October 2015

October Newsletter for the Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

Our September meeting had the smallest turnout since the year of Hurricane Charlie with just thirteen present, and three of us were professionals. I sincerely hope we will have a great turnout for our October meeting since Dr Eric Lubiner has blocked the time for us on his office calendar.

Florida Cancer Specialists and Dr Lubiner have been supporters of our group as long as I can remember, and appreciate the fact that we are there for their Ostomy patients. It is always wonderful to hear of the advances that are being made in cancer treatment since many of you have been dealing with cancer. Your longevity has been the result of “what’s new” in cancer treatment, so be sure to come out to the October 13th meeting.

Joan Huber missed the meeting because she had suffered a fall and broken ribs, and then her husband suffered a fall that required a trip by ambulance to the emergency room. She wants all of you to know that if you are ever in a situation needing a ride home in the middle of the night you have available a wonderful taxi. “Happy Taxi” with 24 hour service owned by Lisa Vasquez,941- 204-2268.

Another good reason to make the meeting is to have your voice heard when a vote is taken on where our Christmas party will be held, since we have another great option being presented for your consideration. Jan Doner, has been investigating a great restaurant and will present what they are offering us.

Of course the camaraderie that exists among all of you is the most important reason to attend along with the opportunity of finding the solution to any problems you may have encountered in the care of your ostomy.

We had attending our September meeting Marie Michel RN,CHRN,CWCA . She and Penny Maki, RNET, CWS work together at the Wound Care Center at Bayfront Health Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, Punta Gorda. Marie expects to complete all requirements to become certified as an ostomy care specialist in the near future. She is also serving their hospital in Port Charlotte a couple of days a week. This care is something we have hoped for, for a long time now.

As I write this newsletter today I am reflecting on the fact that I have been a contributing member since my arrival here in 1985, and Penny Maki has been a member almost as long. We have seen several meeting places through the years. We have met at a meeting hall in what was then St. Joseph’s Hospital (now Bay Front Port Charlotte), at Royal Palm Retirement Center, at Fawcett Hospital, at River Commons on Aaron in Port Charlotte, and here at South Port Square for the past four years. All have been good to us, but none more so than South Port Square with this wonderful Town Hall, audio visual equipment, and wonderful cookies!

We have seen many presidents through the years, and all of us, including Nancy Frank and Jill Lindsay, have given many hours of education to nurses and ostomates alike.

Speaking of Presidents, we have had some who just ran the meetings, and then along came Roger Wilson. Roger made many changes and started many programs. He had a family member, who was a parliamentarian, write our By-Laws. He started getting the ads for the newsletter, and getting gift certificates to chance off ( I just picked up and enlarged it.) He initiated the membership list, made name tags, and designed a brochure for us. He made visits to new ostomates no matter where they might live, and would do just about anything when a fellow ostomate had a problem. He investigated new equipment with an open mind. We lost Roger in March. During his terminal illness he experienced situations where nursing staff was unable to properly care for his ostomy and he experienced skin break down. Fran, his wife, frequently went into the hospital or nursing home to change his barrier and pouch. The situation frustrated him beyond words. When he was able to handle it he would teach whoever was on hand on how the care was done. Both Fran and Roger did gain the respect of the nursing staff in every facility where he was a patient.

Fran sent a letter that I am quoting here:

“Dear CCOSG membership,

I just wanted to send my thanks for letting Roger share in your membership. Since joining in late 2003 or early 2004 he had such deep respect for all that you can accomplish.

His greatest wish, to the very end, was that somehow knowledge could be brought to the hospitals and nursing/rehab facilities that would enable them to help ostomy patients In their care; to teach nurses on EVERY shift how important an ostomy is; and to tend to it ASAP when leaking, or the skin surrounding it gets unbearably irritated. I saw him cry in pain!

He tried so hard to teach every Aide or nurse how to care for his ostomy- mostly in vain!

When present I could see on their faces the “here today-gone tomorrow attitude. Maybe one or two would grasp it.

He loved the Ostomy Group, would go out of his way to help anyone in need, and was not ashamed to talk about it.

His motto was, “An Ostomy is not an illness, it is a cure”, especially if you or a caregiver can care for it.

May God bless you all in your future endeavors.”

Signed by Fran Wilson”

***News of note: Our own ostomate, Gina Battle, is featured on the cover of the October ARTS for Harbor Style magazine.

Summary of the Florida Patient’s Bill of Rights and responsibilities

Florida Law requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while receiving medical care and that you respect the health care facility’ right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request the full text of the law from your health care provider or health care facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities is listed here:

. A patient has the right :

1).To be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of individual dignity, and protection of need for privacy.

2) To a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.

3) To know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for care.

4) To know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if the patient doesn’t speak English.

5) To know what rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct.

6) To be given by the health care provider information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.

7) To refuse any treatment, except as provided by law.

8) To be given on request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known resources for care.

9) A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know upon request and in advance of  treatment whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.

10) Has the right:

To receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.

11) To receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable, itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.

12) To impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, physical handicap, or source of payment.

13) To treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.

14) To know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.

15) To express grievances regarding any violation of his or her rights, as stated in Florida Law, through the grievance procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him or her and to the appropriate state licensing agency.


A patient is responsible:

1) For providing to the health care provider, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his or her health.

2) For reporting unexpected changes in condition to the health care provider.

3) For reporting to the health care provider whether he or she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.

4) For following a treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.

5) For keeping appointments and, when he or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or facility.

6) For his or her actions if treatment is refused or health care provider instructions are not followed.

7) For assuring that the financial obligations of his or her care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

8) For following health care facility rules and regulations affecting patient care & conduct

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