Our ostomy support group came into being in 1952. It originated in a ground-breaking initiative in 1951 by a social worker and Dr. Albert Lyons to bring together male and female patients recovering from ostomy surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City for mutual support. This first “QT” group, (letters refer to the two original hospital wards) became a template for other support groups, which later joined together forming a national group UOA (later to become (UOAA)). Although OANY has evolved in both its format and scope over the past 68 years we remain rooted in our original mission. We continue to provide mutual support for, and facilitate the post-surgery recovery, adjustment, and quality of life of, individuals in the greater New York area with ostomy and other diversion procedures. We achieve this through ongoing meetings, our newsletter, phone and e-mail exchanges, our web site, and, when feasible, face-to-face visits.
Meetings offer a variety of topics and formats. Open Discussions allow informal sharing of experiences and information in an accepting and welcoming environment. Meetings also presents an ideal opportunity for individuals who will be undergoing surgery, to learn and observe firsthand, thereby dispelling misconceptions and myths that may be associated with ostomy and related surgeries. Other programs feature presentations by WOCNs, physicians and other healthcare professionals who discuss such topics as physical fitness, nutrition, pain management, social, psychological and sexual concerns, travel tips, surgical alternatives, etc. Our very popular Annual Products Expo, hosts representatives from various manufacturers/distributors to showcase new products and services, discuss and answer questions about their purpose and use, and gain feedback about our personal experiences with these products. The result is a true give-and-take, and a learning experience for all. At virtually every meeting, a clinical nurse specialist is available to speak with individuals seeking guidance concerning wound/ostomy issues.
We meet monthly (except for January, February, July and August). All are welcome, including spouses, children and supporting friends to share questions and experiences. We currently meet at the Einhorn Auditorium of Lenox Hill Hospital, but please see the EVENTS page or call 212-864-1968 to confirm the upcoming meeting information.
OANY publishes 8 newsletters a year, which are distributed to members by e-mail and, if requested, by post. Among other items, the newsletters contain contact information about local resources, upcoming events of interest to the ostomy community, news about our organization, including future meeting dates and programming, as well as ads for new ostomy products placed by manufacturers. An important feature is the summary of the previous month’s program. These summaries are of particularly valuable to individuals unable to be present at the previous meeting. The newsletters perform a critical function in maintaining a vital connection for members who are unable to attend meetings, but who are nonetheless “kept in the loop” and continue to be included in the OANY community.
The website is able to provide a wealth of information beyond what our newsletter can encompass. It allows visitors to navigate through the website according to the information they desire, and link directly to a multitude of resources outside of OANY. It is a resource freely available for anyone with access to the internet whether they are newbies, family members, or health providers who are seeking information. The “Contact Us” Section provides ongoing communication with OANY and allows us to address any submitted questions/concerns. It also provides an opportunity for individuals who may be reluctant to identify themselves to submit questions and concerns in relative anonymity.
We are available to ostomates, their families, friends and healthcare providers via our telephone information line, the Contact Us section of our website, and, when feasible, face to face visits. As patients often return home quite soon after surgery, we provide ongoing e-mail and telephone support to facilitate recovery, as an adjunct to the follow-up and support available from the healthcare team. In addition to individualized support, we provide individuals with information and additional resources to enable them to navigate the recovery process with renewed confidence.
OSTOMY / DIVERSION SUPPORT
Fran Kanter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Marge Scannell - email@example.com
Ileostomies, Urostomies, Related Diversion Surgeries:
Diane Watkin - firstname.lastname@example.org