Council Member: Ewa Stürmer
“EWMA Can Bundle Energy”
By bringing experts together and sharing knowledge, EWMA has power to bring change and awareness to the benefit of patients, says Council member Dr. Ewa Stürmer.
Professor Dr. Ewa Stürmer is Senior Physician at the Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart Center, Division of Translational Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) in Germany.
We have met with Dr. Ewa Stürmer to talk about her aims for her work in council, and how EWMA can help improve and raise awareness on wound care in Europe.
According to Ewa Stürmer, EWMA is valuable as a forum for exchanging ideas and actions:
“I think EWMA can bundle energy. EWMA can make experts come together and address certain issues as EWMA already does. The discussion about advantages and disadvantages in wound care brings us forward and patients benefit from it,” she says.
Ewa Stürmer thinks it is important to get a public and political focus on wound healing. Right now, there is a lot of focus on cancer and immunological diseases, and obviously COVID, she says. So, it is not a lack of public focus on health issues. The focus is just concentrated on a few issues, and as wound complications are only getting more and more prevalent, the field needs attention.
An important part of getting that attention is to listen to the patients.
“I think we have to empower patients to raise their voices,” Ewa Stürmer says.
Experts are important, but ultimately the patients are the core of the matter.
“If experts discuss and make papers and write comments, that's one thing. But if patients raise their voices and come to the social media and talk about their cases, talk about their needs, talk about the quality of life, maybe we can reach more people and get more people’s eyes on them. I think this would be a great thing,” she says.
Learn from other countries
Ewa Stürmer also emphasizes the international aspect of EWMA and what opportunities that brings to the Council work.
“I'm in the council as a person. But I also represent my country. I present the opinion and the things that happen in the wound management sector in Germany. I'm very proud to do so and it inspires me to hear what happens in other countries. Some things are easier there and some things are incredible, and I want to take this into the German wound care society so that we can learn from other countries. And I hope other countries can learn from us in the same way,” Ewa Stürmer says.
But with the opportunities also comes challenges. Different countries, and in some cases even different regions in each country, have their own traditions for procedures of managing wounds.
Better intersectoral therapy, Ewa Stürmer thinks, is one of the challenges that should be in focus, as patients will benefit from this.
“And EWMA has the possibility to transfer this knowledge from one country to another. So, I think that the big challenge is for EWMA to harmonize therapy in the EWMA countries and to take the best of every country, put it together, and spread it again.”
Alone you cannot move enough
Despite the challenges, Ewa Stürmer believes the future has good things coming for EWMA, saying: “I'm an optimist. I always see a good future for it.”
And she hopes that the issues EWMA is working with will get attention from the surrounding society and actors in the health sector.
“I hope that politicians and health insurance agencies focus more on chronic wound patients, because they need it. In every European country there will be more people suffering from chronic wounds because of rising lifestyle diseases: obesity, diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD),” she says.
And she believes EWMA can make a difference and push that agenda and raise the necessary attention.
“I think so because EWMA has power. It's an organization that is well known in the whole of Europe and internationally as well. So EWMA is something that stands behind you and can make something great. And I think that is the future, because if you are alone as a local organization or a wound center, it’s difficult to make impacting changes. But if you have a great organization behind you and a lot of experts working with you, we have the power to move something.”
Series: Meet the Newest Council Members
In a series of articles here at ewma.org, we will meet the members of the EWMA Council, who were elected this year.
The EWMA Council
The Council is the main deciding body of EWMA.
The Council decides the overall goals and strategy of the association, what projects the organisation will work on, as well as preparing the yearly EWMA Conference.
There are 20 members of the council as well as appointed representatives of partner organizations Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) from the USA and Wounds Australia.
All members of EWMA have the opportunity to candidate for Council in the annual election held prior to the EWMA conference.