Educational empowerment: More than 500 health professionals, leaders attending two-day Wounds Canada conference in Halifax

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Kimberley Lacey hopes medical professionals and leaders attending the first regional Wounds Canada conference on the east coast will leave “feeling empowered to continue to bring best practices to their patients.”

The conference features two jam-packed days of learning sessions, April 12 and 13 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

“Wounds Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that’s vision (is to ensure) preventable wounds don’t occur and persons with wounds receive the best possible care,” said Lacey, provincial program lead for wound care with Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA).

“Their mission is really dedicated to the advancement of wound prevention and care by leading knowledge mobilization related to wounds in Canada,” she said.

Although Wounds Canada holds national conferences annually, the national group “started doing a regional one three years ago,” Lacey explained.

“This is the first time it’s come to Atlantic Canada,” she said, “and it’s really about partnering with … NSHA to deliver an educational conference tailored to the needs of our own region.”

It’s also the first Wounds Canada regional conference that has been fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians, Lacey said.

The regional conference features presentations ranging from The Critical Mind: Decision-making for Clinicians and Health Leaders to Nutrition and Wounds: The Forgotten Factor, among many others.

“The session topics cover the best practices for prevention and management of different wound etiologies (such as) pressure injuries, diabetic foot ulcers, venous and arterial leg ulcers, trauma and surgical wounds; skin health across the ages, and a few sessions reviewing the leadership and administrative side of wound care,” Lacey said.

She will be presenting on the Nova Scotia Wound Prevention and Management Program, along with Mary Ellen Gurnham, senior director of interprofessional practice and learning for NSHA; Lynne Kavanagh, nursing manager of oncology and ambulatory care programs at Valley Regional Hospital; and Suzanne d’Entremont, district executive director for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in Nova Scotia.

“We’ll be presenting on some of the disparities across the sectors, as well as the provincial wound and prevention program,” Lacey said, adding conference organizers collected feedback to find out “what the priority learning objectives are as seen by our clinicians and leaders.”

More than 500 physicians, registered nurses (RNs), occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians, as well as other health professionals and leaders have registered for the conference, which has been titled We’re All In This Together.

Lacey said Nova Scotia is seeing successes with pressure injury prevention, including decreases in prevalence rates and long-term care initiatives “that have turned wound care around.”

But there’s also room for improvement and “we’re working on trying to make it a more collaborative effort across the board.”

A smaller leadership summit is also being held Wednesday afternoon “to discuss areas of strength and improvement around pressure injury prevention from a systems level,” Lacey said.

“The major goal, of course, is to provide education and a learning experience for our staff that are doing wound care very day."