Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

RNAO Interest Group of the Year: Ontario Woundcare Interest Group

RNAO Interest Group of the Year: Ontario Woundcare Interest Group

This award is given to an RNAO interest group that best demonstrates commitment to the nursing profession and active participation in RNAO initiatives. This group effectively communicates through a variety of means, which influences decision-makers and mobilizes RNs and NPs to take action. It also exhibits exemplary teamwork and strong leadership within the nursing and health-care community.

When Valerie Winberg, chair of RNAO's Ontario Woundcare Interest Group (OntWIG), thinks about the success the group has seen over the years, she says perseverance and patience has always been key. "We were only a handful of people (when the group launched in 2008)…probably seven or eight of us… and here we are now, a fairly recognized group," she says. In fact OntWIG has grown to approximately 300 members today, and has been invited to share its expertise at national and international panels in Baltimore and Chicago. It has also participated in provincial initiatives, such as the development of the wound quality standards with Health Quality Ontario. One of the ways the group has been able to actively engage with members is through its annual symposium. Participants at the event help to shape OntWIG's priorities and objectives by bringing forward the issues that are important to them. When the interest group is not busy organizing events, its members also actively advocate for healthy public policy, such as the implementation of wound care standards in health-care settings, and securing funding for wound care prevention and treatment. The group is still growing, Winberg says, adding that she is grateful for the ongoing involvement of members, and the knowledge of the group's executive team.