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Great Comebacks® Program Recognizes WOC Nurse Heidi H. Cross at WOCN 43rd Annual Conference
Date:6/5/2011

NEW ORLEANS, June 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Heidi H. Cross, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWOCN was presented with the 2011 WOC Nurse Great Comebacks® Award at the opening ceremony of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society's 43rd Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. The Great Comebacks® Program, which provides information and support for people living with intestinal diseases that can lead to ostomy surgery, annually honors a WOC nurse who has provided exceptional care to help patients after surgery.

Cross was presented with her award in recognition of the support she has provided current Great Comebacks® Award recipient for the East region, Linda Pasto, RN, as well as many other patients and families. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and WOC nurse at Upstate University Hospital, in Syracuse, NY.

Cross also volunteers at a free ostomy clinic and founded a support group where she met Pasto, nearly five years ago, after she had recently had ostomy surgery.  Even though she was a nurse, Pasto found her ostomy challenging to understand and accept at first.

"I was completely out of my element, but Heidi immediately welcomed me into the group and connected me with the other members. She gave me the courage and the strength to face my ostomy in those early stages," says Pasto.

Pasto noted that Cross took time to visit members of the support group when they went to the hospital or put together cards for those who couldn't make a meeting. Based on her example, Pasto has been inspired to pursue her own WOCN certification.

"I am so grateful that Heidi agreed to become my preceptor for WOCN certification because she really gave me my life back," says Pasto.

Cross works with ostomy patients at the Upstate University Hospital and assists CNY Surgical Physicians at the Community General Wound Care Center in Syracuse, NY. She received her master's degree in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Certifi
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