Making Lemonade: One CRNA's Story of Addiction and Recovery

This video is offered to all CRNAs and student nurse anesthetists with the goal to raise awareness of the need to identify the signs and behaviors of impaired colleagues to get help for substance use disorder (SUD). This Jan Stewart lecture was filmed at the 2014 Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress in Orlando, Fla. Twelve years after Jan Stewart’s death, Anita Bertrand was the first CRNA to reveal addiction to a national audience. Anita's hope for sharing her compelling personal story is to bring greater realization to the reality of addiction and convey a message that provides encouragement for all nurse anesthesia professionals to help others find treatment and recovery; the hijacked addicted brain is not capable of making the necessary lifesaving decisions.  Bertrand recalls the quote from Jan Stewart’s daughter, “We must grant each other permission to save each other.”   

Unfortunately, since the filming of the lecture in 2014, Anita relapsed. According to the Surgeon General's Report, scientific evidence addiction to alcohol or drugs is a chronic brain disease with the potential for recurrence (relapse) and recovery (remission or abstinence). Today Anita continues to work on her overall well-being and sustained recovery.

2016 Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol,Drugs and Health, Chapter 5 on Recovery: The Many Paths to 


 Making Lemonade Video


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​Supported by the AANA Foundation

You can contribute to the AANA Foundation to support the Jan Stewart Memorial Wellness Lecture Series, which provides a topic at each AANA Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress to increase awareness of anesthesia professionals' occupational risk of SUD.

Please designate "Wellness/Jan Stewart Fund" when making your donation.


 Additional Information


​Many of you are aware of the Wearing Masks video series and its impact over the past decades by bringing a personal story of addiction and anesthesia professionals. 

Bertrand's lecture tells a contemporary nurse anesthetist's story and includes aspects on the science of addiction, genetic predisposition, signs and behaviors of an impaired colleague, and guidelines for the treatment and potential reentry to work. Share this with your colleagues and your family - it could save a life. 

For meeting Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program (COA) requirements for nurse anesthesia educational programs, this video can provide an additional resource, especially in combination with the AANA's Wellness and Chemical Dependency in the Nurse Anesthesia Profession modules.

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