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The History of the APSNA
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May 1991 – Orlando
May 1992 – Colorado Springs
May 1993 – Hilton Head
May 1994 – Tucson
May 1995 – Boca Raton
May 1996 – San Diego
May 1997 – Naples, Fl
May 1998 – Hilton Head
May 1999 – Rancho Mirage
May 2000 – Orlando
May 2001 – Naples, Florida
May 2002 – Phoenix
May 2003 – Fort Lauderdale
May 2004 – Jacksonville, Florida
May 2005 – Phoenix, Arizona
May 2006 – Hilton Head, SC
May 2007 – Orlando, Florida
May 2008 – Phoenix, Arizona
May 2009 – Fajardo, Puerto Rico
May 2010 – Orlando, Florida
May 2011 – Palm Desert, CA
May 2012 – San Antonio, Texas
May 2013 – Marco Island, Florida

May 1991

1991 - OrlandoBreakfast session of Pediatric Surgery Nurses interested in the development of a collaborative association.

The organization was founded by Diane Jakobowski and Gail Garvin who began by sending 100 questionnaires to Pediatric Surgical centers nationally. Forty nurses responded. A breakfast meeting was planned in conjunction with the APSA meeting. There were 31 nurses present at this meeting. These nurses divided geographically and each group became a committee: Goals (New England) Julianne Nemes, Chair; Bylaws (Northeast) Suzanne Borkowski, Chair; Program (Southern) Melinda Klar, Chair; Newsletter (Midwest) Renee Manwarren, Chair; Membership (Southeast) Pam Pieper, Chair; Organization (West) Gail Garvin, Chair; Local Arrangements (Colorado) Roberta Burrington, Chair. Each group agreed to develop its own goals and send reports to Gail Garvin who established a "clearinghouse" for ideas.


May 1992

Colorado Springs, Colorado

1992 - Colorado SpringsSecond meeting of the group

This year the efforts continued with the first half-day program coordinated by Melinda Klar and Laura Jacobson. Over fifty nurses attended. A business meeting followed. Each chair reported on the early work of the group: bylaws, an application form, dues, policies, board of directors and CEUs. The first Board of Directors was elected by the group present at this meeting with an official nominating process to follow after the adoption of the bylaws. The membership chose a name of this new organization: American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association. The fiscal year was established (May 1- April 30). The first dues cost $50/$40.

The first Board of Directors:
President Diane Jakobowski
President Elect Gail Garvin
Secretary Denise Taylor
Treasurer Chris McKenna
Director At Large Julianne Nemes
Bylaws Suzanne Borkowski
Nominating Pam Dennis
Membership Pam Pieper, Liz Foster
Education/Program Barbara Wise, Melinda Klar
Local Arrangements Michelle Schultze
Legislative Lori Howell
Publications Renee Manworren


May 1993

Hilton Head, South Carolina

1993 - Hilton HeadThe First Annual Meeting and Education/Research Conference

The second meeting brought a full day program coordinated by Melinda Klar and Barb Wise, and business meeting on the second day. Forty-four nurses were present. Diane Jakobowski announced that APSA had agreed to officially recognize APSNA. This year brought an increase in the membership to 107. Committees continued to develop. Changes were made to the Bylaws (a process that continues each year). Three editions of SutureLine were produced and distributed to the membership and Renee obtained corporate sponsorship to control cost. The nomination process evolved.

Gail Garvin began her tenure as president. The officers’ terms of office were reviewed. Nancy Tkacz was elected Publication chair. An ethics task force was established and chaired by Carmel McComiskey. A development task force was established and chaired by Roberta Burrington. Quarterly committee reports were mandated by the president. The secretary became the clearinghouse for reporting and recording.

The following were the second Board of Directors (1993-1994):
President Gail Garvin
President Elect Renee Manworren
Secretary Denise Taylor
Treasurer Chris McKenna
Past President Diane Jakobowski
Director At Large Julianne Nemes
By Laws Suzanne Borkowski
Membership CoChairs Pam Pieper/Liz Foster
Publications Nancy Tkacz
Legislative Lori Howell
Nominations Pam Dennis
Education/Program Barbara Wise/Melinda Klar


May 1994

Tucson, Arizona

1994 - TusconSecond Annual Meeting

This year the APSNA program was a full TWELVE HOURS LONG including the first poster session! The board of directors met the evening before and the day after the meeting. The first wine and cheese reception was held. The treasurer (Chris McKenna) gained Federal Tax ID number. The Director At Large became the historian of the organization. The call for nominations for board positions was changed to the opening of the business meeting to allow time to meet candidates, publish information in the SutureLine. Quarterly reporting became part of the bylaws. The local arrangements chair was eliminated. A Ways and Means Committee was established, to be chaired by the treasurer to handle fund raising efforts as well as corporate sponsors. Committee terms were extended to two years (publication chair to three years). The membership chair developed a member packet. Four SutureLines were produced. The Ethics task force recommended continued education and discussion of pediatric ethical issues in the SutureLine and as part of the program. The membership voted on a logo.

The following officers were the third Board of Directors:
President Renee Manworren
President Elect Julianne Nemes
Past President Gail Garvin
Secretary Melinda Klar
Treasurer Chris McKenna
Nominations Carol Shock
Membership Liz Foster
Education/Program Betty Kasson
Publication Nancy Tkacz
Director At Large Gail Garvin
Legislative CoChairs Linda Haga/Bethany Harmon


May 1995

Boca Raton, Florida

Third Annual Meeting


During this meeting, APSNA continued to evolve. Dr. Gary Hartman was the first physician speaker invited to present to our group. Clinical abstracts as well as posters were presented. Barbara Wise discussed Ethics in pediatric surgery and Carmel McComiskey led a panel discussion with Diane Jakobowski and Barbara Wise to facilitate a group discussion of three difficult pediatric surgical cases. Renee Manworren delivered the first Presidential Address during the luncheon and the wine and cheese party was born. The SutureLine continued to evolve under Nancy’s direction into both a clinical tool and communication device that we still rely on today. The Legislative committee was disbanded. The other committees underwent "refinement" this year under the direction of the President.

The 1995-1996 Board of Directors
President Julianne Nemes-Walsh
President Elect Suzanne Borkowski
Secretary Melinda Klar
Treasurer Beth Zimmermann
Director At Large Gail Garvin
Past President Renee Manworren
Education/Program Betty Kasson
Membership Liz Foster
Nominating Carol Shock
Publications Nancy Tkacz


May 1996

San Diego, California

1996 - San DiegoFourth Annual Meeting

This year the conference expanded to ONE AND ONE HALF DAYS! APSNA grew to 150 members from the US, Canada, and Australia. A membership brochure was developed. The treasurer (Beth Zimmermann) computerized the treasury and with the help of the Development chair developed an Audit Guideline. The Director At Large (Gail Garvin) developed a scholarship process for the institution of a nursing scholarship award. The Publications committee continued to grow under Nancy’s direction with development of the Resource Manual (Renee Manworren), Textbook (Chris McKenna, Barb Wise and Bethany Harmon) The Ways and Means Committee evolved into the Finance Committee and the Development Committee. Laura Phearman was appointed by the board to chair the committee until the election process in 1997.

The 1996-1997 Board of Directors:
President Suzanne Borkowski
President Elect Betty Kasson
Secretary Linda Haga
Director At Large Carmel McComiskey
Treasurer Beth Zimmermann
Past President Julianne Nemes Walsh
Development Laura Phearman
Education/Program Luanne Pelosi
Membership Wendy Mackey
Nominating Kathy Leack
Publications Nancy Tkacz


May 1997

Naples, Florida

1997 - Naples, FLFifth Annual Meeting

A sincere effort to build our membership occurred this year and the organization grew to 183! Ninety nurses attended the meeting. This year, the full two-day session provided an opportunity for networking and relaxation. SutureLine continued to produce great clinical articles as well as serve as a communication tool. The membership committee (Wendy Mackey, chair) formalized a directory that included e-mail addresses! The Nursing Resource manual progressed and produced the first monograph "Pyloric Stenosis" by Kathy Leack. The APSNA store opened to offer products that would advertise APSNA: mugs, mousepads, beach towels and post it notes. The Development Committee (Laura Phearman, Chair) contracted with vendors to attend the meeting as well as support the conference costs.

The Board of Directors:
President Betty Kasson
President Elect Nancy Tkacz
Secretary Linda Haga
Director At Large Carmel McComiskey
Treasurer Marti Fledderman
Past President Suzanne Borkowski
Development Laura Phearman
Education/Program Luanne Pelosi
Membership Wendy Mackey
Nominating Kathy Leack
Publications Laura Flanigan


May 1998

Hilton Head, South Carolina

1998 - Hilton HeadSixth Annual Meeting

In the year preceding this meeting, the membership grew to 205. The Publications committee (Laura Flanigan, chair) announced that Aspen Publications had agreed to publish the textbook. Chris McKenna, Barb Wise and Bethany Harmon agreed to edit the text. Resource authors continued to work. Betty Kasson developed the WEB page as well as supported the efforts of Nancy Tkacz and Gail Garvin to develop a STRATEGIC PLAN for the organization. This work came directly from the organization through a questionnaire that asked the membership to prioritize the goals and direction of APSNA. For the first time, the membership had the opportunity to contribute to the architecture by their responses. The fiscal year end was changed to March 31. Each board member developed a Job Description to help operationalize the role and help the transition of board members. Scholarships continue to be awarded to two members.

Nurses attended the meeting, a vigorous two-day scientific session, which included the first multidisciplinary panel. Break out sessions continued. Fourteen research or clinical practice posters were presented. Pediatric Trauma nurses met formally for the first time at this meeting during a luncheon

The 1998-1999 Board of Directors:
President Nancy Tkacz
President Elect Carmel McComiskey
Secretary Mary Quinn
Treasurer Marti Fledderman
Director At Large Melinda Klar
Past President Betty Kasson
Membership Lynn Fagerman
Development Laura Phearman
Nominating Kathy Leack
Publications Laura Flanigan
Program/Education Colleen Nespor


May 1999

Rancho Mirage, California

1999 - Rancho MirageSeventh Annual Meeting

Once again the meeting took place over two full days and kept the minds of 98 attendees challenged. On day one the topics ranged from issues on procedural and post-operative pain management to websites. Invited guest speakers were Dr. LaMontagne and Sandy Sentivany-Collins, Pam Griffith, and Dakin Hart (our webmaster). Outgoing President, Nancy Tkacz, presented a moving address at the luncheon on collaborative practice and 2 Scholarships were awarded again through a drawing at the Business meeting. The first Founders Award was presented to Gail Garvin and Diane Jakobowski and was accepted in their absence by Betty Kasson. The textbook continued to progress and there were hopes that it would be in print by next year's meeting. The Program/Education Committee was split into 2 separate Committees and the Education Chair position was added to the Nominations for next year. Marti Fledderman agreed to take the Board appointment to Chair that Committee until then. Day two began with a great lesson in the advances of laproscopic surgery by Dr. Keith Georgeson. Twelve three-minute abstracts were presented followed by several well-moderated round table discussions. To end the meeting a panel discussion was held on ECMO that included invited guest Dr. Erik Skarsgard and the Julian family. The Trauma Nurses met at the end of the regular meeting for the second year over a luncheon with invited guest Dr. Tres Sherer.

Of course, the most exciting part of this particular meeting was THE EARTHQUAKE! Many attendees awoke during the night before the meeting to find their beds and room furniture moving - others just thought that they had heard a very loud train go by - only to find that there were no train tracks near the resort! We all survived however and the locals got a good laugh, stating that a 5.0 earthquake was nothing new to them!

The 1999 - 2000 Board of Directors:
President Carmel McComiskey
President-Elect Liz Foster
Secretary Mary Quinn
Treasurer Beth Zimmerman
Director At Large Melinda Klar
Past President Nancy Tkacz
Membership Chair Lynn Fagerman
Development Chair Laura Phearman
Nominating Chair Lori Howell
Publications Chair Teri Crawley-Coha and Laura Flanigan
Program Chair Colleen Nespor
Education Chair Marti Fledderman


May 2000

Orlando, Florida

2000 - OrlandoAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
Ninth Annual Conference
May 23rd and 24th, 2000
The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Under the direction of Program Chair Colleen Nespor, wrapping up her second year in term, the theme for this year’s meeting was Our Past, Our Future!! With the turn of the century we took the time to look back at how far we had come in the world of Pediatric Surgery and we looked to the future to see what was awaiting us from beyond.

On Monday evening we met for a welcoming wine and cheese to review posters, browse through the store and begin committee meetings. Early Tuesday Peter Alsop gave our keynote address, "Feeling the Family Pulse”. We shared humorous sing-alongs and anecdotes and he shared insights on how make a commitment to self growth and gaining clarity for ourselves and our own families, while we have relationships with our patients and coworkers. Nan Lim-Sulit and Kelli Burns moderated the very interesting Case Study presentations where we discussed 5 very challenging cases, including an 8 year old with relapse Wilm’s, a two day old with NEC, a case of laryngeal atresia, a newborn with multiple anomalies and a trauma presentation. Later Laura San Miguel and Mary Petrriccone from Sloan Kettering gave an excellent presentation on Pediatric Oncology, Where we have been, where we are going: Focus on Neuroblastoma and Neuro-Oncology.

A stimulating Presidential Address by Carmel Mc Comiskey highlighted our lunch break, as always she made us laugh and cry and remember why she was voted our president for the millennium.

That afternoon the closing lecture was by Leah Harrison who gave us a new look at the everlasting epidemic of child abuse. She provided us with signs, symptoms and red flags of child abuse in order to diagnose and protect the victimized child.

After an always informative and stimulating business meeting the group was dismissed and given time to swim in the refreshing pool under the unbearably hot sunny afternoon. Many were seen napping; others were getting a few hours in to see Mickey and Minnie. That evening a delicious dinner banquet was served and members brought spouses, friends and children to the event, it was a great success with many laughs and lots of idea sharing.

Wednesday began with Dr Marshall Schwartz taking us through the evolution in the management of short bowel syndrome, covering medical and surgical management, along with where the future lies with growth factors and gene therapy. The clinical abstract session was a new and very well received session in which Jeanette Diana and Tina Shapiro presented nitrous oxide and oxygen analgesia, Kelly Hummer presented day before vs. same day consents for drug trial, and Renee Manworren presented pediatric nurses knowledge and attitudes about pain management. Jean Reardon presented cervical spine injury in children, and Roxanne Woods presented intervention grants for pediatric trauma.

The ever popular breakout sessions included some of our old favorites, burn therapy from Karen Iacono, wound dressings from Liz Foster, reflux meds from Marilyn Stoops and research and publication from Chris McKenna.

We ended the day listening to president elect Laura Flanigan present Saving Whole Lives, Progress in Pediatric Surgery. She discussed the founders of pediatric surgery, the growth in pediatric surgery and the advances in surgical treatment and care, in addition to looking at pediatric surgical nursing, who were we and who are we??

If this could not be planned better, our afternoon ended with the Laura Flanigan receiving the Founders Award!! Her mentors, colleagues and friends who she brought into the world of pediatric surgery from the beginning of her career in nursing surrounded her. An award she most deserved for all the years she has given to her patients and all the knowledge, expertise and direction she gave to us at APSNA.

Jerome Medical sponsored the Trauma luncheon where an interactive panel discussed the Impact of trauma on families: resources and recovery.

Committees met charged with new ideas for program, development, publication and education. New members were recruited and plans were made for next year in Naples!! Everyone made time for dinner in Epcot Center or riding Space Mountain, I also saw a lot of umbrella drinks around the poolside!!


May 2001

Naples, Florida

2001 - Naples, FLAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
Tenth Annual Conference
May, 2001
Naples, Florida

Our meeting this year was again a success thanks to the hard work of our Program Chair Kelli Burns Young. Our membership and attendance at our annual meeting continues to grow. This year our organization boasted 248 members. Under the strong leadership of our president Laura Flanigan we kicked of our annual meeting at the Registry in Naples Florida. Through some untoward turn of events our Board members were not registered at the Registry and we spent our first night at another area hotel preparing for the full schedule of committee meetings the next day. Melodie Chenovert, our keynote speaker, provided us with an entertaining start to our meeting. Members enjoyed many quality presentations. Break out sessions were planned this year allowing us to diversify content and offer members more choices.

The APSNA store continues to be a popular stop in the exhibit area, but our inventory continues to diminish. The organization achieved a major milestone this year with the publication our new textbook which went on sale at the APSNA store. Vendor participation continues to grow under the direction of Tina Shapiro our development chair. This work is crucial to the success of our meeting. Members were treated to receptions and that provided opportunities to network with colleagues and unwind from the days events. All things considered members had good reason to return home energized.


May 2002

Phoenix, Arizona

2002 - PhoenixAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
Eleventh Annual Conference
May, 2002
Phoenix, AZ

Under the direction of program chair Kelli Burns Young completing her term as program chair our conference was yet again a huge success. The program continues to grow and is now two full days. Our educational offerings this year were stellar in keeping with our tradition of excellence in program development. There were a variety of receptions throughout the conference providing a variety of opportunities for members to network and renew old friendships. We hosted our first international member Erica Thomas to our meeting opening the doors for further expansion of our membership. Our organization continues to grow though technology and evidence based practice, hence the theme of this year seems to be one of continued growth and innovation.

Our website continues to undergo major evolution increasing access for our members through the world-wide web. Our history is now recorded on digital images and those are available to members by e-mail. We look forward to being able to post these images on our web-site in the future. Members are planning two major multi-center research projects. Onsite coordinators met at pool-side to work out the details of IRB review.

Our fund raising activities are flourishing. We fine tuned the criteria for research and scholarship awards and hope to make those awards available to members over the coming years. The APSNA store continues to flourish and be a continues source of revenue. Members were given calculators with the APSNA logo as their member gift this year. These funds are being placed in interest bearing accounts until such time that they can be disbursed to benefit our members.


May 2003

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

2003 - Fort LauderdaleAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
Twelth Annual Conference
May, 2003
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Our organization continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Membership has increased to almost three hundred and over one-third of our members were registered for conference this year. Kudos to our program chair Karen Iacono who began her first year as program chair for orchestrating a first rate program. We enjoyed two and one-half days of cutting edge educational offerings and great social events.

We held a "Walk for Research" to raise money for our research gift fund. Members participated in an exhilarating morning walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach. We hope to include this as a yearly fund raising event. Plans were soon underway to hold our second event in Jacksonville next year.

The overall theme this year has been one of broad sweeping change throughout the organization. Under the capable leadership of our President Melinda Klar, a strategic planning session was held at our Pre-Conference Board Meeting. A vision statement was derived from that brain storming session. That statement was further refined and dove-tailed into major revisions to our Bylaws. This has opened the door to even further organizational growth.

Those members who came to enjoy shopping at the APSNA store were disappointed to find that our store would be closing its doors for the last time. Revenues continued to diminish over the years and the costs of shipping items to our conference each year further diminished profits. We will continue to explore other sources of revenue with the goal being increasing member services.

The Web-Master position was converted to a Standing Committee Chair on the board. Our website underwent monumental changes under the direction of Linda Haga. She worked tirelessly with our new web designers at Triad Communication to develop our site. Online services expanded to include membership renewal, conference registration, links to education and publications as well as many other options now available to members at the stroke of a key.

We continue to expand our outreach on the international front. Our Director At Large Neil Ead was invited to speak at the Turkish Pediatric Surgical Nurses Conference in San Liurfa, Turkey. He gave two presentations. Abdominal Wall Defects, Tracheo-Esophageal Fistulae and Esophageal Atresia and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. This was a fantastic opportunity to put APSNA on the map. Overall a pretty remarkable year!


May 2004

Jacksonville, Florida

2004 - JacksonvilleAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
13th Annual Conference
May, 2004
Jacksonville, Florida

2003-2004 was a year of rapid growth for APSNA. Our web-site has undergone continued improvement under the leadership of Linda Haga. Each year members have more and more electronic access to APSNA benefits and services. In collaboration with our Publications Chair Lynne Farber, Linda oversaw the development of our online newsletter. Members now have access to the research and scholarship grant applications through the web-site. We will be awarding our first Research and Scholarship funds in 2004-2005 The Board is delighted to see this member benefit finally come to fruition.

The Sawgrass Marriott was the site of our annual meeting this year. Karen Iacono put together another stellar conference. The quality of our educational offerings is top notch and the receptions and dinner were uniformly outstanding. Members participated in our second walk for research. This fund raiser continues to be a huge success. The Founders Award was presented to Jeanette Dianna this year. The selection process for the Founders Award is difficult to say the least. Each year the selection committee struggles with choosing between very talented nominees. This process will undergo major revision this year under the leadership of Lani Wolfe our Nominations Chair.

Our board continues to work to refine the workings and structure of our organization. The APSNA bylaws underwent major revisions. The extensive changes were voted on at our business meeting this year. We plan to tighten up the job descriptions of all board members and re-submit our application for tax exempt status.


May 2005

Phoenix, Arizona

2005 - PhoenixAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
14th Annual Conference
May, 2005
Phoenix, Arizona

As I enter into my fourth and final year as historian it's given me cause to reflect on how much we can accomplish within the organization over a relatively short span of time. This is possible through the tireless efforts of a remarkable group of people. Our membership has grown in numbers and diversity. We boast international members and are now reaching out to other organizations with similar interests. Our members make it all possible.

Clearly, this year has been a whirlwind of productivity thanks to the strong leadership of our President Pam Pieper and the hard work of our Officers, Committee Chairs and APSNA members. Past President Carmel McComiskey and Pam continued to refine the roles of our board members with the final revision of our job descriptions and the creation of timelines and a mentoring process to help usher in new blood. President Elect Beth Zimmerman will continue this vision as we proceed into her term.

Linda Haga our Information Technology Chair continues to increase our communication among board members with our board group listserv. She also continues to find ways to offer more and more benefits to our members through our website. Lynne Farber has done wonders with SUTURELINE. Our newsletter has been brilliantly formatted for online display and available to all members on the website.

Our re-application for tax exempt status has moved forward under the direction of our Treasurer, Chris McKenna. The role of Treasurer is a monumental job and Chris has done a tremendous amount of work this year to oversee our organization's finances. Under the direction of Nominations Chair Lani Wolfe, we have created a more objective method for selecting our Founders' Award recipients. We were delighted to add Betty Kasson to our distinguished list of Founders' Award recipients.

One of my greatest pleasures as Director at Large was to bring to fruition the APSNA Research and Education Grant Award. Renee Manworren received the Research Grant for her patient controlled analgesia project and Lori Young received the Education Grant to help with tuition toward her BSN.

Our annual meeting continues to be the highlight of the year. Putting together a program like this takes a tremendous amount of work all year for the Program Chair, Education Chair and their committee members. We all enjoyed another world-class meeting due to the tireless and diligent leadership of our Program Chair, Donna Nowicki. Beth Jarosz our Development Chair relentlessly pursued the support of vendors ensuring some healthy support to help subsidize a very costly event.

Lastly, Nancy Tkacz Browne has formed a group to begin the work of revising our textbook Nursing Care of the General Pediatric Surgical Patient. Original and new authors will participate in this project. Four teams have been assembled to oversee the project: Nancy Tkacz and Lynne Farber, Carmel McComiskey and Betty Kasson, Laura Flanigan and Fran Gill, and Pam Pieper and Jeannette Diana. Stay tuned for an update next year!!


May 2006

Hilton Head, South Carolina

2006 - Hilton HeadAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
15th Annual Conference
May, 2006
Hilton Head, South Carolina

The APSNA conference this year was served up with Southern warmth and hospitality. As common as the Spanish moss in the trees were the praises for the quality of the program. There were a record number of attendees and they hailed from both inside and outside the borders of the United States. We have much of which to be proud. Donna Nowicki deserves much praise for pulling together such a great event and Patti Smith needs a pat on the back for soliciting the superb amount of vendor support we had this year. Without their diligence we would not have had this up-to-date conference.

Beth Zimmerman welcomed us with an inspiring address that reminded us how we are influenced by and in turn influence our environment. We learned that we have accomplished a lot this past year as an organization. Fran Gill reported that through much picking over of documentation and much patience on her part, we were awarded ANCC accreditation. Nancy Jacobs was able to complete work previously begun and now we have tax-exempt status. Nancy Tkacz Browne was enthusiastic with praise for all the editors, team members, authors and artists who have spent countless hours developing the second edition of our textbook. She reports that the work is "in the queue" for publication and we should have a finished product by fall.

After a wonderful low-country boil on the terrace Saturday night, we were given the chance to honor several of our own. Valerie Rogers received an educational scholarship toward her doctoral pursuit. Cynthia Bishop, Patti Smith and Lani Wolfe received research grant money for a multi-institutional study. We were treated with the reading of two very moving letters of recommendation for Founders Award praising Nancy Tkacz Browne and Laura Phearman. It must have been an incredibly difficult decision by the committee but Nancy Browne was the recipient of this year's Founders Award.

Sunday morning saw a large number of members who turned out for our annual research walk. The beach was fabulous that morning and a great way to start the day. If you were a part of this year's conference you will know that this can only serve as an incomplete review of everything that there was to see, hear, taste and experience. If you were not able to join us, make sure your calendar is cleared for next year in Orlando!


May 2007


2007 - OrlandoAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
16th Annual Conference
May, 2007
Orlando, Florida

Orlando! Land of magic and fantasy!

It truly seemed that our planners pulled off a feat of magic when this year’s conference was over. With hardly a hitch, things moved along as hoped. The posters and presentations have become more and more professional and very scientific. Attendees are able to leave with new ideas, new information and new contacts. The vendors seem to be very glad to teach us how to better take care of our clients.

We were made to feel very welcome and comfortable in our surroundings. All the Marriott staff was helpful and friendly. They really seemed to appreciate nurses!

This year will be remembered as the one in which we realized we have truly come into our own as a respected, worthwhile and financially sound organization. We had exceptional vendor support and high-quality speakers. We were able to give ourselves, as an organization, a raise for the first time in many years. We will also begin receiving Pediatric Nursing without charge, in addition to our already wonderful Sutureline.

The conference was fantastic but not a fantasy. It doesn’t take magic to do what we have done. It takes hard work and a belief in ourselves. Every member should congratulate themselves on this conference. You are the magic.


May 2008

Phoenix, Arizona

2008 - PhoenixAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
17th Annual Conference
May, 2008
Phoenix, Arizona

This has been one of the most incredible years ever for APSNA. It seems that "all the stars lined up” for ideas to become reality; ideas that had been many years in formulation. The APSNA Board of Directors for the first time met in person bi-annually, in November of 2007 in Orlando, for an intensive weekend of hammering out a strategic plan for APSNA. The innovative approach trialed at that meeting resulted in so much work being accomplished and so many ideas being tossed around that it is almost certain to become the norm for the Board for years to come.

This year’s hard work led APSNA to develop a relationship with AORN. APSNA and AORN members now have the option of joining each other’s organizations and ANA all at the same time. After talks with AORN, both groups realized the value of working together for the good of our shared pediatric patients. ANA leaders were so impressed with the fact that APSNA is directed by volunteers and has been able to accomplish so much, such as a textbook, a second edition of the textbook and a handbook.

APSNA and APSA have made a decision to partner to support optimal pediatric surgical nursing care. This has been a goal for years, but to see the enthusiasm with which we are being embraced by the surgeon’s organization is so exciting. As we work together to ensure both organizations are going in the same direction we should see amazing things happen.

We saw a deeper collaborative relationship develop between Pediatric Nursing (the journal) and APSNA. APSNA, in the person of Fran Gill, will be an invited speaker at the Pediatric Nursing Conference this year.

APSNA began to investigate public policy and had Board representation as Susan Ziegfeld attended the "Nurse in Washington” course. We hope to begin making our voices heard through political means as we try to impact pediatric care.

We officially recognized the Bariatric Surgery Special Interest Group. These nurses have a passion for helping kids caught up in the obesity epidemic. This group has collaborated with APSA to develop a position statement that will serve these children and the medical and surgical community.

Through generous donations, we were able to set up the Foster WOCN Grant and the Flanigan Grant. Liz Foster made a donation to set up a fund to assist members who have a desire to develop their skills and further their education in the area of enterostomal and wound care therapy. Another fund was established in honor of Laura Flanigan by her surgeon upon the occasion of her retirement. This fund will create a monetary award that will be given to the winner of the poster submissions at each conference.

Now for the conference! Ellen O’Donnell and her committee did a fabulous job making all the arrangements that are necessary to pull off a conference of this magnitude. We had the largest group, ever, to attend this West Coast conference.

The 17th Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix began with a welcome reception for new members. The following morning a fabulous Presidential address by Fran Gill inspired us and moved us to laughter and tears with many reflections on childhood and childhood memories. Attendees enjoyed two and a half days of presentations on diverse topics such as "Evidence Based Practice,” "Vascular Anomalies,” "Pilonidal Cysts,” "Name That Diagnosis,” "Electronic Medical Records,”, "Abdominal Tumors,” "The Adolescent Lap Band Journey,” "Biliary Atresia,” and "Omegaven, a Fish-Oil Based Fat Emulsion.”

Our annual Awards Banquet recognized two staff nurses with the first-ever "Clinical Spotlight Awards.” The 2008 APSNA Founders Award winner was Lynne Farber, RN, MSN, CPNP from UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

On the second conference morning Betty Kasson motivated us with her presentation on "Discovering Leadership in Pediatric Surgical Nurses.” On the third morning of the conference approximately fifty members participated in the Annual Walk for Research in beautiful sunny Phoenix . Following the walk, conference attendees participated in four concurrent "hands-on” sessions on: Enteral tubes, Ostomy Care, Burns, and Public Speaking. The conference concluded with promises by all to try to meet in Puerto Rico in 2009, to renew our friendships, our organization and our education in pediatric surgery.

The 2007-2008 Board of Directors would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Fran Gill, President
Linda Haga, Past President
Jeanette Dianna-Zerpa, President-Elect
Linda Adams, Membership
Leona Burnham, Secretary
Lynne Farber, Information Systems
Pam Jones, Publications
Tracy McTiernan, Education
Ellen O’Donnell, Program
Carolyn Ross, Treasurer
Beth Wallace, Nominations
Susan Ziegfeld, Development
Beverly Haynes, Director-at-Large


May 2009

Fajardo, Puerto Rico

2009 - Fajardo, Puerto RicoAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
18th Annual Conference
May, 2009
Fajardo, Puerto Rico

2009 was an excellent year for APSNA! APSNA continued to build strong relationships with professional national healthcare organizations such as the Association for Operating Room Nurses (AORN), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Nursing Organizations Alliance (NALA), and the American Pediatric Surgeons Association (APSA).

For the first time ever, our annual conference was held outside of the continental United States. Conference participants flew to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for an outstanding three day meeting. The conference included 31 scientific posters, twelve oral abstracts, and over twenty speakers on topics ranging from the clinical management of pediatric surgery diagnoses to professional practice issues. Our APSNA President, Jeanette Zerpa, started the conference off by inspiring members with her presidential address. Jeanette revealed true patient stories, "defining moments,” that have had a profound effect on her nursing career and her life.

Ellen O’Donnell RN, MSN, CPNP, from Boston Children’s Hospital, received the prestigious Founder’s Award for 2009 at the annual awards banquet. Pam Pieper PhD, ARNP, PNP-BC and Tina Shapiro-Stoler PhD, MSN, ARNP were the recipients of APSNA Research Award Grants. Amy Brown RN, BSN, Seattle Children’s Hospital, was voted as the Poster Presentation Award winner for 2009.

Three historically significant events also occurred at this conference. Our APSNA President, Jeanette Zerpa, spoke by invitation to the pediatric surgeons at the opening session for APSA, defining the membership and goals of APSNA, encouraging the physicians’ recruitment of their nursing colleagues, and advocating for more collaboration between both organizations. APSA and APSNA held their first joint session, a panel discussion on the development of Pediatric Bariatric Surgery programs.

The very first APSNA position statement, regarding the use of ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) by children was drafted and revised by Fran Gill and Susan Ziegfield. The APSNA membership voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting this position statement, making APSNA the first nursing organization to take a stand on this public safety issue.

In response to members’ inquiries in 2008, APSNA is pursuing recognition as a nursing specialty through ANA, which may eventually lead to certification in the specialty of pediatric surgery nursing. 2009 was a wonderfully productive year for APSNA and a very exciting time to be a member of this organization.


May 2010

Orlando, Florida

2010 - OrlandoAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
19th Annual Conference
May, 2010
Orlando, Florida

The 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association in Orlando, Florida completed another year of expansion for APSNA. Influence, visibility, collaboration and outreach all increased!

Under the guidance of Muggs Helin, president, and her Board of Directors, collaboration with APSA increased with plans under way for a joint educational half day session at the 2011 conference. APSNA will also take a more active role in conference site planning and arrangements for conferences with APSA in the future.

Collaboration with AORN also continues with 44 members currently holding Triad memberships and an APSNA member speaking at the AORN Congress in Denver this year.

Muggs represented APSNA at the Nursing Alliance Fall Summit on Healthcare Reform. She also attended the first PNCB Invitational Forum for pediatric nursing leaders and is serving on a task force as a part of that initiative. Inclusion in such a prestigious group is wonderful affirmation of the mission and progress of APSNA as a leading nursing organization.

Further affirmation will come with recognition of Pediatric Surgical Nursing as a specialty practice group. Muggs Helin and Rosaline Darty are leading a group seeking recognition from the American Nurses Association. Standards of Practice have been completed as the first step, with recognition by 2011 as the goal!

Our commitment to education continues to grow with the third edition of our textbook, Nursing Care of the Pediatric Surgical Patient, under development and CME's for Physician Assistants offered for the first time at the annual conference. (Kudos Nancy Thompson). Carolyn Ross and Beth Zimmerman are working with our publisher, Jones and Bartlett, to develop on line skills education for nurses.

Membership grew with 67 new members and 385 members total. Happily this includes 24 international members, 9 of whom attended conference from Canada, United Kingdom, Norway and Israel. APSNA members were among teams providing aid to earthquake victims in Haiti and mission groups to other areas of the world.

The annual conference convened at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando on May 13th. Muggs Helin stressed the importance of leadership and its potential in all of us in her Presidential address to start the conference. Dr. Marcia Ryder gave the keynote address, "Targeting Zero Catheter-Related Blood Stream Infections". There was great interest in the evidence she presented on a topic of great importance to healthcare providers in 2010. Other conference highlights included the first presentation by and about the "Physician Assistant, The Other Midlevel Provider" and "Living with Hirschprung's Disease in Norway" presented by two of our international members, Ragne Sletbakk and Astrid Ingeborg Austrheim. 18 speakers, oral abstracts and poster presentations rounded out the conference attended by 123 members.

The highlight of the annual Founders Banquet was the presentation of Founders Awards to two very deserving winners and past APSNA presidents, Linda Haga, retired from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Beth Zimmerman, retired from University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. An APSNA Educational Grant was presented to Raquel Pasaron from Miami.

The Hegar was passed to Lynne Farber and her new Board of Directors at the end of the conference to begin the next chapter in APSNA history.


May 2011

Palm Desert, California

2011 - Palm Desert, CAAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
20th Annual Conference
May, 2011
Palm Desert, California

The 2011 Annual Scientific meeting of the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association marked the 20th anniversary of the organization. It capped a year long celebration of the progress the organization has made since the first conversations between Diane Jakobowski, Gail Garvin and 31 nurses twenty years ago.

APSNA membership increased to 514 members with the increasingly popular triad membership (APSNA/AORN/ANA). Recognition of pediatric surgical nursing as a specialty by the American Nurses Association became very close with development of scope and standards by Muggs Helin, past president, Rosaline Darty and a task force of committed members. All requirements should be complete for recognition by the end of 2011. President Lynne Farber and Muggs Helin also continued to represent APSNA at the invitation only, Institute for Pediatric Nursing, chairing the Patient Advocacy task force. Contact with CMS at the national level enabled this group to improve funding for home supplies for our ostomy patients. Four Special Interest groups are active within APSNA, each with their own listserv. They are Bariatrics, Legislative, Trauma and Peri-op.

The 20th Scientific meeting convened in May, 2011 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs resort in Palm Desert, California, under the direction of Janice Dudley, program chair. Lynne Farber, president; Muggs Helin, past president; and Neil Ead, Education chair; were among the speakers at the first joint session with APSA on the third day of the conference. All the presentations for the joint session addressed aspects of the care of the child with Intestinal failure. The three day conference also included 17 poster presentations and increased vendor support. The highlight of the conference was the annual Founder's Banquet celebrating the 20th anniversary. Twelve former APSNA presidents were in attendance as were 12 former Founders Award winners. The winner of the first Foster grant for WOCN's was announced, Elizabeth Vaughn from Vanderbilt. The 2011 Research grant was awarded to Raquel Pasaron from Miami Children's Hospital and the Education grant was presented Monica Lasso Cuestas, from Bogata, Colombia. The 2011 Founder's Award recipient was Chris McKenna from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr Moritz Ziegler was the recipient of the first APSNA "Champion's Award" in recognition of his assistance in the formation and recognition of APSNA. Incoming president, Jenny Kreiss, received the Hegar and announced plans to focus on international initiatives in her term.

The next twenty years are bright with promise for improvement in the care of children throughout the world!


May 2012

San Antonio, Texas

2012 - San AntonioAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
21st Annual Conference
May, 2012
San Antonio, Texas

The 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association in San Antonio, Texas completed another year of growth for our organization. It convened in May, 2012 at the J. W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, under the direction of Janice Dudley, program chair. The three day conference included educational offerings under four section headings to include fetal surgery, surgical oncology, neonatal surgery and pediatric surgery clinical updates. There were 14 poster presentations and increased vendor support.

Under the guidance of Jenny Kreiss, president, and her Board of Directors, collaboration with APSA continues. A joint educational offering is planned with APSA for 2013 in Marco Island Florida.

Collaboration continues with AORN with 281 Triad memberships (APSNA, AORN, ANA). APSNA membership increased to 562 members.

There are now five special interest groups active in APSNA with their own listserves. They are Bariatric, Trauma, Legislative and Perioperative. Jenny Kreiss formed the fifth, a new International SIG.

The president attended NAPNAP and represented APSNA as a participant in the executive board general session and promoted partnership ideas which were well received. Three members attended the Nursing Organizations Alliance fall summit in Miami Florida.

The 3rd Edition of our textbook "Care of the Pediatric Surgical Patient” was completed and offered at the conference. An author book signing reception was held and well attended by the membership.

At the prestigious Founder’s Banquet Muggs Helin MS, RN, PNP-BC from American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin was presented with the founder’s award. The Research grant was awarded to John Murray from Children’s Hospital Boston in Boston, Massachusetts, and Tamara Meeker from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Education grant was awarded to Stedman McPeters from Tennessee Valley Pediatric Surgeons in Huntsville, Alabama. There were no applications for the Foster WOCN grant.

The Hegar was passed to Ellen O'Donnell RN, MSN, CPNP, from Children’s Hospital Boston in Boston, Massachusetts and her new Board of Directors at the end of the conference.

The next chapter will continue in Marco Island, Florida April 29-May 2, 2013.


May 2013

Marco Island, Florida

2013 - Marco Island, FLAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
22nd Annual Conference
May, 2013
Marco Island, Florida

The 2013 annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association sailed to new horizons in Marco Island, Florida. It convened April 29- May 2, 2013 at the JW Marriott Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and, golf Club & Spa under the direction of Raquel Pasaron, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, the program chair. The three day conference included nationally known speakers from two of our collaborating nursing organizations- Linda Groah, Executive Director/CEO of AORN and Mary Chesney, Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of the DNP Program University of Minnesota and Health Policy Chair representing NAPNAP as part of our first APSNA/NAPNAP speaker collaboration. In addition, two plenary sessions were presented by two of our special interest groups (SIG’s) on trauma and pediatric obesity. There were eighteen posters and record vendor support.

New this year was registration, coordinated by the Sherwood-Group. Participants also had the ability to access WI-FI during presentations to view speaker materials as well as completing evaluations through Express Evaluations in real time. Our first silent auction for research was held, coordinated by Liz Hood-Schmidt, MSN, CPNP, and was quite successful earning $1400 towards our fund. The annual research walk raised an additional $1245.

Membership has increased with 632 active members, with 325 triad members (APSNA, AORN, ANA).

The six special interest groups (SIG’s) have been active with their own listserves. They are pediatric obesity, trauma, legislative, perioperative, international and a newly formed WOCN.

Our APSNA President, Ellen O’Donnell attended the NAPNAP annual meeting this year.

Sales of our textbook Nursing Care of the Pediatric Surgical Patient” have been brisk.

The name of our online journal "Sutureline” has been changed to "The Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing”.

At the prestigious Founder’s Award Banquet, Nancy Thompson MS, RN, CPNP from Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Virginia was presented with the Founder’s Award.

The Champion Award was presented to Dr. Henri Ford, from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, who facilitated our International Nursing program spearheaded by Jenny Kreiss, MSN, PNP-BC.

The best poster award was presented to Tish DeYoung, MSN, CPNP-AC/PC, Miller Children’s Hospital, Long Beach, California for "Pediatric Traumatic Duodenal Injury: Review of Mechanism of Injury, Anatomic Review, Case Presentation and Clinical Management”.

There were no grants awarded for the educational research or WOCN.

The Hegar was passed on in a new wooden case from Ellen ODonnell, RN, MSN, CPNP-P, current outgoing president to Neil Ead, MSN, CPNP,incoming president from Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island. We also welcomed his new board of directors.

Our upcoming conference in 2014 will be held in Phoenix, Arizona at the JW Marriott Ridge Resort and Spa May 26-29, 2014.