Awards Presented at the Opening Ceremonies

Outstanding contributors to the nurse anesthesia profession were honored with awards Saturday at the 80th AANA Annual Meeting Opening Ceremonies. Recipients were recognized for their exemplary and significant impact on nurse anesthesia. For further information, photos, and acceptance speeches, watch for the online Annual Meeting Supplement in the fall.
Program Director of the Year
The Program Director of the Year recognizes a CRNA who has made a significant impact on a nurse anesthesia educational program. The 2013 award was presented to Alfred Lupien, CRNA, PhD, FAAN, for his "lifetime of service to the profession of nurse anesthesia spans the globe and includes both civilian and military service in the United States Army as a CRNA." Lupien is director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Mount Marty College, Sioux Falls, S.D. His 32-year anesthesia career includes experiences as a clinician, simulation consultant, educator, and director of three nurse anesthesia programs.
Didactic Instructor of the Year
The Didactic Instructor of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the education of student registered nurse anesthetists in the classroom. The 2013 winner is Lemont Kier, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Va., and the senior fellow director of Programs and Courses at the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. The principal author and editor of The Chemistry of Drugs for Nurse Anesthetists, Kier's research and writings have touched and influenced many in the scientific community, particularly those in his own specialty, medicinal chemistry. In addition to teaching chemistry, Kier is now advising several Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice students on their capstone projects.
Clinical Instructor of the Year
The Clinical Instructor of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the teaching of student registered nurse anesthetists in the clinical area. The 2013 awardee is Michael Burns, CRNA,  the chief nurse anesthetist at Phelps County Regional Medical Center, Rolla, Mo., and a lecturer at Webster University. Burns teaches Advanced Pharmacology II & III and Concepts of Anesthesia II, as well as the entire senior review course, which encompasses two semesters. Cited as the number one requested rotation in the program, the clinical experience at Phelps County Regional Medical Center is described as one of the best in Webster University’s nurse anesthesia program. Students are afforded opportunities to complete multiple regional techniques, use many pharmacological agents not common at other locations, and complete a new diagnostic experience.  The diagnostic part of the rotation includes mini internships with pulmonologists, cardiologists, radiologists, and intensivists in order to give the students a perspective beyond the OR which will ultimately allow them to better treat the whole patient.
John F. Garde Researcher of the Year
Established in 1999 by the AANA Foundation, the Researcher of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made significant contribution to the practice of nurse anesthesia through clinical research. The AANA Foundation presented the 2013 Award to Paul Austin, CRNA, PhD, for exceeding "the highest standards of professional excellence in clinical anesthesia practice, leadership, academia, and scientific research." Austin is a well published researcher with over 19 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and his research versatility is evidenced by an array of experience in scientific discovery that includes equipment effectiveness, clinical trials, and educational studies. 
Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year
Each year, the AANA Foundation presents the Philanthropist of the Year Award to an individual who has gone beyond the call of duty as a supporter of the Foundation by donating time, talent, and direct financial support. The Foundation presented the 2013 award to Sandra Kilde, CRNA, EdD,  for generously donating "her time, treasure and talent" to the Foundation. During her term as AANA President in 1981-82, she advocated that the Board of Directors support the formation of the AANA Education and Research Foundation, which later became the AANA Foundation.  She served on the AANA Education and Research Foundation’s first Board of Directors and has supported the Foundation ever since.
Public Relations Recognition Awards
Public Relations Committee Chair Heather Rankin, CRNA, MSN, presented three Public Relations Recognition Awards at the Opening Ceremonies. Now in its 33rd year, the AANA Public Relations Recognition Award was established to recognize outstanding public relations efforts. Entries were judged by members of the AANA Public Relations Committee on the basis of their objectives, execution, and results.
2013 Winners:
  • Best Public Relations Effort by an Individual, Small Group, Organization, or Company not Affiliated with a State Association: Medical University of South Carolina, Anesthesia for Nurses Program, Class of 2014. Among their many objectives was to educate others about the nurse anesthesia profession and promote community involvement.  These goals were accomplished by conducting a food drive, making presentations to high school students, holding a symposium for undergraduate students at the Medical University of South Carolina, and hosting an ice cream social during the open house for their anesthesia program.

  • Best Promotional Effort for National Nurse Anesthetists Week, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association: Misty Jones-Doss, CRNA, and the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Debbie Barber, CRNA, accepted the award for Misty Jones-Doss. Jones-Doss celebrated National Nurse Anesthetist Week by educating more than 1,000 people about nurse anesthesia when she partnered with the Louisville Dare to Care Food Drive and collected non-perishable food throughout the city of Louisville. The Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists organized themselves across 254 counties statewide, most of which are served only by CRNAs, to celebrate National Nurse Anesthetist Week and contact their legislative representative. On Jan. 23, 2013, the Texas House and Senate recognized National Nurse Anesthetists Week, and 85 students and CRNAs visited the state capitol and handed out CRNA information packets to their representatives.

  • Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association: Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists. The Missouri Association spearheaded a campaign that spread information about anesthesia and CRNAs not just all over Missouri, but all around the world. They created a mobile app titled, "Ever Had Gas?,” was created that has been downloaded more than 2,000 times in more than 100 countries.