Education for Every Ostomate
The most recent installment of our Ostomy Academy series was on September 14, 2021 as described below.
Educate & Navigate: Life with an Ostomy. Speakers presented on the basics of ostomies for all ages, and going back to school, college or work with an ostomy.
UOAA Presents Ostomy Academy! A quarterly online educational seminar, powered by 11 Health, to bring trusted and comprehensive ostomy information to all members of the ostomy community. Top experts, medical professionals, and experienced ostomates will focus on a new series of quality of life topics in each presentation with special attention given to emotional well-being strategies.
View recordings of past Ostomy Academy installments at the YouTube Links Below.
September 14, 2021 at 3pm PDT / 6pm EDT
Dr. David Schwartzberg is a colorectal surgeon at Northwell Health who specializes in colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. He serves on the executive council for Take Steps the medical advisory committee for the Long Island Crohn‘s and Colitis Foundation, and is very active with patient education programs. After his residency in general surgery at NYU Langone & Bellevue, Dr. Schwartzberg completed a colorectal surgery fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, with further advanced training in complex Crohn’s disease and redo J pouch surgery at the IBD center at NYU Langone Health. He has written numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and has presented nationally on surgical techniques for the treatment inflammatory bowel disease. He specializes in minimally invasive colorectal surgery, complicated Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis surgery, and performs ileal pouch anal anastomosis/J-pouch and redo pouch surgery.
My name is Bridget Dorsey and I am a pediatric clinical researcher at Primary Children’s Hospital and medical student at the University of Utah. I was born with multiple birth defects and have had a permanent ostomy since I was 15 years old. I facilitate a virtual pediatric ostomy support group and my broader goal is to create a safe, encouraging environment for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to learn from and with each other.
For this Ostomy Academy event, I will be discussing the logistical, social, and emotional aspects of going to school with an ostomy (from K-12 to college to doctoral training!) and the tools that have helped me the most as a student.
Annemarie Finn, the co-chair of the UOAA Education Committee, is a teacher at Mashpee Middle High School in Mashpee, MA. She was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2018. Immunotherapy was unsuccessful and she received a radical cystectomy with an ileal conduit (Urostomy) in January 2019. Until her diagnosis, she had never heard of an ostomy and was overcome with a fear of the unknown. As is often the case, she discovered that things were not as bad as she imagined. She is able to do everything she did before and, most importantly, remains cancer free. Because of her experience and her passion for teaching, she has committed herself to empowering others through education and telling her story. In addition to her work with UOAA, she is a mentor with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s Survivor to Survivor program and a patient advocate for ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Brenda Elsagher is an international speaker, author, comedian and has been living with an ostomy for 25 years. At 39 years old with 2 small children at home, a husband and a busy small business owner, she found out she had colorectal cancer. Brenda decided to go after two goals she had long put off: standup comedy and going to college. Winning a comedy contest at age 40, her career changed as she dealt with the effects of colorectal cancer and found that laughter helped her to cope with the new adjustments. Along the way, she found ways to educate others about a taboo subject using humor too. College helped her write her first book. Since then she has written 5 books and become a CHP, Certified Humor Professional through the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Brenda is UOAA volunteer serving as Director of Affiliated Support Group Affairs.
Molly Atwater is UOAA’s Director of Young Ostomate Outreach and Chair of UOAA’s Young Ostomate Outreach Committee. She underwent ileostomy surgery in June 2017 after more than twenty years of struggling with chronic constipation, a symptom of a genetic collagen disorder. As a member of the board, she advocates for ostomates ages 18-50 at the national level, frequently speaks to support groups about ostomy challenges unique to patients in early adulthood, and helps to plan the Young Adult Track of UOAA’s National Conference. Aside from her work with UOAA, she runs the social media account MollyOllyOstomy, found on Instagram and Facebook. Using her platform, she teaches more than twenty thousand followers about life with an ostomy and other chronic illnesses.
Click below to visit the event page and add them to your calendar.
United Ostomy Associations of America
P.O. Box 525
Kennebunk, ME 04043-0525
Call us toll-free at: 1-800-826-0826.
Our Information Line hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm (Wednesday until 2pm) EST. If you have an emergency, please dial 911 or contact your local medical professional.
Please understand that UOAA is a private, nonprofit, advocacy and informational organization. We are not a medical facility and we do not have medical or legal professionals on staff. Therefore, UOAA does not provide Medical, Mental Health, Insurance or Legal Advice.
UOAA is the leading organization proactively advocating on behalf of the ostomy community. Recognizing that we are always stronger together, we encourage everyone to get involved by joining our Advocacy Network. We’ve also created several Advocacy Tools and Resources to help you successfully advocate on behalf of the ostomy community to ensure every ostomate receives quality care.
UOAA does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
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