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Awards Presented at the Opening Ceremonies

Awards honoring outstanding contributors to the nurse anesthesia profession were presented to recipients at the 79th Annual AANA Meeting Opening Ceremonies on Sunday. The following awardees 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, to be published this fall.

Program Director of the Year

Established in 1991, the Program Director of the Year Award honors a CRNA who has made a significant contribution as a program director to the educational process of student nurse anesthetists. The 2012 Program Director of the Year is Bette Wildgust, CRNA, MS, MSN. Wildgust is program administrator at Crozer Chester Medical Center/Villanova University, Villanova Nurse Anesthesia Program in Upland, Pa.  A current member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, Wildgust is the chair of the AANA Foundation Board of Trustees and has a long history of service to the AANA, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs, and the AANA Foundation.

Didactic Instructor of the Year

The Didactic Instructor of the Year Award was established in 1991 to honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to the education of student nurse anesthetists in the classroom. This year's winner is Lisa Carney Anderson, MD. Carney is a lecturer in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, and the Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota located in Minneapolis.

Clinical Instructor of the Year

This year, and for the first time ever, the Clinical Instructor of the Year Award was shared by four recipients: Raymond Brezinski, CRNA; Walter Hand, CRNA, DNSc; Michael Kapp, CRNA; and John White, CRNA, BSN. Called the “anesthesia dream team” by their students, the four recipients from Performance Anesthesia are independent and solo practitioners who provide obstetrical anesthesia in the labor and delivery ward at Womack Army Hospital in Fayetteville, N.C.  They collectively offer 100 years of clinical anesthesia experience and have actively contributed to the clinical education of more than 1,000 nurse anesthesia students.

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 2012 John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award to Col. Bruce Schoneboom, CRNA, PhD, ANC, USA, FAAN. Recently installed as the Commander of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Col. Schoneboom’s expansive array of scientific discovery and methodology includes neurobehavior, neuroanatomy, virology, molecular biology, animal studies, and clinical trials.

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 2012 winner is AANA Past President and AANA Foundation Friends for Life Charter Member Goldie Brangman, CRNA.  The founder of the Harlem School of Anesthesia for Nurses, Brangman selflessly and tirelessly advocated for disadvantaged and minority anesthesthesia students. She began her charitable giving with the Red Cross in 1940 as a student nurse and continues her service as a Red Cross Volunteer in Honolulu three days a week.  AANA Treasurer Henry Talley V, CRNA, PhD, MSN, MS, LTC(ret)  accepted the award on her behalf.

Public Relations Recognition Awards

Catherine Kinsey, RN, student representative to the Public Relations Committee presented four Public Relations Recognition Awards at the Opening Ceremonies. Now in its 32nd 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.

2012 Winners

  • Best public relations effort by a small state association: Maine
  • Best public relations effort by an individual, small group, organization, or company not affiliated with a state association: Hospital of Saint Raphael School of Nurse Anesthesia
  • Best promotional effort for National Nurse Anesthetists Week, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association:  Pennsylvannia Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • Best overall public relations effort for the past year, to be awarded to an individual, organization, or state association: Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists