- Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound Specialist
- Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Center, George Washington University Hospital
Kara Couch graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing (FNP) from Georgetown University in 2002. In 2004, she became a Certified Wound Specialist by the American Board of Wound Management. Her primary wound interests are in amputee care, wound infection and venous ulcers. Currently she works as an NP in the Wound Healing and Limb Preservation Center at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She is an assistant research clinical professor at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University.
Ms. Couch is a current nurse board member of the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders and the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC). Her work on the Alliance includes work on comments on various regulatory issues proposed by CMS and the FDA as well as increasing awareness on the impact of health policy on daily practice. Kara is the liaison for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners to the Alliance. She is an editorial board member of Ostomy-Wound Management and Today’s Wound Clinic. In 2017, she was voted onto the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee of the Amputee Coalition. Teaching residents, medical, nursing and physical therapy students is one of her passions. Kara lectures nationally on various wound topics and is also the primary author or co-author on numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles.
Why I'm InvolvedI first learned about the Alliance from a colleague and mentor, Dr. John Steinberg in 2012. As one progresses in the wound care field, the impact of legislative and regulatory decisions becomes a huge burden on day to day ability to treat patients effectively. I joined the Alliance as the liaison with the American Association for Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Key legislative goals of the AANP, including the ability of nurse practitioners to order diabetic shoe-wear and to certify home health orders, align with collaborating organizations within the Alliance.
After participating in several CMS public meetings and assisting with crafting comments in response to legislative proposals, it is quite clear to me that there is immense value in speaking with one voice. The Alliance succeeds in integrating the goals of interdisciplinary groups with the ultimate goal to improve access to treatment, medical devices and provide evidence-based wound care.
I have been dismayed that many first drafts of local coverage determinations do not reflect current evidence in wound care. The Alliance works extremely diligently to provide thoughtful, patient-centered commentary that is supported by the highest levels of evidence in wound care. With the ever-shifting coverage landscape, I am proud to be a board member of the Alliance and to know that we are positively impacting wound care policy to help our patients.