Kelly Jaszarowski , 2012 – 2014
Lisa Kirk, 2014 – 2016
Monica Koch, 2016 – 2018
Linda Stricker, 2018 – 2020
Debra Crawford, 2020 – 2022
Julia Hanna, 2022 – Present

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