From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook June 2000:

What UOA Membership Means

by Bill Capman, Worcester (MA) New Diversions, June 2000

I have had several folks say that they didn't need to be a member of the UOA. Membership in the local chapter gave them everything that they wanted and they could do without the Quarterly magazine as long as they receive the local newsletter. UOA membership means more than just 4 magazines a year. The UOA is continually working for everyone with an ostomy. Here are some of the things that go on behind the scenes:

Advocacy  The UOA is constantly advocating for the rights of persons with an ostomy. The rising costs of medical care have brought many new problems for the ostomate. Congress is trying to cut Medicare costs, limit the choice of appliances, and reduce the number of appliances allowed per month. The UOA advocacy program is our only voice in lobbying Congress.

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable  UOA has a seat on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable which has been instrumental in urging for legislation to require insurance companies to pay for early screening for colon cancer. UOA also is a member of the National Health Council and the Digestive Disease National Coalition. The health of the ostomate is UOA's main concern.

Youth Rally - Every year the UOA sponsors a five-day mini-camp at a different college or university location. The youth rally is designed for any young person with an ostomy who is between the ages of 11 and 17. The kids are joined by counselors who are ostomates themselves and Enterostomal Therapists to provide current assessment, care and stomal education. In addition to the educational sessions, they also participate in various fun activities such as football, softball, arts & crafts, field trips, and much more. This program allows these kids to meet others in similar situations and many make friendships that last a lifetime.

Publications  UOA offers a wide selection of brochures and publications on ostomy surgery as well as related surgeries. Most of the publications are written for the ostomy patient, although some are also created for medical personnel.

Liaisons  The UOA maintains official relationships with numerous organizations which interest the person with an ostomy. Some of the groups include: American Cancer Society, Ostomy Association of Canada, The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN), the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, the Oley Foundation, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundations of America and Canada.

The UOA is an important resource for anyone who has an ostomy now and those who will have surgery in the future. Your membership and support of the UOA is very important to maintain the viability of the organization.

Do you need the UOA? - Yes you do! - and the UOA needs you. Your membership will insure that the UOA can continue its work providing support to people who have had or will have ostomy surgery.

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Content last revised 2000-06-14