To continue our Ostomy series, we’re excited to speak with two exceptional medical professionals from the Cleveland Clinic, Gastroenterologist Dr. Jean-Paul Achkar as well as Wound,Ostomy, Continence (WOC) nurse, Coleen Potts. Dr. Achkar and Coleen share their expertise and insights on taking patients through the process of stoma surgery, the critical role of a WOC nurse, and how this multidisciplinary care team works together to educate and reassure patients transitioning to life with an ostomy.
Coleen Potts has worked at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio for 39 years. She began as a nursing assistant, became an RN in 1983 and has worked in specialty areas including Medical and Surgical ICU and Subacute. It was her personal experience that lead her to the specialty of WOC (Wound, Ostomy, Continence) nursing and she joined the WOC nursing department in 2002 where she cares for patients with stomas, fistulas, and wounds. Coleen works full-time in both the inpatient and outpatient areas and she is a preceptor for the R.B. Turnbull, Jr. MD, School of WOC Nursing. Coleen’s community involvement includes being an active member of the Cleveland Ostomy Association. She resides in Mentor, Ohio with her husband, Jim, of 37 years.
Dr. Achkar is a gastroenterologist who sees patients with inflammatory bowel disease and also pursues research in the field. He has been in practice at the Cleveland Clinic for over 20 years and has a large and busy clinical practice focused predominantly in inflammatory bowel disease. He is the director of the gastroenterology fellowship program at the Cleveland Clinic and is on the Board of Trustees of the American College of Gastroenterology.
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