Canadian association to advance wound care

Standard practices are a goal

Canada’s first organization dedicated to wound care is growing quickly and already tackling issues that concern those who care for wound patients. The Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC) was launched officially last fall at the second-annual Canadian Symposium on Wound Management in Toronto, saysR. Gary Sibbald, MD, CAWC cofounder. Sibbald is a dermatologist and internist and an associate professor at the University of Toronto. 

"We’re looking to be the sister organization of the American Association of Wound Care," Sibbald says. 

Although the CAWC’s official birth was last November, the organization began in 1995 and now has more than 650 members. The group intends to increase the level and practice of wound care throughout Canada. Mirroring the AAWC, the CAWC will focus on four central areas: wound care education, clinical practice issues, public policy, and research, says Cathy Bresnai, RN, businesses unit manager for wound and skin care with Convatec Canada in Montreal. 

Bresnai worked with Sibbald on the association’s formation and will be a board member. Plans for the CAWC call for two boards with about 15 members each; one will be scientific, the other drawn from corporate representatives. 

Members of the scientific board will represent medical professionals from Canada’s five regions: British Columbia, the Prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland). The AAWC has pledged its support for the CAWC, and joint meetings of the two groups are expected to occur on a regular basis. 

"Wound care protocols in Canada are fragmented nationally," Bresnai says. "Specific community agencies or institutions have their own protocols, but there’s no standardization. Our goals are very similar to those of the AAWC in the states: to form partnerships among all people caring for wound patients, whether they’re clinicians, in industry, caregivers, or family members. We want to make sure that there’s equality at all levels of care. Our long-term vision will be to create national wound care standards for Canada." 

The country has nothing comparable to the United States’ Agency for Health Care Policy and Research guidelines, which some Canadian physicians have adopted. 

Members will be kept informed of the CAWC’s activities through quarterly newsletters and annual meetings at the Canadian Wound Care Symposium, which convenes each fall.