Welcome to the 2017 Annual Congress!

Welcome to the 2017 Annual Congress! All of us in the AANA family are glad you’re here. In the coming days, you’ll witness firsthand the latest advances in anesthesia; bond with your fellow CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists at bustling social events; and take in the attractions and sites of vibrant Seattle.

During this last year, the AANA has introduced new member benefits, greatly expanded its professional practice resources, and continued to advocate for nurse anesthesia at the state and federal levels. We are currently in the process of developing a new, streamlined website. In February, the AANA Journal debuted new online-only content published in conjunction with each print issue. AANA Connect launched several new communities, making it easier than ever for CRNAs and SRNAs to confer with colleagues. And the State and Federal Government Affairs departments have continued to build relationships with policymakers and stay on the alert for threats to CRNA practice and reimbursement. We’ve faced our fair share of challenges as well, including efforts to attain full practice authority for VA CRNAs and to revise anti-CRNA pain management restrictions established by Medicare administrative contractor Novitas Solutions. I assure you the AANA will never back away from a fight, and I hope you leave the convention with a sense of how hard the AANA is working to advance and protect your profession.

This is a bittersweet Annual Congress for me, because it marks my last time attending as CEO of the AANA. I will be retiring at the end of this month. My years of service to the association have been the most rewarding of my life, but I’m also looking forward to coming back and experiencing the educational content of many future congresses. Please welcome our new CEO, Randall Moore II, DNP, MBA, CRNA, when you see him. The Board of Directors worked with executive search firm Quick Leonard Kieffer to select someone who was an excellent fit to take over leadership of the association, and I know Randy is going to do a phenomenal job.

There’s no wrong way to spend your time here. Enjoy these next few days however works best for you. In addition to educational sessions and special inspirational content like our keynote speaker Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks International, I encourage you to explore surrounding Seattle. Take in the city’s attractions and natural beauty to make the most of your time here. I hope you find the AANA 2017 Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress to be a wonderful experience, and we’ll see you next year in Boston!

Wanda Wilson, PhD, MSN, CRNA