CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Great Comebacks® Program today presented Harriet Pilert, RN, MS, COCN with the WOC Nurse Great Comebacks® Award at the opening ceremony of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN®) Society™ 44th Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC. The Great Comebacks® Program annually honors outstanding individuals, including the specialist WOC nurses who inspire their patients to live life to the fullest after ostomy surgery.
Pilert is an ostomy and continence nurse at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. The award recognizes Pilert for the exceptional care she has provided to Jenn Stahl, the 2011 Great Comebacks® East Region Award recipient, as well as many other patients and their families.
Stahl suffered with painful bouts of Crohn's disease for 22 years and once said she "would rather die" than have ostomy surgery. In 2009 Stahl was told she no longer had a choice and was introduced to Pilert to help her through the surgery she had avoided for decades.
"I had a very difficult time when my doctor said I had to have ostomy surgery. Harriet came in and told me it was OK to cry with her and that we would go on from there when I was ready. She was so patient and understanding and her encouragement helped me to accept my new way of living and to focus on the benefits of ostomy surgery and better health," said Ms. Stahl.
While in the hospital recovering, Pilert encouraged Stahl to put up a poster and fill it with all of the new things she would be able to do with her family that she hadn't been able to do while she was sick. Now fully recovered, Stahl shares her story to provide encouragement to other patients of Pilert's that need ostomy surgery.
"Harriet is a source of comfort for all of her patients and takes important steps to help them both mentally and physically adjust to living with an ostomy. Great Comebacks® is honored to recognize her great work and the remarkable thoughtfulness and commitment of all ostomy nurses," said Rolf Benirschke, founder and chairman, Great Comebacks® Program.
The Great Comebacks® Program is sponsored by ConvaTec, a world-leading developer and marketer of innovative medical technologies for community and hospital care, in partnership with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation (CCFA), the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA), the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN®) Society™ and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS).
"Harriet Pilert is steadfast in her dedication to go above and beyond in her efforts to serve her patients. We are so pleased that she has been recognized with this honor from Great Comebacks®. She is a wonderful role model for the nurses in our field and a gift to the patients she serves," said Kathleen Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN, president, WOCN® Society.
Pilert was previously recognized as the 2009 Nurse of the Year by the Mid-Atlantic region of the WOCN® Society.
About the Great Comebacks® Program
Now in its third decade, 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 and 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 www.GreatComebacks.com.
About Ostomy Surgery
An ostomy is an artificial opening in the abdomen to the intestines or urinary system to allow for the elimination of bodily wastes. More than 700,000 Americans of all ages are currently living with an ostomy. An ostomy procedure is essential to many patients affected by colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, birth defects, and other intestinal or urinary medical conditions.
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 focus areas – 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. For more information, please visit www.ConvaTec.com.
Great Comebacks and the Great Comebacks Logo are registered trademarks of ConvaTec Inc.
© 2012 ConvaTec Inc. AP-012752-US
SOURCE ConvaTec Inc.