MR-SGNA thumb

The following member received a scholarship to the 25th Annual Multi-Regional SGNA Conference this year and this is what she had to say about her experience. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank WSGNA for the wonderful scholarship I was awarded to attend the Multi-Regional SGNA Conference: Racing to the Finish Line, in Indianapolis on October 21 and 22, 2017. The conference provided a wide variety of educational opportunities that I found very interesting and helpful in keeping informed about current trends in GI nursing.
I found all of the speakers to be excellent. Dr. John M. Wo’s “Diagnosis and Management of Gastroparesis,” Dr. Neil Sharma’s Overview Barrett’s and Role of EMR, and Dr. Monika Fischer’s “Fecal Transplant: The 5-D Approach were really interesting to me and I was able to take away new information from each of these to help me in my practice. It was nice to see old friends and to meet new people at the conference.
It was really great to receive this scholarship to offset the cost of the conference. I encourage all the members of WSGNA to not only attend these conferences in order to help maintain a high standard of practice, but to also take advantage of the scholarships offered.
Thank you again,
Pamela Graham BSN, RN, CGRN

fall 2017 confThe following members received scholarships to the fall regional conference this year and this is what they have to say about their experience.

Thank you for the scholarship to the WSGNA Fall Regional Conference for 2017. As in previous years, I found great value in attending. This year, I especially appreciated the opportunity to attend via the web. This was a great option for me as it allowed me the flexibility I needed to benefit from the content of the courses.

I always find the presentations enhance my profession. I especially appreciated Dr. Khan’s presentation on the surveillance guidelines and treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. What I learned will help me when teaching and scheduling patient’s for procedures. And Dr. Fayyad’s presentation on liver lab tests gave me greater insight into the functions of the liver, how the tests can be used to assess the functions of the liver or liver injury, and what the values or combinations of values may be indicative of. The information Dr. Shah presented on anesthesia screening criteria gave me a new appreciation for the complexities that an anesthetist/CRNA needs to consider.

And thank you for the presentation on mindful meditation. At times we may find our careers to be stressful and this presentation reminded me that we need to take the time for ourselves so that we can optimize our ability to succeed in our field. Thank you for recognizing that growing ourselves personally also increases our ability to grow professionally.

Again, thank you for the scholarship and opportunity to be part of this uniting, engaging and advancing educational program. I and my associates are fortunate to belong to the beneficial society that is WSGNA.

Karin J. Schmoldt, CCMA
Clinic Coordinator
GI Associates
Wausau WI

I would like to thank WSGNA for the opportunity to attend the Regional WSGNA conference in September. Thank you for the scholarship. As I approach 20 years at Aurora, I have done some self-reflection on my career during that weekend. I enjoyed Dr Venu’s presentation on the history of ERCP Friday night. It reminded me of my early days in GI when I had the opportunity to learn from some of the legends in ERCPs. I think it was fitting for Dr Venu to come full circle and also discuss the latest procedures in EUS/ ERCP. A new nurse from my department also attended the conference. It was heartwarming to see how engaged and energized she was attending her first GI conference. She even won the bidding war on her basket! I will continue to promote local and national SGNA conferences for our staff. I look forward to sharing my passion for GI nursing with the next generation of nurses. As always, I enjoyed seeing old friends and taking the time to share our practices over a glass of wine outside. (What great weather we had!) I want to thank our hosts again for organizing a wonderful event. As we learned, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. My cup is now full! 

Angie Kranich BSN, RN
Nurse Clinician
Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

Thank you for granting me a scholarship to attend the recent conference in Lake Geneva. Even though I have been a GI nurse for over 30 years, there is always something new to learn. All of the presentations were excellent. For me, the review of liver function tests was very informative. In the Lab, I don’t deal with this much so it is was a good review. Barrett’s esophagus presentation helped me understand diagnosis, rist factors and treatment options. I enjoyed catching up with Dr. Venu. We worked together many years ago. His talks are always informative. Ending the conference with Carrie Kelly was a great idea. I have practiced some of her techniques since and have found them helpful. Thank you again for providing the scholarship. I look forward to future conferences!
Heidi Olson, BSN, CGRN
Moorland Reserve , New Berlin


The following three members received scholarships to the 2017 44th Annual National SGNA Conference in New Orleans and this is what they have to say about their experience.

May 30, 2017
To the Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates,
Thank you very much for supporting my continuing education with the generous $1000 scholarship to attend the 44th Annual Course in New Orleans earlier this month.  As I expected, it was an energizing and knowledge packed experience.  This was the second national conference I attended, and the offerings continue to be cutting edge and engaging.
I attended many great lectures and learned new and innovative facts in every one of them.  But I was particularly moved by the general session presented by Dr. Richard Wender, “80% by 2018:  What You Can Do as a GI Nurse or Technician.”  Not only was he passionate and knowledgeable about all avenues of colorectal cancer screening, but it was very inspiring to me to know that our daily work is considered a priority by our country’s health care leaders.
I spent some time every day in the vendor hall checking out new products and equipment.  I attended two of the in-booth educational offerings.  I was impressed by the quality of the content and the professional qualifications of the speakers.
This was my first time using the mobile app at a conference.  I thought it was great!  It was so nice to be able to check the schedule and review the class description for the few times I hadn’t already decided which I was attending next.  Plus, it was great to download the slides from those lecturers who provided them.  So handy!
I enjoyed the posters more this time than last.  I think as I progress in my GI and nursing career, I can now more greatly appreciate the research and dedication demonstrated by the creators of the posters.  Lots of interesting studies going on!
Finally, the networking events.  I attended this conference solo so I appreciated having the opportunity to meet so many nurses with similar interests.   No matter which stranger I sat by, in a few minutes we’d be swapping stories and laughing like old friends.  And that second line parade!  OK, OK, I was self-conscious about strutting down the street, but man, that was fun!
Thank you again for your financial support of nursing education and certification.  This experience was very rewarding!
Jennifer Meiller, RN CGRN

Thank you for jazzing up my experience with a generous scholarship to the 44th annual SGNA conference in New Orleans. The conference location, venue, educational offerings and presentations were phenomenal.  As a repeat attendee it was very clear to me that our previous event evaluation input was taken seriously and very much appreciated.
I feel truly blessed to have shared this time with so many people who have a passion for GI nursing.  This was my 4th annual conference and I felt rejuvenated, motivated, inspired and excited to share my experiences and what knowledge I gained.
Last year following the 43rd conference we started the capsule endoscopy program and this year we will move forward with capnography. The information I learned at a vendor booth program was outstanding.
My approach this year was diversification in course selection.  The conference offered a wide selection of topics. Some of my choices were scope reprocessing, inspirational speakers and team building, procedure techniques and of course some city celebration.
Next year the opportunity to attend the annual course will be passed on to my co-workers.  However, I WILL be back in a couple of years with great excitement.
Again, THANK YOU for your support.
Dawn Orlovsky RN,CGRN

Hippocrates is quoted as saying, “all disease begins in the gut.” While we know not ALL disease begins in the gut, we are finding out more and more about how much our gastrointestinal health really matters. And because of the generosity of all the members of Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates who have given me the opportunity to attend the SGNA 44th Annual Course in New Orleans, LA, I was able to find out much more about GI health. Thank you to all the WSGNA members and to the WSGNA board members who selected me for the annual course educational scholarship. I truly would not have been able to attend this conference without your support and for that I am forever grateful.

This was my first time attending the SGNA Annual Course and I was very impressed with the sessions offered, activities encouraged, and people I met. I met dozens of people from around the country from as far as California and Washington to right in my hometown of Green Bay. Through them I have been able to get a better understanding of how other GI clinics and hospitals operate and the strengths and struggles they have.

During my time in the educational sessions, I listened to Dr. Bill Rutala discuss the need to shift from disinfecting endoscopes to sterilization. He stated that our goal is to have no infections associated with instruments as we strive towards complete patient safety. He said that the technology will eventually be there for our scopes so that they could withstand long periods of high heat and that we could eventually be using disposable scopes. I also learned a great deal more about fecal microbiota transplants and the ability to possibly use FMT for other conditions such as IBD, obesity, and autism.

My goal in attending this conference was to continue to learn and improve on my current GI knowledge and skills. I will take what I learned about FMT, EOE, ERCPs, achalasia, gastroparesis, gastric cancer, genetics of inherited GI cancers, GI bleeds, and patient positioning and utilize the many new ideas and concepts into my practice. It was exciting to see the new and upcoming GI gadgets and gizmos from the GI vendors and to be able to play with them. I also noticed a lot of nurses with CGRN ribbons and after talking with a CGRN representative I have really been encouraged to continue to GI education through certification. My plan is to become a Certified Gastroenterology RN by the beginning of next year.

Now back to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have helped to make this experience possible for a relatively new GI nurse. And if you are ever in a situation where you can attend a SGNA Annual Course, I highly recommend it.

Gail Churchill, RN, BS
St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals
Green Bay, WI


Scholarship Gratitude ~ 2017