Opening Ceremonies Bring Color and Excitement to #AANA2017

Beginning with an opening processing led by Chinese Lion Dancers and ending with a parade to the Exhibit Hall led by a marching band, the 2017 Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, Sept. 10, brought a buoyant, enthusiastic flavor to the AANA Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress.

This year’s ceremonies began by honoring AANA tradition, with a processional of 2017 AANA award winners, former presidents, AANA Foundation Friends for Life, state association presidents, the 2017  AANA Board of Directors, and, finally, 2017 President Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA. The program continued along traditional lines with presentation of colors by the Seattle Firefighters Honor Guard and a rousing performance of the national anthem by Lyda Shambo, DNP, CRNA.

AANA Professional Development Committee Chair Jan Setnor, MSN, CRNA, welcomed the Opening Ceremonies audience with some exciting news: The 2017 Nurse Anesthesia Congress is the “highest attended conference that we have had in a long time.” She noted some of the many new features and activities of this year’s congress, including:

  • -The Saturday night Welcome Reception.
  • -More continuing education credit offerings than ever before.
  • -The Connect Lounge in the Exhibit Hall, which offers attendees a place to network with peers, meet AANA’s new CEO, view the social media hub, and get their phones charged.
  • -The Zen Den, which features seated massage stations and will offer seated yoga on Monday and Tuesday morning.

Before turning the microphone to President Nimmo, Setnor recognized the 2017 AANA Program Committee: Jose Castillo III, MS, CRNA, ARNP; Jodie Emerson, MS, CRNA; Michael Greco, DNP, CRNA; Donna Jasinski, PhD, CRNA; Danette Plautz, MSN, CRNA; Juliya Soldyshev, DNP, MBA, MS, CRNA; and Timothy White, CRNA.


The Opening Ceremonies is an opportunity to celebrate the profession, enjoy entertainment from local groups, and honor individuals who advanced the profession of nurse anesthesia. Highlights from the ceremonies included:

  • -An invitation from International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists President Jackie Rowles, accompanied by a video, to attend the World Congress of Nurse Anesthetists in Budapest, Hungary, June 18-20, 2018.
  • Awards presented to the Clinical Instructor of the Year, Didactic Instructor of the Year, Program Director of the Year, John F. Garde Researcher of the Year, Janice Drake Humanitarian of the Year, Foundation Advocate of the Year, along with the 2017 Public Relations Recognition Awards.
  • -A warm, engaging Keynote Speech by Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks International.
  • -A dance number from Allegro Precision Dance Company, a performance/competition team of pre-professional dancers from Kent, Wash.

Following the Keynote Speech, the Opening Ceremonies came to a rousing close as the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline marching band led the audience to the opening of the Exhibit Hall.