Awards Presented at the Opening Ceremonies

The Annual Congress is traditionally a time for honoring the accomplishments of CRNAs and others whose contributions have helped advance nurse anesthesia education, advocacy, practice, public relations, and humanitarian concerns. At yesterday’s Opening Ceremonies, the association bestowed several awards to CRNAs who have valuably contributed to the profession.

 

Program Director of the Year Award

Bernadette Henrichs, PhD, CRNA, CCRN, was awarded the Program Director of the Year Award.

A CRNA for 23 years, Henrichs is a leader in nurse anesthesia education. She has published multiple studies on the use of simulation for teaching. Her research on the topic of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging for neurosurgery and obstructive sleep apnea has been used for continuing education credit by the AANA Journal. Most recently, she co-authored the second edition of “A Resource for Nurse Anesthesia Educators,” published by the AANA. Henrichs is the program director for the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Program, which she started in 2004.

The Program Director of the Year Award, established in 1991, is presented to a CRNA who has made a significant contribution as a program director to the educational process of student nurse anesthetists. The award recognizes the commitment of individuals to the profession of nurse anesthesia and to the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesia and result in high-quality patient care.

 

Didactic Instructor of the Year Award

The Didactic Instructor of the Year, established in 1991, is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the education of student nurse anesthetists in the classroom. This year, Patrick Moss, DNAP, CRNA, was the recipient.

A CRNA for nearly 20 years, Moss’s innovation in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia techniques led to a partnership between Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) and Halyard Health, formally Kimberly-Clark Health Care, a medical technology company. The two launched the nation’s first peer-to-peer CRNA Center of Excellence (COE) housed within MTSA’s school of nurse anesthesia. Moss currently functions as the Regional Vice President for LifeLinc Anesthesia where he focuses on leadership, management, consultation, and education throughout various LifeLinc affiliated sites. In addition, he serves as a Consultant and the Clinical Liaison for MTSA/AANA’s Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship.

 

Clinical Instructor of the Year Award

The Clinical Instructor of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the teaching of nurse anesthesia students in the clinical area. This year’s award was bestowed upon Grace Simpson, MSN, CRNA.

A CRNA for more than 20 years, Simpson has been described as the consummate educator. Simpson is responsible for providing nurse anesthesia students with hands-on experience in the operating room. In addition, stimulating the students critical thinking skills and custom teaching plans for each student. Simpson is a staff nurse anesthetist and clinical instructor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

 

PR Award Winners

PR Awards are given out every year to organizations that expand the influence and knowledge of the nurse anesthesia profession through various public relations efforts. Five types of PR Award winners were announced at this year’s Opening Ceremonies.

Best overall public relations effort for the past year, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association: Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Best public relations effort by a small state association (small state association as defined by the Ad Hoc State Organizational Development Committee): Hawaii Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Best promotional effort for National CRNA Week, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association: Mississippi Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Best public relations effort by an individual, small group, organization, or company not affiliated with a state association: Memphis Student Nurse Anesthetist Foundation

Best use of “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today” campaign to promote the nurse anesthesia profession by an individual, organization, or state association: Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists

 

John F. Garde Researcher of the Year

This year’s John F. Garde Researcher of the Year was presented to the AANA Foundation Closed Claim Research Team for its rigorous qualitative analysis that has enriched the team’s original research into insurance claims where CRNAs were involved. Since its inception, the Closed Claim Research Team has produced over 100 presentations, 25 posters, and 10 published articles addressing anesthesia adverse outcomes.

 

Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award

John Bendele, Jr., MS, CRNA, of California, Ky., received the Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award. Bendele is a longtime supporter of the AANA Foundation and the nurse anesthesia profession. He has served as a CRNA in the Navy, taught nurse anesthesia students at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and volunteered in Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Vietnam, Gaza, and Belize. Bendele’s passion as a Navy CRNA and an overseas volunteer anesthesia provider exemplifies his true dedication to giving to others beyond his generosity to the AANA Foundation.

The award is presented to an individual who has gone beyond the call of duty as a supporter of the AANA Foundation by donating time, talent, and direct financial support. The recipient demonstrates a strong philanthropic spirit, and his or her actions motivate others to give of themselves.

 

Advocate of the Year Award

The 2017 Advocate of the Year recipient is Garalynn Tomas, MEd, CRNA. Her passion and enthusiasm for volunteerism and anesthesia stands out, and her advocacy work has positively affected her fellow CRNAs and her patients.

This award is presented to an AANA Foundation Advocate for outstanding commitment to the nurse anesthesia profession through individual support to the AANA Foundation and also encouragement of others to do the same.

 

Janice Drake Humanitarian Award

The 2017 Janice Drake Humanitarian Award recipient is Brian Ryder, CRNA. As a student at University of Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Hospital, Ryder began his love for volunteering at free medical clinics. After his anesthesia training at Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, Pa., he and his family moved to Utah. After the move, Ryder found Operation Smile, which has taken him on 25 missions all over the world to administer anesthesia for pediatric cleft lip and palate surgery.

The Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award is presented to a CRNA who volunteers and provides anesthesia, education, and training in needy areas of the United States and overseas.