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
“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
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