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NER WOCN's President's Message - November 2023

I want to start by sending out a huge thank you to the Education Committee, who worked so hard to put this Fall Conference together!  It was fabulous to look at how we are “Building our Future, by Reflecting on our Past”.   Starting with the History of our New England Region from one of the pioneers, Jean Clancy, the the newest evidence on colo-rectal cancer, diverticulitis, the updated PSAG algorithm, limb preservation, all was amazing. Our challenges in practice, Collin Jarvis presenting his journey as a young ostomate, palliative care then and now, a plastic surgeon shared his latest in microsurgery, pelvic floor advances, and advances in QI for the WOCN roll all contributed to an amazing fall conference.  We had a record number of posters too!   

Thank you to our speakers and vendors.  To our vendors who sponsored speakers and meals, without them, much of this conference could not have been successful!  Thanks to all of you who came here from far and near.  I know it is a sacrifice for you to be here, and I appreciate your dedication.

We had to say goodbye to our 2021-23 President, Donna Loehner.  Fortunately, we will continue to have her expertise and guidance on the board for mentoring over the next year.  For those of you who may be unaware of Donna’s accomplishments over the past 2 years, here is a synopsis. Donna took over from Lisa Orowson in the Fall of 2021, as the pandemic was coming to an end.  It was touch and go as tough decisions had to be made to move forward beyond the pandemic.   She was able to keep this region going and succeed when some regions struggled to get their feet under them again.  Donna has been innovative by introducing educational opportunities to our members each quarter with zoom education in-services.  Our guest speakers have been you, the members of this region.   She has been fair, passionate, and risk taking, with a new venue at Mohegan Sun, for our Fall conference to align closer to national.

As your new Regional President, I plan to continue to have this quarterly zoom education hour.  I will be asking some of you to present your accomplishments and share your tips and tricks to help our patients.  Please feel free to contact me to assist you with your growth, education, and concerns for the region (  I hope you will explore this website to watch for changes to our region from the national WOCN, pictures from our conference, updated policy & procedures, and merchandise to purchase to support your region. Added to your website, is this year’s recipient of Nurse of the Year, Karen Baggetta, along with scholarship recipients.  We also have a members only tab where we have a discussion forum, and you can view the zoom education meetings as well.  Please be patient as our blog tab is a work in progress.

Currently, I am also welcoming your new volunteer President-elect, Liz Beal from Maine, who is also your past Secretary and active in the Southern Maine WOCN “affiliate”.  Thank you to your Treasurer, who volunteered and was voted in for a second 2-year term, Melissa Mayes from Massachusetts.  

As I sign off for now, I wish all of you a safe and blessed Holiday Season!

Mary Harris, BSN, RN, CWON

President New England Region WOCN

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