The Philanthropist of the Year Award, established in 2006 by the AANA Foundation, is presented to an individual who represents the spirit of Ms. LeBlanc and has gone beyond the call of duty as a supporter of the AANA Foundation. The Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year donates time, talent, and direct financial support to the AANA Foundation, as well as other well-deserving organizations. The recipient of this award demonstrates a strong philanthropic spirit, and through his or her charitable actions motivates others to give of themselves.
The recipient of the 2014 Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award is Col. Gina M. Mason, CRNA, U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.). Gina is a strong advocate for the nurse anesthesia profession, a patriot who served her country, and a visionary who teamed with others to build a much-needed animal shelter. As an anesthetist in the United States Army she was honored to take care of the soldiers who protect our freedom. As a staff CRNA at a large multispecialty anesthesia practice she offered a listening ear and provided structured education sessions to build bridges for the future of the profession. As an active member of the Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists, including State President, she spent time annually lobbying legislators for practice rights. A recent accomplishment includes her work with a small group of individuals to raise funds and open Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter which has taken in and found homes for over 1,000 animals. Gina Mason is a generous and dedicated role model.
Previous Philanthropists of the Year
2006 - Rita L. LeBlanc, CRNA
2007 - Mary G. Dudley, CRNA, MS
2008 - Suzanne Brown, CRNA, BSN
2009 - Theresa Culpepper, CRNA, PhD
2010 - Patrick Downey, CRNA
2010 - Joyce Kelly, CRNA, EdD
2011 - Alverna Skoog, CRNA, BS
2012 - Goldie Brangman, CRNA
2013 - Sandra Kilde, CRNA, EdD
Application materials for the Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award.