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Mid-Year Assembly Review

April 18-22, 2015, was the AANA Mid-Year Assembly held at Arlington, VA, and the nation’s Capitol. The Mid-Year Assembly is held every year to educate CRNAs and SRNAs about legislative issues surrounding CRNA practice, to encourage political advocacy, and to meet with legislative representatives.


Kate Fry, Associate Director of Political Affairs, opened Saturday with a discussion on foundational knowledge about federal legislative processes. She shared that the House is like the hot “cup” of legislative affairs with Representatives holding two-year terms while the Senate is like the cool “saucer” meant to serve as steady groundwork over six-year terms.


Robert Gauvin led “Know Your Value as a CRNA,” which covered how to calculate base and time units for billing purposes.  He also strongly suggested that AANA members frequent the Advocacy page on the AANA website for state-specific legislative updates.


Frank Purcell, Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs, demonstrated several role-playing scenarios for first-timers on Capitol Hill.


Thereafter was an expert discussion panel centered on current federal healthcare legislation. Current “asks” were discussed. Participants were encouraged to ask House Representatives to support House Bill HR 1247, which would include CRNAs in the list of APRNs who are seeking full practice authority. Senators are to be asked to support a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to update the Nursing Handbook to recognize all APRNs as full practice providers.


 Sharon Pearce, AANA President, and Bruce Weiner, AANA Treasurer, opened Sunday with the President’s and Treasurer’s Reports, respectively.


Katherine Baicker, health economics professor at Harvard, presented on the many challenges of health reform. She noted that it is theoretically simple to get everyone insured, but that the real challenge is to minimize costs while improving value. She also demonstrated that increased spending for Medicare beneficiaries did not necessarily link to higher quality of care, with some measures even showing lower quality of care.  With the passing of the Affordable Care Act and increased Medicaid utilization, she noted that there has been an increase in primary care utilization, an increase in hospital admissions, and a 40% increase in ED visits.


Amy Showalter, consultant and expert on grassroots advocacy, covered the most effective techniques to communicate with legislators.


Candidates for the AANA Board of Directors presented their position statements to open Monday.


Sean Cavanaugh, Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, covered the Medicare Shared Savings Program and discussed alternative payment structure and service delivery models (i.e. payment rates to reflect quality of care). He also noted that Medicare enrollment was expected to increase by 60% in the next 15-17 years.


Phil Cox and Colm O’Comartun, consultants from the bipartisan 50-State firm, reviewed the distribution of Republican and Democratic seats in Congress. There was also a short debate about the value vs. lack of value of public polling and an overview of the emerging importance of the Hispanic vote.


The Board of Directors Open Forum and Regional breakouts followed.


Finally, on Tuesday, Maryland CRNAs, University of Maryland faculty members and University of Maryland SRNAs gathered at Capitol Hill to encourage dialogue and present legislative “asks” to their respective legislators.

Submitted by: Alice Cho, MANA Student Representative



University of Maryland SRNAs and faculty with AANA president Sharon Pearce.


A Message from the Christa Swanke, MANA Junior Student Ambassador



The 2015 MANA Spring Meeting was quite the success, boasting one of the largest student turnouts in recent memory at 18. Amidst wonderful opportunities to network with future colleagues and vendors, each student had nothing but praise for the spring meeting experience. Audrey Sonin, a University of Maryland SRNA Class of 2017, said of the meeting,


Attending the spring meeting broadened my perspective on the many facets of MANA and how active and influential members are working at the state and federal level. Every CRNA I spoke with offered a different piece of advice or encouragement, which was greatly appreciated. The diverse selection of presentations was enriching, especially the evidence-based research to support the interventions presented. Thank you!


The students and I would like to thank all of those who sponsored a student! Every one of the students who attended the conference received a sponsorship, for which we are extremely grateful. Given SRNAs’ financial stress, these sponsorships provide students with the otherwise impossible opportunity to experience the meeting, and the ability to become active in the Maryland CRNA community.

Despite our loss to the CRNAs in the trivia game, “So You Think You’re as Smart as an SRNA,” the students look forward to attending future MANA events and keeping the spirit of competition alive; watch out, CRNAs, you may not be so lucky next time!

Christa Swanke
MANA Junior Student Ambassador



A Message from the Alice Cho, MANA Student Representative


In celebration of CRNA week, Jan. 25-31, 2015, a group of University of Maryland (UMD) Nurse Anesthesia students held a casual dinner talk at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) to speak with undergraduates about nurse anesthesia.

Held at JHUSON's Student House, Alexander Halstead (UMD junior), Promise Olomo (UMD junior), and Alice Cho (UMD senior) met 15 undergraduates to have a lively and invested discussion about the merits and challenges of nurse anesthesia. Discussion topics included:

  • What nurse anesthetists do and in what practice areas

  • Personal reasons and journeys in deciding on nurse anesthesia as a profession

  • Application Requirements

  • MSN vs. DNP curriculums

  • Legislative concerns regarding the field

  • Practice models across institutions

  • And more...

There was absolutely great enthusiasm for the event. The students expressed their gratitude several times and UMD nurse anesthesia students were invited to come again as there more were than 15 other students who had to be waitlisted for the event. Several undergraduates stayed an extra hour after the talk to ask their own personal questions. UMD students shared their contact information with everyone in attendance, so that our students could continue to serve as resources for those who were seriously considering our amazing field.

We are hoping that this event will be repeated not just at JHUSON, but also at other Maryland community colleges and four-year universities within the year, for the purpose of encouraging the next generation of nurse anesthesia students and leaders.

I would like to extend a big “thank you” to the students who volunteered as speakers for their time, commitment, and passion. The event could not have been nearly as successfully without each individual's specific contribution and energy.

A special “thank you,” as well, to JHUSON, which generously donated dinner for all meeting participants.



From left to right: Promise Olomo, Alice Cho, Alexander Halstead. Not Pictured: Shehzin Mozammel Palad, who helped plan the event but could not attend



A Message from the University of Maryland SRNA Class of 2014


November 24, 2014





A Message from the MANA Student Representative


April 23, 2014

Hello Everyone,

The 2014 MANA Spring Meeting was likely the best one yet!  This year, we were privileged to have 16 students from the University of Maryland to attend and every student was sponsored! On behalf of the students who attended, I’d like to extent a great big ‘Thank you!’ to each and every CRNA who sponsored a student. We truly appreciate your generosity and please know that your contribution has not gone unnoticed. Many of you are also our preceptors at the various clinical sites, and we truly thank you for imparting your hard earned knowledge and wisdom. It is our plan to pay it forward by sponsoring and precepting in the future. I hope to see even more students at the next meeting!

From left to right: Emmanuel Ibhaze, Selamawite Ekubegzie, Susan Njenga, Andrea Infantino, Dania Northcutt, Lincy Koodaly, Seenia Mathew, Tushana Fowlin, Grace Anderson, Victoria Ladele, Johnny Gayden, and Becky Arand


Student Comments


Grace “Gracie” Anderson: “The conference was very informative on the current practice of CRNAs in Maryland. The clinical experts presented my fellow students and me with a depth of exposure and knowledge on selected topics in an environment outside of the classroom.”

Lincy Koodaly
: “It was a great opportunity for me to meet other CRNAs, and it was very exciting to see the strength and unity and involvement of all the members. I got some great insight into the challenges we face as a profession. I am grateful to those who sponsored the students. I got a sense of nurturing provided for the SRNAs by the CRNAs and I’m looking forward to similar opportunities in the future.”

Victoria Ladele
: "It was refreshing and inspiring to see various CRNAS speak on the plethora of issues we currently face that could potentially affect the security of our profession. Attending the MANA conference has given me the zeal to get involved—and recognize my contribution—even as a student.”


Nicaragua Medical Missions Trip


This semester, Sr. SRNA Tushana Fowlin had the distinct privilege to undertake a medical mission trip to Nicaragua with the notable John Bing, CRNA. Upon her return, she gave a presentation to the class and had the following comments:

“Providing anesthesia in Juigalpo, Nicaraugua was amazing. Being able to experience first-hand the trials and tribulations of providing quality anesthesia in a third world country was eye-opening. In Nicaragua, I learned how to be resourceful, develop an understanding of my environment and the capabilities of others, as well as exhibit empathy for my patient population.”

—Tushana Fowlin, Sr. SRNA


Mid-Year Assembly (MYA)




From left to right: Johnny Gayden, Johanna Anthony, Ashley Pope, Tushana Fowlin, Dennis Bless AANA President, Dr. Donna Jasinski, Susan Njgenda, Lorraine Anthony, Victoria Ladele

Our first Mid-Year Assembly (MYA) was an event to remember! We learned so much about the profession and met so many wonderful people. Johanna Anthony is a considering the profession and decided to visit the MYA to see the action firsthand. Ashley Pope, a UPenn SRNA, shared a clinical rotation with my fellow classmates at Shock Trauma. Dennis Bless, AANA President, and Dr. Donna Jasinski, AANA Region 6 Director and Program Director at Georgetown, attended the SRNAdvocate Unplugged session, where they offered employment advice and provided very encouraging words to all of the students present. It was great to see that our future profession’s leadership is invested in our success and has an interest in our opinions.


The visit to Capitol Hill was undoubtedly the summit of the Assembly, as it was our opportunity to make our voices heard and our presence felt. CRNAs and SRNAs from all over the country blanketed the landscape in professional solidarity. It was a proud moment for me, and I look forward to many more MYA’s to come.

Maryland’s team, led by Kelly Petz, Jacqueline Mitchell, Jack Hitchens, Erica Brown, and Kathy Campbell, had the opportunity to meet with staff members of Representatives Andy Harris, C.A. Ruppersberger, and Donna Edwards, to name a few. The focus of our discussions were to:

  1. Protect and Reform Medicare from Threats of Huge SGR Cuts
  2. Promote Competition, Choice and Healthcare Cost Savings by Protecting Provider Nondiscrimination
  3. Ensure Veterans' Access to High Quality Care
  4. Support Patient Access to Quality Care through Nurse Workforce Development Funding

If you are not aware of these issues, please visit the AANA website and educate yourself on how they may impact your future. Remember, this will be your profession, and you make the difference!

I look forward to seeing each of you at the AANA 2014 Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress. Be sure to register soon!


Johnny Gayden, SRNA



January 29, 2014


Hello Fellow Students and Nurse Anesthetists!


What an honor and privilege it is for me to serve as the MANA Student Representative to the Board of Directors. I hope this is the start of a fruitful relationship for us all. I am excited to bring to you the highlights of MANA’s Fall meeting hosted at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, MD. If you missed the event, you missed a wonderful treat! As with all of the MANA meetings I have attended, the MANA upheld its mission: to elevate standards and the standing of nurse anesthetists, increase the quality and availability of anesthesia services, and provide ethical guidance for members


The day started early with a wonderful lecture from Brian Moran concerning IV acetaminophen. Take home message: use it where possible and as early as possible in order to reduce opioid use.


Jessica Switzman, our MANA State Peer Advisor discussed the impact of stress and necessity of wellness in the lives of SRNAs and CRNAs. Additionally, she provided an opportunity for attendees to learn a quick and easy relaxation technique that could be used in between cases. My classmates and I agreed that the benefits from just that one session were immediately apparent. Good job Jessica!


Next Lauren Freedmen, 2012-2013 MANA President, shared with us her experiences with missions work and the need for each of us to become as involved as possible with helping others abroad. After such an inspiring overview, I have further resolved to participate in missions work after I graduate.


Larry Hornsby, a former MANA President and current business owner, discussed the importance of "Evaluating Your Worth” as a parent, sibling, spouse, and CRNA. He brought to us a wealth of knowledge and experience of having worked with top government officials during the many battles that shaped the profession Nurse Anesthesia. He suggests that there is a shifting in the atmosphere as healthcare reform is implemented. Let’s not become complacent in thinking the war has been won.


Matt D’angelo, former Assistant Program Director of University of Maryland’s Nurse Anesthesia Program, gave a very thought provoking presentation concerning "Large Volume Liposuction”. He questions whether or not we are giving enough fluids during the procedure and gave helpful suggestions as to how anesthetists can improve services rendered to these patients.


Donna Jasinski updated us concerning AANA events and the importance of YOUR participation. We have a very satisfying profession because he AANA works so hard to ensure that our voices are heard nationally. When the need arises, be sure you are guilty of writing to your representatives, senators, and other officials who are influential in shaping the profession. Lastly, don’t forget that it is through your PAC contributions that both MANA and AANA are able to continue advocating on your behalf! Remember, if we are not at the table, we’re on the menu.


It ended with a CRNA vs. Student Jeopardy w/ Silent Auction Fundraiser Reception jeopardy game. It is with great pride and enthusiasm to announce that the 2013 Jeopardy winners are…


After an early business meeting and breakfast, Christine Zambricki discussed the changing landscape of insurance reimbursements. Did you know that your business may receive an "assessment” if PQRS measurements aren’t met? She discussed how to be sure this "assessment” works in your favor and not to your detriment.


Bill Howie, presented to us a discussion concerning anesthesia emergencies, their management and prevention strategies. Take home message: Just because you’ve all ways done a particular thing, does not mean that it cannot be improved upon.


Lastly, but far from least, SRNAs Dama Yokefsan and Tom Giannaccini, MANA Student Rep 2012-2013, presented their school projects. Great job and thanks for showing me what is expected of me next year!


Thank you my York College colleagues for once again attending the MANA meeting, it was great meeting you and see again soon!


To the University of Maryland SRNAs, you all are the best! Thank you for your participation. I know that with school and life, we are very busy, but please remember that the profession to which we aspire is shaped by MANA and the AANA. Let’s not take anything for granted. The hard work that others have invested and the process of education that we have endured can be positively or negatively altered with just one vote, letter, or conversation in D.C. or Annapolis. Let YOUR communication be positive for the profession of Nurse Anesthesia. BE ACTIVE! I


look forward to keeping you informed as things move forward. I believe that 2014 will be quite an interesting year for us all. See you at the Spring 2014 Meeting at Doubletree Hotel in Columbia, MD.



Johnny C. Gayden

University of Maryland, Class of 2013

Nurse Anesthesia

MANA Student Representative


P.S. The Maryland SRNAs won the Jeopardy game!



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It is vital that we maintain support for the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) profession throughout the year as issues can arise at any time that will impact the practice. The MANA Political Action Committee (PAC) funds are used to support candidates and improve educational opportunities.

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