AAWC Update

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The AAWC is pleased to present an extended news and information section for the annual AAWC Focus Issue of OWM. AAWC’s mission is to advance the care of people with and at risk for wounds. Please make the valuable choice to join the organization. The AAWC thanks its members in advance for sharing this journal with colleagues and encouraging membership.

AAWC Clinical Practice Track to Launch at SAWC Spring 2015

  In 2015, the AAWC will host its own track of sessions at the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) Spring in San Antonio, TX, held April 29 through May 3. AAWC’s Clinical Practice Track will provide evidence-based, patient-centered, multidisciplinary, practical information clinicians can share with decision makers and colleagues. Registration for SAWC Spring is now open at www.sawcspring.com.

The Difference Between the SAWC and the AAWC

  The SAWC provides a venue for the interdisciplinary wound care community to gather. It is the official meeting site of AAWC members, but the AAWC does not own the meeting. The AAWC is a not-for-profit association sustained by its primary financial resource: tax-deductible membership dues and donations. AAWC membership provides many benefits throughout the year, including a 20% discount to the SAWC conferences. The discount on registration to SAWC Fall or SAWC Spring can cover annual membership dues. There are numerous opportunities for savings, networking, and leadership.

SAWC Nursing and Physician Scholarships

  Through a partnership with SAWC, the AAWC selects the winners of the SAWC Nursing and Physician Scholarships. The scholarships provide one nurse and one physician with complimentary conference registration (a $500 value) and recognition during the SAWC Scholarship Ceremony. Congratulations to the following Fall SAWC Scholarship Winners:

  SAWC Nursing Scholarship Winner: AAWC Member Matthew Davis, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CFCN, Program Director at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine/Restorix Health in Dearborn, MI; SAWC Physician Scholarship Winner: AAWC Member Cherison Cuffy, DPM, CWS, Associate Professor at Barry University SPM in Tamarac, FL.

  The application period for the SAWC Spring Scholarships began in October for AAWC members. Find information and an application on the AAWC homepage: www.aawconline.org.

Call for Nominations for the 2015 AAWC Board of Directors

  Nominations to the AAWC Board of Directors are accepted through November 20, 2014. All active members received an official email with complete information on how to nominate a qualified candidate (which includes self-nomination). Please contact Laurie Hiltebeitel at info@aawconline.org with questions or for more information. Please keep the following points in mind:

    1. Board Members take leadership roles as officers, committee chairs, and/or liaisons to other organizations.
    2. Board Members actively assist in developing and maintaining relationships with collaborating organizations, corporations, and other entities or agencies.
    3. In general, each Board Member works to get the job done.
    4. All Board nominees must be AAWC members in good standing for at least 1 year before taking office (or since April 28, 2014).
    5. Persons elected are expected to attend the first Board meeting, which is held in conjunction with SAWC Spring. This year’s AAWC meeting will be held on April 29, 2015. Those elected will receive 6-weeks notice in order to make plans to attend.
    6. Board Members officially take office at the AAWC Annual Membership Meeting held during SAWC Spring on May 1, 2015.

  If you know an AAWC member who is interested in serving on the Board, please ask his/her permission first and then nominate him/her. If interested in serving the AAWC, please feel free to nominate yourself. There are 9 open seats for the AAWC Board for the 2015-2017 term:

  Executive Committee — Secretary; Board Members — Industry, Nurse (2), Physical Therapist, Physician (2), Podiatric Physician, Research.

  After November 20, the AAWC Nominating and Board Development Committee will review all nominations received, conduct interviews, and develop a slate of candidates. In January, members will receive official email notification regarding the slate of candidates and instructions for online voting. Elections will take place through late February, and candidates will be notified about the status of the election by early March.

AAWC Guideline Task Force

  The mission of the Guideline Task Force is to develop, optimize, and maintain guidelines based on best available evidence to improve wound care practice and to serve as a liaison for other guideline initiatives. The goal is to empower wound care professionals and patients with current wound care recommendations that can be implemented into daily practice. The task force develops “guidelines of guidelines,” synthesizing all recommendations from major relevant guidelines. Independent multidisciplinary content validation ensures clinical relevance of each recommendation before summarizing best available supporting evidence. This provides best available practice guidelines to wound care professionals and discloses gaps where current practices are in need of further evidence.

  Check out the AAWC Venous Ulcer (VU) and Pressure Ulcer (PU) Guidelines in this issue and online along with implementation tools at http://aawconline.org/professional-resources/resources/.

    • One-page quick reference guides
    • Checklists
    • Evidence tables
    • Educational presentations and publications
    • Patient-focused brochures (available in English and Spanish) that are consistent with AAWC guidelines, developed by the AAWC Public Awareness Task Force to help patients participate on the wound care team.

  Both the AAWC VU and PU Guidelines will be updated in 2015 by conducting standardized searches for new evidence supporting each recommendation.

  Currently, 2 teams of volunteer AAWC Guideline Task Force members meet monthly by teleconferences. The Wound Infection Control Initiative Team is condensing the content validation survey remarks while compiling best available evidence for each recommendation, and the Diabetic Ulcer Care Initiative team is synthesizing recommendation from relevant guidelines.

  Discussions have begun with other wound care societies to merge respective guidelines into 1 cohesive document to avoid duplication of efforts and advance wound care consistency.

AAWC Website Resources

  The Professional Resource Center provides information for wound care professionals, including: the AAWC Wound Care Glossary, listings of wound care conferences, guidelines, including the AAWC Pressure Ulcer and Venous Ulcer Guidelines and implementation tools, and AAWC Wound Research Poster Tools.

AAWC Shire Fellowship Grants Winners

  The AAWC Fellowship Grant Review Committee awarded two $50,000 support grants for the 2014–2015 academic year. Made possible by an unrestricted grant from Shire, these grants support the salary and benefits of the fellow conducting studies on wound management and research in academic, clinical, and/or research settings. Grants were awarded to the North Shore LIJ Health Care System’s Vascular Surgery/Wound Care Program. Drs. Alisha Oropallo (Chair) and Mauricio Szuchmacher (Fellow) are working on a research project entitled, “CIRP: Biomarker in the Inflammatory State of Venous Ulcerations.”; and to the Providence VA Medical Center, New England Health Care Division’s RI Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Clinical Research Fellowship Program. Drs. Vickie Driver (Chair) and Sakiyna Rose (Fellow) are working on a research project entitled, “Clinical and Economic Benefits of Using Advanced Therapy for the Treatment of Complex High Risk Wounds of the Lower Extremity in a Veteran Population.”

AAWC Scholarships Support Travel and Education

  The AAWC Scholarship Program offers opportunities for AAWC members to obtain financial support for worthy endeavors that align with the organization’s mission. Applications are accepted annually from May 1 through August 31, and winners are selected by October 15. Details can be found at: www.aawconline.org/scholarships.

Healthcare Public Policy Committee Activities

  The AAWC’s Healthcare Public Policy Committee (formerly the AAWC Regulatory Committee) is well represented by the core clinical specialties of inter-professional organization with physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, and industry consultant participants. Members include: Scott LaRaus, PT; Eric Lullove, DPM; Caroline Fife, MD, and quality measures expert; Kathy Schaum, MS, reimbursement consultant; Jenny Hurlow, MSN, GNP-BC; Brandon Hawkins, DPM; Jeanine Maguire, PT; and Peggy Dotson, RN, BS, reimbursement consultant and Chair.

  The committee keeps the AAWC Board and membership aware of changes to proposed regulations impacting coverage, coding, and payment and pending legislation that can impact the practice of members and patients. The committee identifies pertinent issues related to wound care and develops comments and recommendations.

  In addition, the team provides the AAWC perspective to the CMS and the Medicare Administrative Contractors [MACs], when clinically inaccurate or detrimental issues that may affect patients are included within draft policies or regulations. The Healthcare Public Policy Committee also monitors the local coverage decisions and national coverage determinations related to wound care therapies or durable medical equipment (DME — eg, coverage for cellular and/ or tissue based products for wounds, surgical dressings, support surfaces, negative pressure wound therapy.

  To keep membership informed, the committee develops and issues alerts on various topics, which are posted on the AAWC website front page.

  Additionally, the AAWC participates in the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders. As a participating association, the AAWC helps provide a unified voice for members, the CMS, other payers, and legislators on coverage policies and payment changes impacting members and patients. Dr. Eric Lullove, a member of the AAWC Healthcare Public Policy Committee, represents the AAWC on the Alliance.

  The committee has supported or advocated for legislation and policy changes for a wide range of key items this year including:
    • In support of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) organization, the committee requested the Senate Finance Committee, Subdivision on Health enact legislation language changes to Public Law 11-148, 124 STAT, Sec 6407 to allow all qualified health care professionals to conduct and document the face-to-face visit for DMEs
    • Supported the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) by requesting the House and Senate pass HR 1761/S1318, the HELLPP Act, which will recognize podiatrists as physicians under the Medicaid Program
    • Identified inaccuracies within the updated Millmann CARE Guideline (MCG) on Pneumatic Compression Therapy, and requested changes to the CMS national policy
    • Opposed the 2014 Hospital Outpatient prospective payment (PPS) proposed rule (CMS–1601–P) to begin bundling payment for drugs and biologics that function as supplies or devices when used in a surgical procedure in the hospital outpatient setting, specifically cellular and/or tissue-based products for wounds (CTPs)
    • Requested the CMS change proposed legislation for prior authorization requirement for certain DME including support surfaces, NPWT, and other DME used in wound care
    • Submitted to the AHRQ identified inaccuracies in AHRQ Technical Assessment for NPWT
    • Recommended revisions to the CMS NCDs for hyperbaric therapy services
    • Sent revision comments to CMS for the 2015 Hospital Outpatient PPS proposed rule (CMS–1613–P)
    • Provided recommendations on draft local coverage decision (LCDs) policies to the MACs, including Cigna Government Services: draft LCD on Skin Substitutes; Novitas: draft LCD on Wound Care and Bioengineered Skin; Novitas: draft LCD for NPWT; Cahaba: draft LCD for ultrasound; and First Coast Services: draft and final LCD for CTPs
    • Provided comments to the DME-MACs and provided evidence supporting honey-impregnated dressings as appropriate wound care options for management of patients’ wounds
    • Provided feedback to Cochrane on the Cochrane Review of honey dressing and identified inaccuracies and concerns with the author’s conclusions.

Educate the Generalist Committee News

  The Educate the Generalist (ETG) Committee is charged with bringing wound care awareness and education to primary caregivers and qualified health care personnel in the primary medicine community. This has been accomplished through an education access portal at www.aawconline.org/education-for-the-generalist. The focus of efforts will be the Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners groups because these are the primary physician extenders who see patients daily. The committee has created a presentation that will be used by the Speakers Bureau once approved by the AAWC Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

The AAWC Speakers Bureau

  Members can become involved with the Speaker Bureau by obtaining an application on the Speakers Bureau Page at http://aawconline.org/speakers-bureau-program/. If accepted, the speaker’s information will be listed on the AAWC website for easy access by potential program managers, conference planners, and corporate event organizers. Please note: the AAWC helps initiate the contact between speaker and client. All financial and/or logistical arrangements are made separately by the interested parties.

AAWC Global Volunteers Update

  AAWC Global Volunteers are dedicated to bringing the science of wound care to developing countries and North America. Health Volunteers Oversees (HVO) handles the logistical needs of volunteers traveling overseas. One of the many accomplishments for 2014 is the initiation of a new volunteer site in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at the Hospital Bernard Mevs. Three AAWC members have traveled to Raxual, India; 8 to Cambodia, which included visits to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh; and 5 volunteered for travel to Port-au-Prince and Deschapelles, Haiti. If you are interested in learning more about the program, visit the AAWC Global Volunteers page, http://aawconline.org/aawc-global-volunteers/.

  Thanks to the support of the AAWC Global Volunteers Fund, travel scholarships for $1,500 have been awarded in 2014 to the following AAWC members: Jane O’Driscoll, PT, WCC, CLT: Hospital Bernard Mevs, Haiti; Karen Albaugh, PT, DPT, MPH, CWS: Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti; Barbara Brault, MD, CWS: Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti; Lawrence Eron, MD: Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Jodi Duke, MN, RN, CWOCN, CNS: Siem Reap, Cambodia.

  Those interested in volunteering next year should visit: www.hvousa.org to gather materials and apply.

Wounds In Need (WIN) — a Resource for Patients and Caregivers

  The Patient/Lay Caregiver membership group (also known as “Wounds In Need” or “WIN”) continues to grow with more than 200 members. This is now the second largest membership category of the Association. Any wound care patient, lay-caregiver, or lay-person advocate can join AAWC for free at http://aawconline.org/register-for-free-win-membership/.

  The WIN Task Force developed an 11x17, patient-focused, educational poster, available at the AAWC online store (small shipping/handling fee applies) to help patients take part in wound prevention and care.

  In addition, the task force provides patient and caregiver members with a quarterly WIN newsletter. The task force is proud of the positive feedback the Patient/Caregiver Resource pages of the AAWC website have received. As this membership category expands, the WIN team will enhance its advocacy for patients and caregivers to provide these members with a voice in high-quality wound care reform. Please spread the word regarding the availability of these complimentary memberships.

AAWC Public Awareness Task Force News

  The AAWC Public Awareness Task Force (PATF) is pleased with the success of the online educational module, Keeping Your Skin Healthy, which is based on the AAWC Educational Brochure, The Skin You’re In. The PATF thanks Smith & Nephew for continued support of this project. The module is available free of charge at http://aawconline.org/wound-patientcaregiver-resources/.

  In addition, the AAWC’s first brochure, ABCs of Wound Care, is being updated and the next brochure in the AAWC Patient Education Series is being developed. In keeping with the entire series, future brochures will be available in both English and Spanish. The educational brochure series is available to download at no cost at http://aawconline.org/wound-patientcaregiver-resources/. The brochures can printed and distributed without permission, but please note quality reprints are available for purchase from the AAWC Store.

Managing Wounds as a Team – An International Document

  In collaboration with the European Wound Management Association and the Australian Wound Management Association, an unprecedented joint manuscript on the multidisciplinary approach to wound care was published this year and is available at www.journalofwoundcare/resources.

AAWC in the News

  The AAWC is continuing to establish a presence in the media that describes the Association and the problems of chronic and complex wounds. Several strategies have already been implemented; the Association has created a Newsroom web page for the media with access to AAWC press releases. Also available is the first AAWC fact sheet, “The Most Important Health Problem You’ve Never Heard About,” targeted to help the media and public understand the scope of chronic wounds in terms of prevalence, outcomes, and cost. Examples of facts included: 1) in the US, more people have chronic wounds than breast, colon, lung cancer, and leukemia combined; 2) the 5-year mortality rate after an amputation related to a diabetic foot ulcer is higher than the 5-year mortality rate for all cancers. Visit the AAWC Newsroom at www.aawconline.org/newsroom to access these and more important facts today.

New Videos Educate the Public and the Generalist

  The AAWC is excited to announce a new project in its efforts to educate the public and the generalist about skin and wounds. The AAWC is adding a series of short videos to its YouTube channel covering a variety of subjects at a lay level. The AAWC has some suggested topics and has prepared some tips to help you make your own video. Our first video, which deals with Moist Wound Healing, can be found on our channel, www.youtube.com/user/AAWCWoundCare.

  Refer your patients to our YouTube page to learn more about their wounds and their care.

  Future topics include the following (each topic will have several short videos covering a single, specific aspect of that subject): the diabetic foot, taking care of your skin, pressure ulcers, skin tears, venous ulcers, caring for wounds, skin assessment, and wound assessment.

  To find out more or to volunteer to add to our channel, please contact AAWC Board Member Renee Cordrey: rcordrey@earthlink.net.

Open Enrollment for the 2014 Sponsorship Program

  Corporate support is paramount to sustaining the Association’s programs and activities. This year’s AAWC Corporate Sponsors (Bronze, Silver, and Gold level) include: 3M, KCI, Molnlycke, Organogenesis, Smith & Nephew, and Smith & Nephew Biotherapeutics.

  Industry representatives and the AAWC Board of Directors comprise the AAWC Corporate Advisory Panel (CAP), which is a highly sought after benefit of sponsorship. The CAP allows close interaction with AAWC officers as well as other key wound care industry leaders who meet to collaborate on mutual concerns and issues including education, public awareness, and government/regulatory affairs. Partnership with CAP members also has resulted in 2 new requested benefits for AAWC sponsors.

  1. The “Educate the Generalist” campaign was created to expand AAWC’s reach to those practicing wound care in the broader community. Through a focused clinical pathway of instructional modules (CE) accessed via a portal on the AAWC site, clinicians are linked to sponsors’ educational offerings. The educational modules were selected through a collaborative effort of CAP members and the “Educate the Generalist” project team.

  2. AAWC Gold Sponsors will now have access to vital AAWC member feedback by conducting clinical surveys.

  Participation as a corporate sponsor allows the AAWC to continue collaborative initiatives, as well as maintain support of wound care specialists, expand educational reach to the generalist (those not certified or trained in wound care), provide patient educational support, and increase the patient advocacy membership segment.

  The AAWC accomplishes its objectives from the funding received through membership dues and corporate sponsorship. Please encourage your company to become an industry sponsor. Visit http://aawconline.org/sponsorship/ for full program information.

AAWC Online Store Offers Valuable Products

  The Association has quality items available for purchase, including: Educational Wound and Skin Care Brochures (4 informative choices), Educational Image Series (5 unique CDs), free Patient Education Poster (pay only for postage and handling), Membership Mailing List (name and address on labels), and the Wound Care Clinic Directory as PDF or in Excel (various contact information).

  Remember: the AAWC Member Discount Store is found inside the Members-Only portal.

Support the AAWC by Shopping Online

  Ziggedy, a shopping website, allows participants to shop from more than 4,000 other online retailers while earning extra cash for the AAWC. An average of 3% (and up to 30% depending on retailer) of the purchase price will be donated directly to the AAWC at no extra cost.

  To start supporting the AAWC, create a free Ziggedy account by clicking on this link: www.ziggedy.com/user/npolink?npoid=294680.

  Support of the AAWC is still available via Goodsearch.com if preferred. Both services earn money for AAWC.

Let the AAWC Career Center Work for You

  The AAWC Career Center is specifically targeted to wound care professionals and the clinical and industrial jobs they seek. Likewise, the best employers for wound care list posted job openings on the site, because they know where qualified wound professionals look for valuable resources: AAWC.

  Job Seekers: The AAWC Career Center is free to all job seekers and provides access to the best employers and jobs in the wound care industry. Post CVs, search for jobs, and save searches to receive emails as new jobs are added. In addition, many resources are available, such as free career tips on writing resumes, honing interviewing skills, expanding networking ability, and enhancing negotiating talents. The Career Center also provides information on annual performance reviews, promotions, and balancing work and life. Begin searching for new opportunities today.

  Employers: With 2,200+ members and thousands of other specialized site visitors, the AAWC’s Career Center offers the most highly targeted advertising for wound care related job openings. AAWC Members save 50% or more on job postings, a $100–$950 in savings depending on the package purchased.

AAWC Counts on Memberships and Donations

  If you have not done so already, why not make it official? Become a member to take advantage of numerous AAWC benefits. Many of your colleagues are already members. Tax-deductible dues for clinicians are only $115 for an entire year. Lower rates apply for students, retirees, and VA/military healthcare personnel. Financial benefits can equal savings of hundreds of dollars per year; plus, a wealth of professional resources and leadership opportunities are available.

About AAWC: As the leading organization dedicated to interprofessional wound healing and tissue preservation, the AAWC’s mission is to advance the care of people with and at risk for wounds. Be sire to join us for near daily updates and alerts on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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This article was not subject to the Ostomy Wound Management peer-review process.