Nurses Certified in Ostomy Care

The ostomy care nurses at the University of Chicago Medicine are advanced practice nurses certified in ostomy care. We can provide education for adults before and after ostomy surgery. We also problem-solve with patients who encounter difficulties with their pouching system or stoma.

The opportunity to establish a relationship with an ostomy nurse is a unique service. Once an ostomy patient is discharged from the hospital, our nurses will see the patient in our outpatient stoma clinic on an ongoing basis. We manage all patients who have their stoma surgery at UChicago Medicine, but we also see patients who had their surgery at an outside hospital. Patients do not need to have a UChicago Medicine physician to make an appointment with a nurse at the ostomy clinic.

What care can nurses provide at an ostomy clinic visit?

The services that the ostomy nurses can provide include:

  • Pre-operative education and stoma site marking
  • Pouching system fitting
  • Assessment of inability to maintain a seal on the ostomy pouching system for a prolonged period of time
  • Assessment of peristomal skin issues (redness, itchiness, etc.)
  • Introduction to different pouching systems
  • Stoma assessment, if there is a problem with the appearance of the stoma
  • Development of problem-solving plans
  • General assistance with stoma problems (such as leakage irritated skin, change in stoma appearance, etc.)

What do patients need to bring when they come to the ostomy clinic?

  • Bring a list of any ostomy related questions to facilitate the discussion.
  • Bring one complete ostomy pouching system change to allow the ostomy nurse to see all of your pouching system items.
  • Consider how many times in a day you empty your pouch and how many days you currently wear your pouching system.

This information will be useful for the ostomy nurse as she assesses your progress.

Meet Our Ostomy Nurses

You can schedule an appointment with our ostomy nurses even if you did not have your surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. If you signed up to use MyChart, you can contact your ostomy nurse using the MyChart App.

Laura Williamson, MSN, RN, CWON, AGCNS-BC is a board certified clinical nurse specialist, and has over 14 years of experience as a wound and ostomy nurse. She maintains her certification in wound/ostomy care from the WOCNCB. Laura works in both inpatient and outpatient settings helping patients with wounds, those considering ostomy surgeries, and those that have had ostomy surgery and need help adapting to living with a stoma.

Laura is the facilitator for the ostomy support group here at the University of Chicago Medicine. She is the current president of the Northern Illinois Affiliate of the WOCN, and she was a poster presenter at the 49th Annual WOCN Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a published author in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing.

Laura believes strongly in patient advocacy, diversity and inclusion, and the importance of addressing the challenges of health equity and inequality.

Laura Williamson can be reached directly at

Michele Kaplon-Jones, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN is an advanced practice nurse in ostomy care services working in conjunction with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colorectal Surgery and Urology Departments managing the needs of patients with fecal and urinary diversions. She is masters prepared as an Adult Nurse Practitioner and is certified by the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurses Certification Board for over 18 years. Her more than 27 years’ experience as a nurse ranges from gerontological rehabilitation, long-term care administration, occupational injury case management, home health, hospice and hematology-oncology. She also has facilitated an ostomy support group affiliated with the United Ostomy Association of America in Northwest Indiana over the past eight years.

Request an Appointment

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-888-824-0200. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


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