Wesley Healthcare December 10, 2018

WICHITA – The Mid-West Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Wesley has organized a monthly ostomy support group for anyone who is impacted by an ostomy or continent diversion procedure, including caregivers and medical professionals, regardless of where treatment occurred.

“Our goals for the support group include providing a safe, supportive group for those who live with ostomies, their families and caregivers as well as professionals in the community,” said Valerie Kaasen, lead wound consultants at Wesley Medical Center.

Lassen, along with co-organizer Lynne Kempton, are both certified ostomy care nurses and certified wound care nurses.

“We hope to encourage healthy coping skills through presentations and networking opportunities,” Lassen said. “We will emphasize respectful, confidential communication among group members and we hope to explore problem-solving strategies and encourage autonomy and self-advocacy.”

Ostomy surgery is a life-saving procedure that allows bodily waste to pass through a surgically created opening (stoma) on the abdomen into a pouch or ostomy bag on the outside of the body or an internal surgically created pouch for continent diversion surgeries, according to the United Ostomy Associations of America.

Experts say an ostomy may be necessary due to birth defects, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, incontinence and many other medical conditions. They are also necessary in cases of severe abdominal or pelvic trauma resulting from accidents or from injuries sustained during military services, the UOAA reports.

The wound care team at Wesley said it noticed a rising number of people dealing with ostomy-related issues coming through Wesley and that a local support group seemed like a helpful community service they could provide.

The support group is designed to provide a safe environment to share about, learn from and support people living with an ostomy and those who care for them. Participants can share ideas and insights with one other to maximize the health and wellness of those who have an ostomy or continent diversion.

“The main emphasis of a support group is to enable and empower people to be the best they can be,” Klassen said. “We hope participants will be able to lead as active and healthy a life as possible.”

The support group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Wesley’s Beech conference room. For more information about the ostomy support group, people can call (316) 962-2722 or email the organizers at cksog@wesleymc.com.

Wesley Healthcare is the region’s leading acute-care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley Medical Center treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 5,800 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Wesley Woodlawn ER, the region’s only pediatric ER, Wesley Derby ER. Wesley owns and operates Wesley Medical Center, Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER and Wesley Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Wesley Healthcare, please visit www.wesleymc.com.