CEO Spotlight: Laurie Swezey of WoundEducators.com
OWM: Please describe your education, training, and work experiences that have prepared you for your current position as CEO of WoundEducators.com. I have been a registered nurse for more than 25 years, most of those years dedicated to wound treatment. Throughout my career, I have seen that certified wound specialists can dramatically improve patient outcomes and significantly reduce the overall cost of care — a win-win situation for all. However, some years ago I identified a significant shortage of medical professionals specifically qualified in wound care, as well as very little access to available and affordable wound care education or certification programs. As a result, I shifted my focus from educating a few to facilitating wound certification nationwide by founding www.WoundEducators.com. My goal, and the mission of www.WoundEducators.com, is to revolutionize wound care by delivering convenient and affordable wound care education, facilitating wound care certification, and improving practitioner expertise and patient care. OWM: What should our readers know first and foremost about WoundEducators.com? www.WoundEducators.com is unlike any other supplier of wound education. Because we are based exclusively online, we are able to offer flexible and affordable programs that can fit around a student’s existing commitments in terms of both time and money. www.WoundEducators.com was developed following years of research to proliferate essential information from leading wound management practitioners, researchers, and educators. All information has been crafted into engaging, informative, and effective online programs and educational activities. The education programs are convenient, flexible, and evidence-based. Programs are designed for affordability and accessibility. OWM: How you were first introduced to the wound arena and why do you enjoy working in this arena? As a homecare nurse for more than 20 years, I found very few patients were fortunate enough not to suffer from wounds of some description. I loved working with patients and realized that wounds, unlike many chronic conditions, could heal and reach a final resolution. However, I was frustrated when certain wounds seemed not to respond. I was always trying to understand why some wounds healed and others didn’t. After studying and gaining wound care certification, I realized that in the majority of cases, wounds were not healing because the underlying problem was neither being identified nor managed. My resulting change in care focus resulted in such dramatic improvements in clinical outcomes that I began to fully recognize the central importance of having relevant knowledge and subsequently the value of wound care education and certification. OWM: What are some of your company’s accomplishments? What are some of the key products and/or functions that clearly distinguish your brand? The claim that makes me most proud is that www.WoundEducators.com offers the most affordable wound care courses in the country. Because I believe so passionately in the central importance of wound education in delivering optimal patient care, it is my goal to make high-quality education available to as many practitioners as possible. Many comparable courses are prohibitively expensive, so they are available to only a small number of healthcare professionals. By ensuring our courses are affordable, we are able to appeal to a much broader range of professionals and can begin to revolutionize wound care. Furthermore, by basing our business online, we are able to offer complete flexibility in a way that isn’t possible for many more traditionally provided courses. Another of our strengths is that we focus on education as the primary driver of everything we do. For many organizations, education is an extra; at www.WoundEducators.com, it is the reason we come to work every day. In terms of our products, we have responded to feedback and student input over the years and now offer a range of courses to suit all types of professionals. We recognize the training needs of a physician are different from those of a physical therapist, which are different from those of an RN nurse, and tailor our courses appropriately. We also understand the importance of ensuring everyone involved in wound care has a basic level of knowledge; in response, we designed courses specifically for administrative staff, sales representatives, and other professionals. We refine and update our courses on an ongoing basis to ensure the information is always current and that we meet students’ needs. OWM: Please describe the mission/vision of your company and how your personal vision fit with the company’s goals. Our mission is to revolutionize wound care by providing convenient and affordable continuing wound care education to professionals involved in wound management through online e-learning modules that offer up-to-date information, real-life case studies, and self-assessment checkpoints — all to facilitate wound care certification. The two key principles of our business are affordability and flexibility. By operating online, we are able to achieve both. Because I founded the company, I was able to build it around my personal vision and values, so they are entirely consistent and closely aligned with those of the company. This places me in the fortunate and enviable position of being able to devote every working day toward something I care passionately about. I never forget how privileged I am to be in a job where I feel I can make a difference and that motivates me to move forward and achieve more. OWM: Please explain what must take place on a daily basis behind-the-scenes in order to accommodate patients, clinicians, and healthcare facilities. To be able to deliver the highest quality, up-to-date, and well-researched educational programs, we rely on a qualified and committed team. We are fortunate to have assembled talented technology experts, writers, programmers, designers, consultants, and educators, all working together to provide state-of-the-art wound care education. Because of the fast-moving nature of wound care, we work hard to ensure our materials and programs are always completely timely and dedicate ourselves to staying abreast of industry standards. OWM: Looking ahead, what are some of the company’s incentives or products? At www.WoundEducators.com, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our current course offerings. This will continue to be our primary focus over the coming years. We also recognize that technology has a great deal to offer an online business such as ours, and we will continue to employ the latest technological advances to provide rich and engaging multimedia online educational programs that are affordable and effective.