In previous articles for this series, I introduced you to members of the NAWCO Certification Committee. This article concludes introductions to the 15 members of the committee, but watch for more in this series about certification.
Jennifer J. Brokaw, RN, WCC, OMS
Jennifer is a member of the wound ostomy team at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) in Florida. With more than 20 years of patient care experience (18 years as a registered nurse), Jennifer has practiced in nearly every level of acute care medicine, including med-surg, cardiac-telemetry, and critical care. She was a travel nurse for 8 years, which helped her gain invaluable perspectives through her work at many facilities across the country.
Jennifer was first certified in wound care in 2001, when she became the sole wound care nurse for a 300-bed acute care facility and a 200-bed long-term care facility. There she built the inpatient wound care program from the ground up, including policy and procedures, product formulary, and staff education development. Jennifer has spoken at local colleges and association meetings, and she is a presenter for the nurse residency program at TGH. She is active in the wound ostomy field and sees an average of 50 new patients a week. Jennifer, who is an approved preceptor for WCC candidates, enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience as a wound and ostomy nurse, while continuously expanding her own skills and education. She joined the certification committee in March 2016.
Dianna “Dee” Dashner, BSN, RN, WCC, CLNC, LLE
Dee currently works in an outpatient wound care center in Stuart, Florida. In 2015, she earned her bachelor of science degree from Kaplan University, graduating summa cum laude, and is currently continuing her education at Kaplan by pursuing her master of science in nursing as a family nurse practitioner. Dee has 13 years of nursing experience, with 10 years of wound care experience. She became certified as a WCC in 2009, a CLNC in 2010, and a LLE in 2013. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses, Florida Nurses Association, Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society, National Association of Wound Care, and National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. Dee joined the certification committee in March 2016.
Jeff Dixon, BS, LPN, WCC
Jeff received his LVN/LPN through the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in 2001, and earned his bachelor of science degree in 2015. His clinical experiences include hyperbaric medicine, pediatric emergency, pediatric ICU, neonatal ICU, outpatient surgery, and medical evacuation. Jeff has been an instructor for emergency medical technician training, prehospital trauma life support, and combat medicine. His passion for wound care has driven him to find better and more cost-effective ways to heal wounds in his community. Jeff is currently the wound care coordinator for Van’s Medical Equipment of Lakeland. He manages negative-pressure wound therapy, specialty dressings, and training throughout his region. Jeff became wound care certified in 2015 and joined the WCC Certification Committee in 2016.
Mary Josephine M. Famorca, MAN, BSN, RN, WCC, COCN
Mary is a wound and ostomy certified registered nurse with varied experiences in both clinical practice and nursing education. She has a master of arts in nursing with a specialty in adult health nursing and more than 27 years of nursing experience, including neurosurgical nursing, research, teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing students, and managing a college of nursing and skilled nursing facility. Her experience in both long-term and acute-care settings includes leading interdisciplinary teams and skin champions in lowering the percentage of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and managing wound/ostomy clients. Mary has presented at local, national, and international levels for professional organizations. Her philosophy is, “It is more enriching to serve than to be served.” Mary joined the certification committee in March 2016.
Beth Hoffmire Heideman, MSN, WCC, DWC, OMS
Beth received her BSN and MSN degrees from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York; a New York State (NYS) teaching certification from Buffalo State College; and creative studies certification from Buffalo State College. She is a member of the American Professional Wound Care Association. Beth has worked as a home care nurse for more than 20 years and is currently practicing as a WCC and OMS for McAuley Seton Home Care/Catholic Health Care System in Buffalo, New York. Before joining the Catholic Health Care System, she taught both high school and an adult vocational program for licensed practical nursing, worked with hospice home care in a variety of clinical roles, and served as an exam item writer for NCLEX. Beth has participated in the Medicaid Gold Stamp program for pressure ulcer reduction in NYS, served on the NAWCO DWC Certification Committee, and is an active member of the WCC Certification Committee. She has been a presenter at the Wild On Wounds (WOW) conference and has had articles published in Nursing Management and Wound Care Advisor. Beth joined the DWC Certification Committee in 2012 and the WCC Certification Committee in 2013.
Lisa M. Hezel, ADN, BA, RN, ACHRN, DAPWCA, WCC, OMS
Lisa’s biggest claim to fame is that she has been a nurse for more than half her life. She graduated in 1993 with her associate degree in nursing and started her career in wound care on May 1, 2000. On that day, she found her official niche in nursing—wound care. Lisa earned her bachelor degree in management communication with a minor in healthcare administration while working full time and raising her young family; she graduated cum laude in 2005. She became a WCC in 2007 and moved into her current job, working as the nurse manager of the Mercy Hospital St. Louis Hyperbarics and Wound Care department, in 2008. She became a certified hyperbaric technologist in 2010 and an advanced certified hyperbaric registered nurse in 2014. In preparation for expanding her current department to include an outpatient ostomy clinic, Lisa also became an Ostomy Management Specialist in 2015.
Lisa has been honored as a finalist for St. Louis Magazine’s 2015 Excellence in Nursing award and was nominated for a Daisy Award for Nursing Excellence in 2016. She was a guest presenter for the St. Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice 2014 Symposium. Lisa is a member of NAWCO, Baromedical Nurses Association, Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, and the American Professional Wound Care Association. She loves her faith, her family, and being a nurse. Lisa joined the certification committee in March 2016.
Jose Roberto “Jojo” Quiva Melendres, RN, WCC
Jose is an RN Case Manager III, working with medically complex patients in a managed care setting. He is wound care certified and currently working on his case management certification as well as licensure in medicine to practice as a physician in the United States. Jose earned a bachelor of science in public health and a bachelor of science in nursing. He also graduated with a degree of doctor of medicine and completed a surgical residency program for which he served as the chief resident during his senior term in the Philippines.
Wound care is just one of his many areas of expertise. Jose migrated to the United States in 2009 with his family. He left his successful budding practice as a general and cancer surgeon and professor in an undergraduate nursing college. Since moving to the United States, he has worked in various healthcare settings in the Sacramento region. Currently he works for Molina Healthcare of California, a nationally recognized managed care business. Jose joined the certification committee in March 2016.
Valeska Martin, RN, CNE, WCC
Valeska is the director of wound care at Brookdale Senior Living Inc., which serves more than 1,100 post-acute care facilities. She has more than 17 years of experience in nursing, beginning as a nursing assistant. Her positions in long-term care include director of nursing, treatment nurse, regional director of quality services, and quality services consultant. Valeska’s experience as a treatment nurse prompted her to expand her wound care knowledge by becoming a WCC and obtaining her wound care certification through NAWCO. Currently she assists with monitoring wound outcomes, developing wound care formularies, and developing and presenting extensive wound care training for the associates at Brookdale Senior Living. Valeska enjoys sharing her knowledge within the community to ensure that the residents receive quality preventative and, if necessary, wound therapy and appropriate care plans; she also is involved in programs to maintain compliance with Medicare, Medicaid, and state standards. Valeska joined the certification committee in 2016.
You’ve now met everyone on the committee. As you probably noticed, we added a number of new members this year in anticipation of continued growth and future endeavors. What a well-rounded group of professional clinicians! NAWCO is excited to have this great team of individuals on the certification committee.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our committee members for their efforts, the time they volunteer, and the great job they are doing.