Great Comebacks® Program Honors WOC Nurse Jan Jester

Specialist Nurse Helped Former Bull Rider, and Other Young People, Regain Life after Ostomy Surgery

Jun 13, 2010, 13:30 ET from ConvaTec

PHOENIX, June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Jan Jester, RN, WOCN, CHPN, of Kansas City, KS, was honored today with this year's WOC Nurse Great Comebacks® Award at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Joint Conference of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society and the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists (WCET).  

Recognizing the inspirational achievements of people who have overcome serious intestinal diseases and ostomy surgery, and the specialist nurses who are instrumental in helping them transition to life after surgery, the Great Comebacks® Awards are sponsored by ConvaTec, a world-leading developer of innovative medical technologies for community and hospital care, in partnership with the WOCN Society and patient associations.  

Jester was nominated for the WOC Nurse Award by Tony Bell, this year's 25th Anniversary Great Comebacks® National Award recipient, a former pro bull rider from Harveyville, KS who was born with a defect of his colon. Years ago, when a 9-year-old Bell received a permanent colostomy, Jester took the withdrawn child under her wing and introduced him to a special camp, now known as the Youth Rally, she had founded in 1978 as a pioneering member of the United Ostomy Association.

Explains Bell, "After my surgery, I was a lost soul. I had no idea were to turn and thought I was alone in this world with what I had. Then I met Jan Jester. She introduced me to a life I had no idea existed, and a camp for kids who had bowel and bladder disorders. She opened a new door in my life that really put the wind in my sails, helped me to take off and become the man I am today."

Today, Youth Rally has evolved from about 20 children, a few parents and counselors attending support group and education sessions to an annual week-long camp with more than 150 young people and 50 counselors attending from all over the country. One of those counselors is Tony Bell, who returns each summer to "pay it forward" by providing support and encouragement to other young campers. This April, Bell also joined Seven Summits climber and ostomate Robert Hill on a 12-day trek to the Base Camp at Mount Everest, where Hill later reached the South Summit, to raise awareness and challenge the social stigma surrounding intestinal diseases and living with an ostomy.

A nurse for nearly 50 years, Jester became one of the first two specialist ostomy care nurses in the Kansas City area in 1974. She served as a core faculty member for the accredited ET Specialty Program at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, is a long-standing member of WOCN and the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA, formerly the UOA), and has served on the Board of Directors for both organizations. For many years, she worked at Bethany Medical Center, until it closed, and is currently a primary case manager at NorthCare Hospice, where she also serves as a consultant to agency staff for ostomy, wound and continence issues.  

"Every patient with an ostomy deserves a nurse with the knowledge, expertise, skills, compassion and a desire to help them in their journey to make a new life with an ostomy. The WOCN Society is privileged to have thousands of passionate nurses who have chosen to dedicate their professional and a good part of their personal lives to WOC nursing and the patients and families in need of their care. These nurses go above and beyond the call of duty to enhance and change the lives of those they serve. They bring a message of help and hope to all those who encounter their healing touch," said Phyllis Bonham, PhD, MSN, RN, CWOCN, DPNAP, FAAN, and President, WOCN Society. "A stellar example of such outstanding WOC Nurses is Jan Jester. We congratulate Jan on being selected as the recipient of the 2010 WOC Nurse Great Comebacks® Award and thank her for her contributions over many years to the Society and her patients."

"As a leader in ostomy care for more than 30 years, ConvaTec looks forward to continuing our partnership with WOCN and specialist ostomy care nurses across the U.S., through programs like Great Comebacks®," said Nino Pionati, President, Global Marketing and Business Development. "It is our hope that Great Comebacks® stories like Tony's, made possible by the care and dedication shown by Jan Jester, can provide encouragement and inspiration to countless others struggling with similar health issues, just as they inspire all of us at ConvaTec in our mission to make a difference in people's lives."

About the Great Comebacks® Program

Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the Great Comebacks® Program raises awareness of quality of life issues for people with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer and other diseases that can lead to ostomy surgery. The mission of Great Comebacks® is to provide information and inspiration to people facing the emotional, as well as physical, challenges of living with serious intestinal diseases and ostomy surgery. The program also aims to remove the stigma surrounding ostomy surgery and to educate patients, their families and friends, and the general public that ostomy surgery can be a second chance to fulfill dreams, and lead a full and productive life with joy and passion. For more information, please visit

About ConvaTec

ConvaTec is a leading developer and marketer of innovative medical technologies that have helped improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. With four key business divisions – Ostomy Care, Wound Therapeutics, Continence and Critical Care and Infusion Devices – ConvaTec products support health care professionals from the hospital to the community health setting. From its headquarters in Skillman, New Jersey, the company oversees more than 8,000 employees in over 90 countries serving consumers and their health care professionals on six continents. For more information, please visit

About the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society

The WOCN Society is a professional nursing society that promotes educational, clinical and research opportunities to advance the practice and guide the delivery of expert health care to individuals with wounds, ostomies and incontinence. Membership includes more than 4,600 healthcare professionals who are experts in the care of patients with wound, ostomy and incontinence. The WOCN Society offers comprehensive benefits to any and all healthcare professionals who are involved in providing wound, ostomy and continence patient care. When you join, you will have access to skills and resources that will help you advance your practice, deliver excellent patient care and reach your personal and professional goals. For more information, please visit

Great Comebacks is a registered trademark of ConvaTec Inc.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

© 2010 ConvaTec Inc.



Punnie Donohue

Etanjalie Ayala


Weber Shandwick

Phone: 908-904-2151

Phone: 212-445-8225