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Chairperson's Message

December 14, 2019

To all members of the International Ostomy Association.

The end of the year is now fast approaching and I wanted to wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and holiday where ever they may be. I am looking forwards to working with you all in 2020.

There will be a lot happening in 2020 and beyond and the past little while has shown that Ostomates around the world are prepared to stand up and give their time and expertise. In April 2020 the EOA are holding their conference at Lake Garda Italy and in November the ASPOA are holding their conference in Delhi, India.

I am honoured to have been selected by the IOA CC members to serve as its Chairperson. Ria Smeijers continues serving as its Treasurer and Ken Aukett has accepted the task of being our Secretary and from OAA, Martha de Nieves from Puerto Rico, the President of OAA and Mariela Acero de Romero, the OAA VP, and the European members will be decided on at their upcoming conference.

As this is my first Chairperson's message, I wish to acknowledge the dedication and commitment to the cause of ostomy rehabilitation demonstrated by my predecessor, Ken Aukett and both he and Barry Maughan have offered me their assistance in my task ahead.

I am pleased to be able to include today the report on the 3rd Regional Conference of the Americas

20 – 23 OCTOBER 2019

A. Overview:
Unfortunately at the time our Conference was convened the country of Chile was experiencing a period of unrest. Periodic marches of members of the "Middle Class" numbering well into the tens of thousands were held protesting the economic conditions they were experiencing. In addition to the noise associated with the beating of pots and the rhythmic honking of automobile horns, fires were set in subway stations and highway toll booths, in food markets and newspaper buildings in Santiago and its suburbs including Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Confrontations with police and military forces resulted in the firing of tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into the ranks of the protesters. A dusk to dawn curfew was imposed. Tragically 20 lives were lost.

B. Federico Cisterna Ortíz, President of CORAO V Region Chile, Jessica Cardenas' partner, presented a moving tribute to Jessica and did an excellent job in serving as the Conference Chair. The passing of OAA VP, Francisco Miguez was also recognized.

Thanks were given to the Conference sponsor, ConvaTec, for underwriting the lodging and meal expenses of 18 association leaders together with the provision of a translator for Monday's medical workshops and the conference related hotel expenses.

C. The programming scheduled for Monday the 21 st , which provided for the training of local nurses in the care of ostomy patients and ostomy patient education workshops was held, but most of the nurses and patients were no shows. Airline flights in and out of Santiago disrupted many of the attendee's travel plans and the curfews prevented many local patients from attending.

C.1 Educational workshops held on Monday included: Colon Cancer Prevention; How to Set Up an Ostomy Clinic; Complications of an Ostomy; Psychological Profile of Ostomates; Nutritional Contributions in the Recovery of an Ostomate; An Introduction to, and Goals of the IOA 20/40 Focus Program; The Purpose of the FOW-USA Ostomy Supply Distribution Program and How to Access It; and workshops targeted for the Patient and Caregiver audience included: Ostomy Care; Diagnosis and Treatment of Peristomal Dermatitis; Ostomies and Their Reality; Ostomy Patient Testimonies.

C.2 ConvaTec described their latest innovations in ostomy care.
The conference did, however, provide an opportunity for members of NCACOA and ALADO, the two sub regions that comprise OAA to network and get to know one another which was a positive feature for the Regional leaders. D. Three House of Delegates Meetings were held … The Ostomy Association of the Americas and its two sub-regions, the Association of Latin Americans with Ostomies, or ALADO, and, the North and Central America and Caribbean Ostomy Association, or NCACOA. In addition to country reports the major function of each HOD Meeting was the election of Officers for a term extending from the end of this 3 rd OAA Regional Conference, 24 October 2019, until the end of the 4 th OAA Regional Conference in October, 2022.
- Newly elected ALADO Officers:
President, Izaac Fernandes, Argentina, Fegest
Vice President, Mariela Acero de Romero, Colombia, ACDO
Secretary, Vilma Franco, Argentina, ADOC
Treasurer, Marcelino Merlo, Argentina, ADOC
- Newly elected NCACOA Officers
President, Susan Burns, USA, UOAA (Note: as the former President Elect Susan Burns automatically became the new President)
President-Elect: Maria-Jose Bouey, Canada, TO
Secretary: Di Bracken, Canada, TO
Treasurer: George Salamy, USA, UOAA
Director at Large: Ana Restrepo, BWSN, RN, CWON, USA, UOAA
- Newly elected OAA Officers
President, Martha Velez de Nieves, Puerto Rico, AOPR
Vice President, Mariela Acero de Romero, Colombia, ACDO
Secretary, Teresa Antequera Pena, Bolivia, ABO
Treasurer, Kenneth W. Aukett , USA, UOAA
- A legal associate of Ken Aukett, Diane MacWilliams, mactarts@gmail.com , is serving as an understudy and has access to the OAA checking account in case of an emergency.

Note: The OAA Constitution provides that the OAA Executive Committee is composed of the President; Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; President of the ALADO, Izaac Fernandes; and, President of the NCACOA, Susan Burns. Appointment of OAA Representatives to the International Ostomy Association - Coordination Committee (IOA-CC): - Martha Velez de Nieves, President, OAA
- Mariela Acero de Romero, Vice President, OAA
Note: Ken Aukett who had previously served as one of the OAA Representatives to the IOA-CC and was serving as the IOA-CC Chair, stepped down on 10/24/2019 . In a vote of the current IOA-CC , Richard McNair, President of the Asia South Pacific Ostomy Association, from New Zealand was elected as the IOA-CC Chair. In a subsequent vote of the IOA-CC Ken Aukett was appointed as the IOA-CC Secretary in a non-voting capacity. Inquiries regarding OAA should be sent to Ken Aukett at email: kenaukett@gmail.com
Dorothy Kent, dorothykent@verizon.net, was appointed as the OAA Webmaster and will be responsible for keeping the OAA website, www.ostomyamericas.org, updated. Dorothy will coordinate with Rogerio Fernandes, fernandesrogeriog@gmail.com from Argentina, the ALADO webmaster, in this undertaking.
2022 OAA 4th Regional Conference Site
A discussion regarding potential sites for the 4th OAA Regional Conference in October, 2022 was undertaken. The delegates expressed an interest in meeting in the following countries:
- Brasil, Porto Alegre
- Costa Rica, San Jose
- Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
- Puerto Rico, San Juan
- Guatemala, Guatemala City
Early in 2020 an RFP will be sent to the leaders of the associations in these countries to determine their interest in hosting the conference and to acquire details regarding a potential conference site in their country.

Richard B. McNair
Chairman: IOA CC

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