Haiti Experience Inspires Professor to Establish Wound Care Foundation and OUCH!Races

(LOS ANGELES – July 6, 2011) — UCLA School of Nursing Associate Professor Barbara Bates-Jensen, Ph.D., RN, arrived in Haiti 30 days after the 2010 earthquake struck. She was sent to the Tent City, a hospital compound where she was appointed chief of wound services. For the next week she saw more than 70 patients a day with the most horrific wounds – from botched amputations to surgeries that hadn’t healed properly to pressure wounds on patients who had lain too long in one position amidst the earthquake rubble. That experience has led Bates-Jensen to establish a new foundation aimed at raising funds to support global programs in wound research, education and wound care.

“Seeing the tremendous need for improved wound care in Haiti was a turning point for me,” said Bates-Jensen. “The new Wound REACH Foundation will not only help provide support to wound patients in the U.S., but will help to establish sustainable wound clinics in resource-poor countries and train in-country healthcare workers in basic wound care.” (View the story of Bates-Jensen’s experience in Haiti.)

Bates-Jensen, who began running long distances a few years ago, started thinking: “What if I could establish a charity race to help my other passion, wound care?” So, to raise public awareness of the need to improve wound care, the foundation has launched a series of charity races, many held in conjunction with national meetings of healthcare societies and organizations.

The first event was held in April at the Symposium for Advanced Wound Care meeting in Texas and raised over $8,000 for the Dallas County Hospital Wound Program and scholarships for wound care professionals to travel to Haiti and Cambodia.

The 2011 OUCH!Race series presented by Trinity Health Systems will include two more races this year. A half marathon and a 5K run walk are scheduled in Bettendorf, IA, on August 20 and a 5K run is scheduled in Washington, DC, on September 10. More information on the races and the foundation can be found at nursing.ucla.edu/ouch!race.

Every $2,500 earned is enough to fund one healthcare professional to travel and work in a resource-poor country for one week; $15,000 provides funding to support the equipment needed to set up a sustainable wound clinic; $7,500 can fund a telemedicine system for wound care to allow for real-time support and feedback from wound experts.

Bates-Jensen is a leading proponent of wound care research and is a recent recipient of both the 2011 Evonne Fowler Founder’s Award from the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and the 2011 Member Achievement Award from the Association for Advancement of Wound Care.

The UCLA School of Nursing is redefining nursing through the pursuit of uncompromised excellence in research, education, practice, policy and patient advocacy. Ranked among the top nursing schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report, the school also is ranked No. 7 in nursing research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and No.1 in NIH stimulus funding. In 2009-2010, the school received $18 million in total research grant funding and was awarded 26 faculty research grants. The school offers programs for the undergraduate (BS), postgraduate (MSN and MECN) and doctoral (Ph.D.) student. For more information, please visit the website at nursing.ucla.edu.