The Opening Ceremonies of the 80th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Aug. 10, built upon the traditions of past Annual Meetings by honoring those special individuals who donated their efforts to advance the whole of the nurse anesthesia profession.
The meeting began with the traditional procession of state presidents, AANA Foundation Friends for Life, award recipients, past presidents, the Board of Directors, and AANA President Janice Izlar, CRNA, DNAP.
Patrick M. Downey, CRNA, Emeritus, delivered the Invocation, and VFW Post 12093 Color Guard presented the Colors of the United States. Heather Amadore sang the national anthem. Izlar followed by thanking CRNAs in the Armed Forces, thanking those in attendance, and wishing those overseas a safe return home.
In the spirit of collaboration that’s been a focus during her term as AANA President, Izlar introduced the following nursing organization representatives in attendance: Angela Mund,CRNA, DNP, executive director, Association of Veteran’s Affairs Nurse Anesthetists; Franklin Shaffer, chief officer, Commission on Graduates Foreign Nursing Schools; Twilla Shrout, president, American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses; Jackie Crosson, vice president/president-elect, American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses; Diedre Walton, president, National Black Nurses Association; Dave Hebert, chief executive officer, American College of Nurse Practitioners.
Izlar took a moment to mention the three companies that came on board as corporate partners in the last year—Merck at the premier level and Baxter and PharMEDium at the elite level.
“After all, we are in the same business—expanding the markets for anesthesia through safe, patient beneficial technologies,” she said. “By working together, both AANA and our corporate partners can better serve and communicate with the nurse anesthesia specialty.”
Betty Horton, CRNA, PhD, FAAN, chair of the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (IFNA) Education Committee, introduced the following IFNA country representatives attending the Annual Meeting: Susan Mary Allision (Canada), Kjersti Viken (Norway), Lorna Calder and Sonia Dormer (Jamaica), and Gye Seon Jeong (Republic of Korea).
Naming Award Winners
An important part of the Opening Ceremonies is honoring the individuals who have advanced the profession. Izlar began by awarding the Program Director of the Year to Alfred Lupien, CRNA, PhD, FAAN. Izlar then presented the Didactic Instructor of the Year Award to Lemont Kier, CRNA, and the Clinical Instructor of the Year Award to Michael Burns, CRNA.
Jack Hitchens, CRNA, chair of the AANA Foundation, was on hand to present the John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award to Paul Austin, CRNA, PhD. Hitchens also presented the Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award to Sandra Kilde, CRNA, EdD. Hitchens also announced that two CRNAs will be honored by the Foundation on Monday night at their recognition event: Advocate of the Year Stephanie May, CRNA, DNAP, and Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award winner Marion Njoroge, CRNA, MS.
Hitchens introduced the seven newest inductees into the “Friends for Life” program—Donald E. Beissel, CRNA, MSNA, LNC; Shawn B. Collins, CRNA, DNP; Marjorie A. Geisz-Everson, CRNA, PhDc; Jimmy R. Kimball, Jr., CRNA; Bradley W. Stelflug, CRNA, MSN, FAAPM; Robert P. Walsh, CRNA; and Gail A. Wiener, CRNA, MA. Read more about the award winners.
The Fab Four, the ultimate Beatles tribute band, supplied classic rock
interludes at the Opening Ceremonies that had everyone on their feet. The band put on an incredibly authentic Beatles performance, with every detail, down to wardrobes, instruments, and mannerisms, accounted for. They took the audience through three distinct periods in Beatles history—their beginnings, their Sgt. Pepper era, and their final days in the mid-70s.
As the Opening Ceremonies came to close, Izlar expressed her appreciation one more time for everyone involved in the Association.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, the members, for your continued support of the AANA. It is your strength and dedication to the profession that makes AANA such a strong organization,” she said.