Volume 35:  Issue 4                                                             
December, 2019
Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates
President’s Message                                                  December 1, 2019

This time of year, always brings up two thought provoking questions for me.   The first question: “What am I thankful for?” gets asked as my family gathers around the table to partake in the Thanksgiving feast.  The second question:  “What gift would you like?” gets asked when a family member is trying to come up with an idea of what to give me for Christmas.  As I ponder these questions, material items never seem to come to mind.  Instead, I answer both questions with one word—time!  I am very thankful for the time I have spent with family and friends to create memories.  I ask my family for the gift of their time where they can offer their service to complete a task at my home.  

As I look ahead and lead WSGNA into 2020, I have the same thoughts.  I am thankful for the time I have spent with other members planning events and networking at conferences.  I know great memories have been created!  I am asking that others gift their time to complete the tasks of our organization.  I was fortunate to attend the 2019 Regional Leadership Conference held at SGNA headquarters in Chicago in early November.  I was inspired by other regional leaders who shared their strategies and best practices to maintain and increase their region’s membership.  However, I am aware this all occurred because someone volunteered their time.

SGNA President, Lea Anne Myers, titled her presentation “Increasing Your Team’s Effectiveness” and spoke about how each member on a baseball team plays a vital role to their team’s success.  She compared these roles to each member on a board of directors and discussed how each position is accountable to fulfill a vital role for the organization.  Assigning the right task to the right person with the right skill set to fulfill their role provides value and increases the board’s effectiveness as a whole.  Also starting with the passion for the role you volunteered for is an advantage.  Lea Anne was honest and did admit procrastination was her weakness but knew she had other board members that kept her on task.  For those of you who know me well, you know I am not always timely at completing my tasks for WSGNA.  Being timelier with completing WSGNA tasks is one goal I am setting for myself moving forward.  The board of directors will be reviewing our board positions to see if these roles meet the strategic plan of our regional organization.  I foresee some changes coming up especially since we did not get anyone to run for President-Elect in 2019.

Improving communication with members was another common theme of those leaders who inspired me at the SGNA leadership conference.  Mary Pearce, Michigan’s Regional President, showed how they are using SGNA Communities to improve communication amongst their members.  They save meeting minutes and other documents like newsletters in folders where all their regional members have access.  I would like to see our region utilize this communication tool as well.  It will be a topic discussed at our first board meeting in 2020.

SGNA Communities was one way a member of our region reached out to volunteer.  I was so excited and thankful to Amy Schultz for asking the question—how can I get involved in my region and SGNA?  Amy is an Associate who would like to network with other fellow Associates to share her knowledge and passion in GI while continuing to learn from others.  This was a spark that reignited me and my passion for WSGNA.  I am thankful to Amy for reaching out in this way!

I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this next year!   Hope everyone has a great holiday season. 

WSGNA President
From the Secretary

October 18, 2018 Approved General Meeting Minutes Click HERE

May 21, 2019 Approved Board Meeting Minutes Click HERE
WSGNA Fall Conference 2019
Milwaukee, WI

WSGNA again collaborated with the Midwest Endoscopy Group and the Education Research Consortium to present “New Frontiers in GI Endoscopy” for the Fall Conference. Six contact hours were awarded to the 36 nurses and 3 technicians in attendance at the Hyatt in Milwaukee on October 5. An additional 18 nurses and technicians received their contact hours through live streaming the conference.
The attendees heard from a number of GI experts from throughout the Midwest. Topics covered included new approaches to treating GERD, Gastric Outlet Obstruction, and various methods of dealing with strictures in IBD. Innovative practices in GI including POEM, Endoscopic Submucosal Resection, and Tissue Regeneration were all of great interest. The Midwest Endoscopy Group continues to stay at the forefront of Gastroenterology practice.
The physicians from the Midwest Endoscopy Group are eager to include, teach and collaborate with WSGNA. By including education for GI nurses and techs, the physicians appreciate the benefits of the skills and knowledge the partnership provides.
This was the second year of conference planning with the Midwest Endoscopy Group. We hope to continue this partnership for future Fall conferences. WSGNA leaders encourage your involvement in your education. Please submit topics that interest you to any of the members of the WSGNA Board.
Respectfully submitted, Linda Anderson BSN, RN, CGRN, WSGNA Past President

Photos:  Lynn Miller (L) and Lynn Thompson (R) were all smiles at the conference.  We thank Mary Garcia (L) and Cat Garcia(R) (Catffeinated Creations) for providing our audio-visual needs.  With their expertise we were once again able to provide live streaming to those who were unable to attend the event.  With live stream, people were able to watch the conference from the comfort of their home (pic #3) or even at their place of employment.  Live stream attendees were able to submit questions and comments. After completing their evaluations, they also received contact hours. 

Two WSGNA members were fortunate to be selected to receive scholarships to attend the WSGNA Fall  Conference.  A condition of being a recipient is the requirement to send a brief synosis.
I would like to thank WSGNA for the scholarship they awarded me to attend the “New Frontiers in GI Endoscopy”  on October 5, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I really liked the conference format, short 20-30 minute talks with multiple speakers that allowed the attendees to learn about a variety of topics.  The fast pace and interesting topics helped keep my attention. 

All of the speakers were excellent.  They were all very knowledgeable about their topics.   Dr. Kulwinder Dua’s topic about “Evolving Concepts in Tissue Regeneration” was very interesting.  I hope we get to hear more about this topic in the future.  It is amazing to think of growing a new esophagus and how that will impact patients who have disease or injury to their esophagus.  I also enjoyed Dr. Jeff Ponsky and his talk on the ‘Role of Endoscopy in Gastroparesis.”   What a great speaker! 

The venue for this conference was beautiful and large enough for participants to not feel crowded, but still able to hear the speakers and see their power point presentations.  The food was delicious and there was plenty of it!!  I was also able to meet with many of the reps and see their products.  Overall it was a great conference.  Thank you again for the scholarship. 

 Pamela Graham RN, BSN, CGRN


I would like to take this opportunity to thank WSGNA for granting this scholarship so I could attend this conference today.  The scholarship has allowed me to obtain further education toward my GI career.  I have learned quite a few new things today, including EUS and gastroparesis.
                                                                                                                        Paula Harty


We currently have 131 members. 

We'd like to welcome new members:  Carrie Dlugosch, Monica Dubs, Sara Janssen, Tara Meyers, Lori Kempf-Lotz, Katherine Thundercloud, and Song Yang

Correction:  Elizabeth Berenz was incorrectly listed as Ellen Berenz in the previous newsletter

MEMBERSHIP:  Please take time to renew your membership to SGNA/WSGNA.  Your membership dues include a portion that is sent to your local region (WSGNA).
This money allows us to provide scholarships to our members, maintain our website, provide lower costs to regional conferences.
There are many other things to be gained by SGNA membership,  These include
lower costs at national events, webinars, and other web offerings. You can network with your peers and gain and share information through SGNA Open Forum.
Membership dues are due by December 31.  If you need more information, check out or 
A reminder that Nicole Erickson was voted in as our new Secretary and Shelley Jaehnke, our new Director at Large for Membership and Nominations. Their terms are effective 2020-2021.  

If you would like to be more involved in WSGNA or are considering running for an open position next year please contact Cathy Johnson.  

Cathy Johnson, BSN, RN, CGRN
Director at Large, Membership/Nominations
There's still time to nominate a fellow GI colleague.  Check out the options!!

Submit Your Award Nominations by December 16th!
  • Regional Society Member of the Year Award: Nominate exceptional members who have made a positive impact in your region for the Regional Society Member of the Year Award! 
  • Gabriele Schindler Award:  Named for an early pioneer in gastroenterology patient care, recognizes a member who has made important contributions in direct patient care in one or more of several performance categories. This award is sponsored by Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc. 
  • Distinguished Service Award: Recognizes a current SGNA member who has made significant contributions to the regional and national activities of the Society in the previous year. This award is sponsored by Diversatek Healthcare.
  • Outstanding Regional Society of the Year Award (Due January): recognizes the Regional Society most active and dynamic in achieving the goals of SGNA at the Regional level. The Outstanding Regional Society will be highlighted in The Inside Tract, recognized at the Annual Course at which the award is presented, and will receive a banner and a $1,000 stipend.
Upcoming Deadlines

December 31, 2019 Membership renewal 
      This year as a special renewal offer, you can purchase all 12 webinars                scheduled for 2020  for just $180, a 40% discount off the regular price. This        offer is only available through the membership renewal period, ending on            March 1, 2020  See

January 1, 2020  Call for Resolutions
The deadline to submit any resolutions for 2020 is January 1, 2020. Please email your completed resolution forms to The 2020 Resolution Form and other House of Delegates information can be found on the Regional Officer Resource Page.

February 15, 2020:  SGNA Annual Course--3 scholarships valued at $1250 each will be awarded

March 1, 2020:  WSGNA Spring Conference Scholarship

      Click HERE for the online application forms or go to

September 1, 2020: ABCGN Certification or Re-certification scholarship. Click HERE
Future Events
GI Nurses and Associates Week:  March 22-28, 2020

WSGNA 2020 Spring Conference will be held late April 2020 in SE Wisconsin.  Further details will be released at a later date.

SGNA 47th Annual Course, "Leverage Resources, Create Momentum, Tap Into the Current", Louisville, KY May 17-19, 2020, with pre-meeting events,  May 15 and 16. For  more information click HERE
2019 Board of Directors
President Amy Komp BSN, RN, CGRN
Froedert Hospital, Milwaukee

President-Elect: Vacant
Secretary Lynn Thompson, BSN, RN
Columbia - St. Mary's, Milwaukee
Treasurer Kelly Beck, BSN, RN, CGRN
Advocate Aurora Grafton Medical Center

Immediate Past President Linda Anderson, BSN, RN, CGRN
Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee

Director-at-Large Communications/Newsletter
Rie-ann Jansen RN, BSN, CGRN
HSHS-St. Mary’s Med Center, Green Bay
Director-at-Large Membership/Nominations
Cathy Johnson BSN RN CGRN
Waukesha Memorial Hospital GI Center
2020 WSGNA Board Meeting Dates
Saturday, January 25th
Saturday, April 25th
Saturday, July 25th
Saturday, October 24th

Location TBD
Meetings are typically held from 9a-1pm

*Meeting dates/locations subject to change at board's discretion
GI Related Awareness Dates
  • Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec. 1-7)
  • World's AIDS Day (Dec. 1)
  • Blood Donor Month
  • Thyroid  Health Awareness Month
  • Healthy Weight Week (Jan. 19-31)
  • Heart Month
  • World Cancer Day (Feb. 4)
  • National Wear Red Day (Feb. 7)
  • National Donor Day (Feb 14)
  • National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 23-29)
  • Rare Disease Day (Feb 29)
We need your input.  Your WSGNA would like to apply for the Outstanding Region Award in 2020.
"This award recognizes the Regional Society most active and dynamic in achieving the goals of SGNA at the regional level. Recognizing the importance of contributions made by Regional Societies, SGNA established this award to acknowledge these efforts and encourage Regional Societies to take pride in their accomplishments. Through this recognition of Regional Societies, SGNA encourages educational growth, increased involvement at the national level and community and legislative involvement."
We are looking for any involvement our present members will be doing in the year (2020)
  • Community and legislative involvement
  • Presented an educational poster at previous year’s Annual Course 
  • Percentage of certified members
We'd like to hear about your involvement and achievements.  Your participation can be the incentive for other members to step up and educate their patients, their colleagues, the community!!
Please contact any of the board members if you participate in any of the above requirements.
We are looking to "Spotlight" you or your department for our next issue of WSGNA NEWS.
Contact Rie-ann Jansen at 
and tell us your story...
  • How did you fall in love with GI
  • What does your department specialize in
  • How do you make your colleagues feel special
You can download the Spotlight Form here. via PDF format  or DOC format. Use it as a guide to tell your story

We thank you for your support in 2019
We look forward to seeing your products and services as we continue to plan more events. 

Platinum Sponsor:  AbbVie 

Gold Sponsors:  Takeda Speciality and Pfizer, Inc

Standard Sponsors:

Advanced Sterilization Product
Allergan Pharmaceutical
Boston Scientific
Cantel (Medivators)
Cook Medical
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Micromed, LLC
Olympus America, Inc.
Ovesco Endoscopy
Steris/US Endoscopy
Click below to follow us on Facebook or visit our website!
Copyright © 2019 Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp