by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA
In the words of Ben Franklin, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” The specialty of wound care and hyperbaric medicine faces a never-ending attack from payers and regulators. Our current state of partition leaves us voiceless and defenseless. We must band together and be counted.
The Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (The AAWC), a leading society dedicated to the care of patients with chronic wounds, celebrated its annual meeting in Charlotte in April. The need for the wound care community to “speak with one voice” resonated throughout the four-day event culminating in a membership meeting that resembled a political rally. At the conclusion of the rally, I donned a ball cap with LMWCEG (Let’s Make Wound Care Even Greater) printed in bold letters across the front. Once the brim of the cap obscured my vision I gave the two thumbs up. The humorous gesture lacked political motivation; however, perhaps we need more rallies of this nature—banding disciplines—to get out the message: the need for greater awareness of the suffering of patients with chronic wounds and the struggle for those caring for them. As we advocate for our patients and fellow clinicians, we must abandon the silos that divide the wound care community and come together under a single, recognizable banner. A standard that stands for patients, family care givers, industry partners and the multidisciplinary assembly of wound care clinicians.
A doctor at the AAWC meeting asked why he should join our organization: “For the discount I get at the Symposium for Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) conference?”
The membership discount does saves money, I admit. However, I am hoping for much more than a transactional relationship. Joining a multidisciplinary organization like the AAWC helps promotes and preserve the specialty of wound care. Stop complaining that some surgeon in your hospital still uses wet-to-dry dressings. He does this because the medical community does not recognize our fragmented tangle of wound groups and societies. We must gain the respect of our colleagues before we can educate them. Change begins by joining forces. Together we will speak with one voice. We will champion the cause of our patients. We will establish a standard that all of medicine will follow because they respect the cohesive collaboration of clinicians from multiple disciplines.
Get involved and join the next rally—Let’s make wound care even greater!
About The Author
Dr. Thomas Serena has published more than 75 peer-reviewed papers and has made in excess of 200 presentations worldwide. He has been elected to the Board of Directors of both The Wound Healing Society and the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM), the leading academic society in the field of Hyperbaric Medicine. In 2013 Dr. Serena was elected vice president of the American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA) is currently the president-elect of the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC). Dr. Serena has opened and operates Wound Care and hyperbaric oxygen treatment clinics across the United States.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.