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As the world emerges slowly from its physical distancing, we cannot help but express our joy that once again skin and wound care colleagues can meet in person. Virtual platforms have provided the opportunity to maintain contact over the past few years, but nothing compares to seeing and interacting with each other in person. Some early celebration connections began with the fabulous American Professional Wound Care Association Wound Week 2022 program in Philadelphia in February. Several members of the Advances in Skin & Wound Care publishing team were able to attend. Stay tuned for information about Wound Week 2023. The world of skin and wound care came together again when the long anticipated and twice-postponed 6th World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Congress was held in Abu Dhabi in March.


We also want to celebrate the important contributions by some women to our specialty. Prof Afsaneh Alavi was the chairperson for the WUWHS plenary session on women's journey in wound healing. Dr Alavi is a key international opinion leader on hidradenitis suppurativa, pyoderma gangrenosum, and many other wound and dermatology subjects. At the WUWHS Congress, she introduced several women who have helped change the wound care world, including:


* Gulnaz Tariq Mir, the first woman and first nurse to be president of the WUWHS;


* Dr Karen Ousey, who led the development of the first UK-wide Tissue Viability Service Competency framework;


* Dr Helen Yifter, who established a foot ulcer prevention and treatment program at the Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia;


* Dr Marjana Tomic-Canic, who pioneered gene mapping of wound biopsies and studied the novel role of perforin 2 in diabetic foot ulcers and the influence of statins in wound healing;


* Hiske Smart, who has established a Wound and Hyperbaric Unit in the Kingdom of Bahrain, transforming the local treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and pressure injuries; and


* Dr Laura Edsberg, whose research contributions include insights in wound healing, pressure injuries, and the mechanical and microstructural properties of tissue.



May is also a time to recognize the nursing profession: The many contributions of nurses are celebrated during Nurses' Week, May 6 to 12. Nurses continue to demonstrate their resiliency and ability to solve problems, both of which are important attributes that are especially needed in today's changing healthcare systems. Kudos to all nurses for what they do for patients every day.


There are countless other examples of individual nurses who deserve to be celebrated this month. For example, The New York Times has initiated a series of overlooked and unpublished important obituaries since 1851. In February 2022, they published an obituary for Mary Eliza Mahoney, who is widely regarded as the first Black nurse.1 She was one of only a few women of any race to be accepted to and then graduate from the nursing program at Boston's New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1879. The highlights of her distinguished career include becoming supervisor of the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn and helping to start the National Association for Colored Graduate Nurses. Like many nurses, she was an advocate for women's suffrage. Proving that it is never too late, at the age of 76, she was among the first women to register to vote.


Another woman deserving appreciation, Norma N. Gill-Thompson was an energetic and determined woman who translated her own personal recovery after undergoing ostomy surgery into a new life and global care specialty. Along with her surgeon colleague, Dr Rupert B. Turnbull, Jr, they established the first enterostomal therapy educational program at the Cleveland Clinic. As part of their knowledge sharing, they recruited colleagues in 1978 to found the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists.


We look forward celebrating Norma, women in wound care, nurses, and the return to in-person conferences during the upcoming WOCNext, a joint congress by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society and the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, taking place on June 5 to 8, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. This promises to be yet another outstanding global educational event in 2022. We hope to see you there.


Elizabeth A. Ayello, PhD, MS, BSN, RN, CWON, ETN, MAPWCA, FAAN


R. Gary Sibbald, MD, DSc (Hons), MEd, BSc, FRCPC (Med Derm), FAAD, MAPWCA, JM




1. Fielding S. Overlooked no more: Mary Eliza Mahoney, who opened doors in nursing. The New York Times. February 19, 2022. Last accessed March 7, 2022. [Context Link]