Tag Archive for: uoaa national conference

By Robin Glover

Come one, come all to Houston, TX, for the 8th United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) National Conference!

From August 10-12, 2023, UOAA and the fourth largest city in the United States is opening its arms to welcome ostomates from all over the country for three full days of fun, learning, advocacy, and unity.

Houston is known as the Space City for its NASA connection but also more recently just H-Town for its culture and the “Big Heart” for its welcoming spirit of those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Houston is an ultra-diverse city with something to offer everyone, from world-class dining to high-end shopping to down-to-earth BBQ joints, and believe it or not, ice skating!

The best part? You can find all of that within a very short distance from The Royal Sonesta Galleria Hotel where the conference is being held.

Leave your worries behind and imagine a learning vacation where you can be surrounded by new ostomy friends who have been in your shoes. The only thing you’ll need to do is have an open mind and have some fun.

The Luxurious Royal Sonesta Hotel

There are lots of places to go in the Uptown area but The Royal Sonesta Galleria itself offers enough that you never even need to leave its luxurious ambiance. It has four restaurants, a coffee shop, a fitness center, an accessible swimming pool, a hot tub, and, if you do want to head somewhere, a free shuttle service to points of interest within 3 miles (ADA transportation available upon request.) You can bring your pet too!

 

Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria
2222 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Hotel Reservations: 855-463-3091
Room Block 2023 UOAA National Conference
Special UOAA Rate $143 plus taxes

What could be better than finishing a fun-filled day at the conference by hanging out with new friends and old acquaintances without having to go anywhere? Just gather around in the lobby area, sit together at a restaurant (enjoying a meal, a special drink, or just a glass of water), or hang out at the pool and talk the night away sharing stories and experiences with ostomates from all over the country.

You’ll want to stay through Saturday night and get some dancing boots to wrap up the event with music, desserts, and country line dancing lessons.

Call to get the UOAA Room Block Rate. As conference guests staying at the hotel, we’ll be the VIPs.

Explore Houston’s Famous Galleria Mall

A half-mile away, the 400-store Houston Galleria welcomes 30 million visitors a year and is home to Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louboutin, and Tom Ford (and basically every other designer) boutiques, as well as an Apple Store, LEGO Store, Tesla showroom, a 2,000 square ft. children’s play area, and the TFTI | Interactive Selfie Museum (they charge admission).

There’s also an escape room, an awesome candy shop, jewelry stores, shoe stores, and a lot more. Plus, incredible local dining options from sushi, Indian food, French food, and steak to national favorites like Shake Shack and The Cheesecake Factory, along with tea shops, frozen yogurt, coffee shops, and juice shops.

Oh yeah, ice skating! The Galleria offers year-round, indoor ice skating (fee) for all ages and levels.

You could easily spend a couple of evenings after the conference sipping on some coffee, tea, juice, or your favorite hydration drink while roaming around The Galleria taking in the scenery, doing an escape room, gawking at the price of a designer belt, or possibly even some shopping.

Houston water wall and park near the Galleria Mall.

The Beautiful Gerald D. Hines Waterwall

If you’re not in the mood for the mall (or already went), you can take a quick evening stroll to Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. This iconic Houston architectural landmark is beautifully lit at night and provides peace and serenity in the form of a 50-foot-tall sheet of cascading water. It’s really quite mesmerizing and is surrounded by a 3-acre park featuring green space and nearly 200 live oak trees.

Other Things to Do During the Weekend

Experience Global Cuisine
Houston is one of the nation’s most diverse cities and offers an authentic cultural experience from places all over the world and fusions like Viet-Cajun. Depending on your dietary restrictions, you can try traditional food and drinks (including non-alcoholic) from Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, West Africa, Vietnam, China, Japan, Afghanistan, Portugal, Nepal, Brazil, Central America, and, of course Texas all within 5 miles of the hotel.

See the World Series Champions
The Houston Astros will be playing the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on August 10, 11, 12 and 13. The stadium is 15 minutes from The Royal Sonesta Hotel. Even if you’re not an Astros fan, it’s still a great ballpark and a great experience.

Watch a Tony-Award Winning Musical
The Motown-inspired Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations will be making a stop on its off-Broadway tour in Houston during the weekend of the conference. There will be nightly shows at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Ain’t Too Proud won a 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography. The theater is also 15 minutes from the hotel. (Uber is your friend.)

Be at the Center of It All at The Royal Sonesta Hotel

Houston is a wonderful and welcoming city with so much to offer. The list of things to do could go on forever. Consider bringing the entire family and add some extra days to your hotel stay to truly experience it. FYI, for those flying in the hotel is about an equal distance from either of Houston’s major airports.

Stay Saturday night for the Texas Theme night at the hotel complete with County Line Dancing lessons and more.

But, since the 2023 UOAA National Conference is going to include incredible speakers, Q&A’s, meet and greets, social gatherings, the chance to explore all the latest ostomy products, and the opportunity to connect with more fellow ostomates, j-pouchers, and people with all types of continent diversions than you’ve probably even seen in one place, these are just a few ideas very close to The Royal Sonesta Galleria Hotel.

Because, chances are, you’ll probably end up spending almost all of your time there enjoying a huge gathering of people who have been through the same experiences you have and understand like nobody else can.

The 8th UOAA National Conference in Houston is a life-changing opportunity to make lifelong friends and you won’t want to miss a second of it.

 

Robin Glover is a writer based in the Houston area. He has a permanent ostomy after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2017.

Summer is quickly approaching and before you know it we will be in Philadelphia at UOAA’s 7th National Conference. With so many new and exciting things planned it is sure to be the best ever! I know whenever I attend a conference I plan well in advance and create my own personal schedule to ensure I do and see all that is of particular interest to me.  This includes conference sessions, social activities and taking some time for local sightseeing in a place I may never have been before. I also always go out of my way to try a new food or beverage native to a particular city or state and in this case it will be an iconic “Philly cheesesteak”.   

As UOAA’s Advocacy Manager I’m very excited that this conference is being held in Philadelphia, a city so very rich in history and quite frankly home to our country’s first advocates.  Here is my twist on ways you can take advantage of this city and our conference, if you have a soft spot for things “advocacy”-related:

  1. Be sure to sign UOAA’s Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights during Exhibit Hall hours at the UOAA booth. These signatures will be collected for potential use in advocacy efforts to improve quality in ostomy health care. You also can see one of the 12 surviving original copies of the US Bill of Rights at the National Constitution Center while in Philadelphia.
  2. Pay tribute to our country’s first advocates and visit the Independence National Historic Park to walk in Independence Hall where our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
  3. Celebrate your independence and and see the most famous cracked bell in American history – the Liberty Bell.  You can see it for free at the landmark Liberty Bell Center.
  4. Calling all superheroes!  On Wednesday, August 7th at 2:45 pm attend the UOAA Advocacy Session United Ostomy Advocates to the Rescue”! Come hear first-hand from some of UOAA’s advocates on how they use their “superpowers”, and also learn more about current advocacy efforts underway at UOAA. Leave our national conference empowered to make a positive difference!
  5. Many times in advocacy we face an uphill battle and feel like an underdog. For decades now Philly has been known for the ultimate underdog tale in the Rocky movie series. Show your resilience and run/climb the infamous Rocky stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  There are 72 stone steps and at the top you can chant “Yo, Philadelphia! I did it!”. Or you can take a picture at the statue of this legendary “Italian Stallion” located near the bottom of the steps.
  6. Philadelphia is known as the “City of Brotherly Love”.  Show your love for the ostomy community and go to Love Park to get a picture at the “LOVE” statue designed by Robert Indiana.

    Love park

  7. Be sure to stop by UOAA’s booth in the Exhibit Hall to pick up some of our self-advocacy tools and educational resources for use when you get back home in your own advocacy efforts.
  8. When it comes to advocacy and activists I can’t think of a more wiser and inspiring person than the fascinating and influential Benjamin Franklin! Not only was he one of the founding fathers of the United States, but he was an author, politician, postmaster, printer, inventor, scientist, diplomat and statesman. Of interest to the ostomy community is that he was the inventor of the flexible urinary catheter and founded the first public hospital!  If you have time, visit the Franklin Science Museum or just drive by the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. As an advocate I am inspired by so many of his famous quotes. I often say the key to advocacy is not only raising awareness and educating others, but also patience and perseverance.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes by Ben Franklin:

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

    9) On Saturday, August 10th, at 2:15PM, please pop-in to contribute to UOAA’s first-ever research study by completing a short survey.  This data will help us make improvements to the underserved ostomy population. Upon doing so, you will also be entered into a drawing to win a prize!

   10) Join us during the conference Closing Ceremony at 3:30PM on Saturday, August 10th where we will be recognizing for the first-time the top advocate in the ostomy community! The Mighty Advocate Award, sponsored by UOAA, is a new biennial award intended to honor one individual for his/her significant accomplishments and contributions to support UOAA advocacy efforts and/or has brought greater ostomy awareness in the United States. Your presence will help make this a special moment in our advocacy history!

 

In conclusion, I’m excited to put a name to the face of the many advocates who have emailed me or have worked with me on advocacy efforts over the past couple of years, and meeting more of the people we strive to make an impact every day in our work at UOAA. See you in Philly!

Click Here to Register and View the Program

All prices (except for 1-day) include all conference days and social events: Individual = $165; Young Adult (18-25) = $135; Children (5-17) = $25; 1 Day Rate = $115.

Click Here to Book your Hotel Stay at the UOAA Special Rate

 UOAA Rate: $159 USD per night (plus taxes/fees)
 Last Day to Book: Friday, July 19, 2019

Visit Philadelphia 201 Hotel online or call Starwood Hotels Central Reservations at 1.888.627.8178 to book a room. Use UOAA Group Code UO1369

  • Top Medical Professionals 
  • Inspirational Stories
  • Free Stoma Clinic Appointments with WOC Nurses
  • Product Exhibit Hall with 25+ Vendors
  • Social Events
  • ASG Leader Networking
  • Dedicated Sessions for Caregivers and Family
  • Vacation Destination
  • Sexuality

New for 2019!

*Sessions for the New and Experienced Ostomate

*Medical Marijuana

*Latest Ostomy Buzz

*Young Adults Track

*Pediatrics Track

*Ostomy Belts, Wraps and Accessories – (what’s up with all those products)

Social Events

*Improv Comedy Show & Nightclub Singing

*Roaring 1920s Casino Night

*Fashion Show Saturday Evening

*Desserts and Dancing Saturday Evening

*Morning Tai Chi & Yoga Classes

 

Tag Archive for: uoaa national conference

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria