When you initially became an ostomate, it’s likely that the first group you heard about was the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA). Since 2005, this organization has been dedicated to assisting over 300 affiliated support groups across America, as well as providing resources and advocating for the ostomy community.
What you may not know is there are nine dedicated individuals, all volunteers, who run this incredible association. Here’s the 2016 edition of who’s who at the UOAA.
UOAA Management Board of Directors
Susan Burns has served as President since 2014 but has been involved for the past 10 years. She’s the main spokesperson, traveling to conferences and seminars all over the United States and Canada. Susan had ileostomy surgery in 1989 due to ulcerative colitis. She lives in Missouri and enjoys vacationing with her husband and family at Lake of the Ozarks.
1st Vice President
Jim Murray has been involved with the UOAA since 2007. He assists Susan, as well as overseeing board governance and compliance. In 2005, Jim underwent surgery for colorectal cancer which resulted in a sigmoid colostomy. He lives in Florida and is a retired aviator from the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam.
2nd Vice President
Cheryl Ory became involved with UOAA in 2013. She provides support and assistance in the day-to-day functioning of the group. Cheryl is a colon cancer survivor who had colostomy surgery in 2008. Cheryl lives in Tennessee and works as an RN in neonatal intensive care.
George Salamy is a longtime volunteer on the board of UOA and UOAA. His duties include creating budgets and financial policies. He’s the liaison between UOAA and TSA, helping ostomates with a stress-free experience at airport security. George holds an M.B.A. from Baruch University, lives in New Jersey and loves traveling.
Al Nua, California
Al has been volunteering since 2015 and serves as Director of the Affiliated Support Group (ASG) Support Team. He had urostomy surgery in 1993 due to bladder cancer. He lives in San Diego where he is a familiar face to ASG members in Southern California. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Al served his nation while stationed around the world.
Frances Popp, Nevada
Fran has served UOAA for the past three years. She has a passion for helping new. Fran had a urostomy in 2008. She’s also active with the Affiliated Support Group in Las Vegas, Nevada and has worked as an IT professional for over 30 years.
Ival Secrest, Arizona
Ival has served on the Board of Directors since 2014 and was previously on the Board at Friends of Ostomates Worldwide-USA for 20 years, five of those years as President. He had ileostomy surgery in 1978 due to ulcerative colitis. Ival is a retired software designer and continued playing softball, tennis, and basketball after his surgery.
Jay Johnson, Georgia
Jay became a director in January 2016. He had urostomy surgery in 2010. For over 31 years, Jay worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Now retired, his ostomy and life adversities have been a key factor in mentoring other ostomates to move forward in their lives.
Millie Parker, Florida
Millie has been a chairperson for the communications workgroup and speaker coordinator for UOAA conferences since 2014. She received lifesaving ileostomy surgery in 2008 due to E.coli in her colon. Millie is a retired educator, captains her own boat, and participates annually at the Ostomy 5K.