Information About/For State Peer Advisors

State Peer Advisors (SPA)

SPAs are volunteers appointed to participate in the AANA peer support network, which is led by the Peer Assistance Advisors Committee (PAAC).  SPAs respond to helpline calls and provide referrals for finding help. The SPA role also includes building awareness within the state association of the peer support available and assists with education to encourage professional and personal well-being and to prevent substance misuse and chemical dependency (occupational risks for anesthesia professionals). 
 

 Interested in volunteering to be a SPA?

 
Process for appointment:  
  • Interested individuals can be recommended by state association leadership or self-request (SPA application available online or call 847/655-1114 to request). 
  • The PAAC Regional Advisor for the applicant’s state (link to listing) will interview and vet candidates for full PAAC review and endorsement by state association president.
  • Once appointment is secured, orientation will include information needed for the SPA volunteer role and mentoring by the Regional Advisor. 
  • Each state should have a minimum of one SPA.  In the event a SPA is not appointed, the PAAC Regional Advisor will fulfill the position and assist in seeking a SPA for that state. 
Criteria for SPA appointment:
  • Interest, time, and commitment to ongoing work of the peer assistance advocacy program
  • Recovery status:
    • Individuals in recovery are required to have:
      • Continuous sobriety that is greater or equal to 3 years (5 years preferred)
      • Active participation in the Anesthetists in Recovery (AIR) community 
    • Individuals not in recovery must:
      • Be conversant with the principals and resources of recovery
  • Current AANA Membership – active, inactive, or retired status and be knowledgeable of the Association’s philosophy, purpose, and goals for practitioner wellness.
  • Ability to:
    • Comprehend the challenges to the CRNA with impairment issues
    • Manage difficult conversations and crisis situations (helpline calls, personal encounters, referrals, departmental conflicts, etc.) and maintain confidentiality.
    • Participate in state association activities, such as engagement with state members by attending state association meetings or coordinate with another member to outreach on wellness and chemical dependency educational topics, encourage AIR meetings, and provide resource information personally or by engaging others to Create a State Health and Wellness Exhibit. 
    • Familiarity with external groups who advocate and support education, research, treatment, and recovery from the disease of dependency and addiction.  Working knowledge of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) principles and resources, or other fellowship groups
SPA Documents:
 

 Volunteer History

 

"The AANA is a stellar organization, that cares for its members as well as the public," observes Diana Quinlan, CRNA, MA, in the August 2009 AANA Journal article titled "Peer Assistance Reaches its 25th Year."  She continues:

"The investment made to assist the members through the Ad Hoc Committee on Chemical Dependency, the peer assistance advisors and the wellness program demonstrate the role of advocacy over the last quarter century.  The peer assistance website and the products that have been produced are referenced by healthcare providers in the United States and beyond.  No other nursing organization has been this committed to this cause, or as effective.  As we review our history, it is important to thank those who have dedicated many years to helping their colleagues."   

 

 

 Experienced SPAs

 
​Interested in volunteering to be part of the Peer Assistance Advisors Committee?  See more information about the position and application process; yearly deadline for application is May 1.