Master of Science in Nursing, 2004
Suzy, a Board-Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse, has dedicated much of her 30-year nursing career to bedsore prevention research.
Considered a “national expert” in the area of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, Suzy is trained to take care of patients with skin wounds, particularly surgical wounds, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers.
The University of Phoenix graduate is a surgical quality improvement research liaison nurse at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Early in her career, Suzy noticed that some of the surgical patients from the intensive care units would have unexplained pressure injuries after lengthy surgeries. “In  I started tracking pressure ulcers and what I noted was that we had more pressure ulcers in surgical patients than we did in long-term care or in medical patients. These are hospital-acquired ulcers.”
To help hospitals in their efforts to prevent bedsores—a condition that may afflict 23 percent of surgical patients nationwide1—she developed the Perioperative Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program (PPUPP). “Prevention is far less expensive than the actual treatment or the risk of litigation and increased length of hospitalization,” Suzy says.
The PPUP program has been proven to save hospitals money, and it will soon be implemented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in operating rooms nationwide. Suzy’s program was recognized by the American Academy of Nurses “Raise the Voice” campaign, which strives to inform the public about nurse-driven solutions for the ailing health care system.1. Aronovitch SA, Beckrich K. Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers: A Common Comparison of Costs in Medical vs. Surgical Patients. Nursing Economic$/Sept.-Oct. 1999; Vol. 17/No.5.