In the 2017 Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) Annual Report, I described the internal/leadership change the Association was facing. The search to find our next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) quickly became an opportunity to find the right person to help the AAWC grow into the future. Happily, I can introduce the new AAWC CEO to the membership, our corporate partners, and our collaborating organizations: Victoria Elliott, RPh, MBA, CAE, an exceptionally qualified leader with more than 20 years’ experience working with health care organizations. A Certified Association Management Executive (CAE) — a qualification conferred by the American Society of Association Executives — Victoria is a team builder; she is motivated, progressive, and a capable facilitator. Her abilities and experience with educational program development, building relationships with allied organizations, sponsor participation, and member program development fit very well with our needs. Victoria will bring a renewed energy to our organization and, along with focused leadership and the skills to implement our ideas and achieve our goals, be a positive force for the Association.
Finding a new CEO was a demanding task. The AAWC is grateful to the Search Committee for reviewing the many applications and working so hard over these past several months to select the right candidate; they evaluated more than 100 candidates for the position. Committee members included Thomas Serena, MD, FACS (Chair); Vickie R. Driver, DPM, MS, FACFAS; Tim Paine, PT; Eric Lullove, DPM, CWS, FACCWS; Gary Gibbons, MD, FACS; Mary Haddow, RN, CWCN; Marta Osler, PT, CWS, CLT; Kara Couch, MS, CRNP, CWS; Karen Bauer, NP-C, CWS, CHRN; and myself. Also, many thanks to our management firm, HMP Global, for their assistance in enlisting numerous search resources that helped identify so many qualified applicants.
In other positive news, the AAWC will host its first Regional Meeting on February 9–10, 2018, in Atlanta, GA. Given recent interest in pressure-related wounds, we have planned a Pressure Ulcer Summit Meeting with the theme, “Interpretation and Clinical Application of Current Evidence for Pressure Ulcers.” The goal is to create an international forum to foster a deeper understanding and demonstrate clinical application of research fundamental to pressure ulcer prevention and management and to identify research opportunities, needs, and priorities by examining current evidence regarding pathophysiology regarding pressure-induced tissue damage and ulcer development. Other wound care societies and organizations, including the Wound Healing Society, American College of Wound Care Specialists, and the American Professional Wound Care Association, have interest in this topic and with regard to participating in this meeting. This initiative, lead by AAWC volunteers, will bring a better understanding to how wound professionals look at pressure and the wounds pressure damage creates.
The AAWC Pressure Ulcer Assessment Tool continues in development. This descriptive tool will help improve bedside characterization of pressure-related tissue damage and ulceration. Our panel is led by Ruth Bryant, PhD, RN, MS, CWOCN, and Tim Paine, PT, and includes Barbara Bates Jensen, PhD, RN, FAAN; Kara Couch, MS, CRNP, CWS; Joy Schank, RN, MSN, ANP, CWOCN; Eric Lullove, DPM, CWS, FACCWS; Donna Cartwright, MPA, RHIA, CCS, RAC, FAHIMA; S. Kwan Lee, MD, CWSP; Richard Simman, MD, FACS, FACCWS; and Karen Bauer, NP-C, CWS. They have put a great deal of work into this tool.
Our collaboration with the Wound Healing Society in defining clinical endpoints is ever-evolving. A meeting with the United States Food and Drug Administration went very well and further meetings and discussions are being planned. The AAWC is fulfilling its mission to work for the betterment of wound care for our patients and practicing clinicians.
The Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) Spring in Charlotte, NC, April 25–29, 2018 promises to provide an abundance of new information that will help advance your practice. The host city offers many opportunities for education and enjoyment. The AAWC track sessions, featured now for a third conference, have become some of the most highly rated sessions at the Spring meeting. Developed by AAWC planning panel members, the topics are clinically relevant and informative. These sessions cover information you can take home and immediately implement in your setting. The meeting also provides an opportunity to network with colleagues and get updates on new technologies and science. Plan to attend SAWC Spring and the Annual Membership Meeting and consider becoming involved with the AAWC. The Association needs your help and input.
The AAWC is successful because of our volunteers, volunteer committee chairs, and involved members. As the AAWC looks to the future, there will always be more we can and should do. Your help in advancing the practice of wound care is needed more now than ever before. Bring your new ideas to the AAWC. If you aren’t already involved, join the AAWC and become a volunteer with a committee or project. As the largest interdisciplinary wound care organization, AAWC has the bandwidth to approach issues broadly; that is the Association’s greatest asset. We look forward to having your input for keeping all change positive.