12 Incredible Facts About The United Ostomy Associations Of America

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The United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports, empowers and advocates for people who have had or who will have ostomy or continent diversion surgery.

Here’s a look at 12 incredible facts about one of the most dedicated non-profit organizations in America.

1. They were founded in 2005.

On October 1, 2005 UOAA began its activities. Founded by a group of dedicated volunteers after the previous national ostomy organization, United Ostomy Association (UOA), closed its doors.

2. They are an organization of partners.

The United Ostomy Associations of America is an association of over 300 affiliated, nonprofit, ostomy support groups in the USA. You can locate an Affiliated Support Group (ASG) closest to and easily search for local US-based groups by entering your State or zip code. They also list virtual (non-local) groups which are regarded as ASG's and are national in scope.

3. They have an International connection.

UOAA is a member of the International Ostomy Association. The International Ostomy Association Coordination Committee (IOA CC), an association of Regional Ostomy Associations, is committed to the improvement of the quality of life of ostomates and those with related surgeries, worldwide.

4. Their magazine has been published for over a decade.

The Phoenix is the official publication of the United Ostomy Associations of America. Subscriptions are a major source of funding for the UOAA to help improve the quality of life of people who have, or will have, an intestinal or urinary diversion. A one-year subscription is four issues, published in March, June, September and December.

5. There is an Ostomate Bill of Rights.

The United Ostomy Association (UOA), the predecessor organization to UOAA, produced a document in 1977 titled Ostomate Bill of Rights.

Ostomate Bill of Rights

The Ostomate Bill of Rights was presented to UOA by the International Association of Enterostomal Therapists (now known as Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society) at the UOA House of Delegates Meeting during the Annual Conference in 1977.

It is our goal to inform ostomates that all elements of quality care should be available to them.

The ostomate shall:

  1. Be given pre-op counseling
  2. Have an appropriately positioned stoma site
  3. Have a well-constructed stoma
  4. Have skilled postoperative nursing care
  5. Have emotional support
  6. Have individual instruction
  7. Be informed on the availability of supplies
  8. Be provided with information on community resources
  9. Have post-hospital follow-up and life-long supervision
  10. Benefit from team efforts of health care professionals
  11. Be provided with information and counsel from the ostomy association and its members

6. They recognize and honor volunteers.

In 2009, in recognition of their incredible efforts, the Management Board of Directors named Kenneth Aukett and Linda King Aukett Co-Founders of the UOAA.

UOAA Management Board of Directors

UOAA Management Board of Directors

7. They have a hugely popular pubic forum for the ostomy community.

With over 208,000 posts, 23,500+ topics and nearly 5,400 members, UOAA has one of the most active online discussion boards for the ostomy community. Their Facebook page is also a great way to connect with ostomates from around the world.

8. Their advocacy efforts helped pass ostomy supply laws in New York and Maryland.

In September, 2014 New York Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill (S7893 in the Senate/A10140 in the Assembly) that requires all major commercial medical insurances policies to cover the provision of ostomy supplies. The bill was introduced by Senator Valesky and Assemblyman Magnarelli and took effect on January 1, 2015.

On April 14, 2015, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) signed SB 241 into law which mandates that health insurers must provide coverage for ostomy supplies. Maryland is the latest state to pass legislation mandating coverage of ostomy supplies joining Connecticut and New York.

9. They support events that help raise ostomy awareness.

The Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k event was created by Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN®), Lara Leininger and Angela Richardson in Durham, North Carolina three years ago. These family-friendly run/walk events raise awareness and proceeds help support UOAA's education and advocacy programs.

 Run For Resilience Ostomy 5k in Durham, NC

Run For Resilience Ostomy 5k in Durham, NC

10. They established National Ostomy Awareness Day in 2010.

National Ostomy Awareness Day began in 2010 and is held annually on the first Saturday of October. UOAA continues to celebrate this day by spreading awareness and increasing national visibility of those living with ostomies. Their mission is to break the silence and shining a positive light on a surgery that has saved so many lives.

11. Their official video features ostomates living life to the fullest.

The UOAA created an inspirational video called "LIVING with an Ostomy" that illustrates the positive quality of life attainable after ostomy surgery. Their hope is to help others see what is possible as an ostomate.

12. The UOAA National Conference is held every two years.

The United Ostomy Associations Of America National Conference offers a variety of resources for the ostomy community. This event features educational sessions, workshops, WOCN stoma clinics, product exhibition hall, wonderful guest speakers, and fun social receptions. The next conference will be held in Irvine, California from August 22-26, 2017. Find out more at www.ostomy.org.