AANA Foundation

Advocate of the Year Award

The Advocate of the Year Award, established in 2006 by the AANA Foundation, is presented to an AANA Foundation Advocate for outstanding commitment to the nurse anesthesia profession through both individually supporting the AANA Foundation and also encouraging others to do the same.  

2017 Award 

The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to an AANA Foundation Advocate for outstanding Garalynn Tomascommitment to the nurse anesthesia program through individually supporting the AANA Foundation and encouraging others to do the same. The 2017 Advocate of the Year recipient is Garalynn Tomas, MEd, CRNA. Tomas is the owner of GVT Medical Service Consultants, INC and has worked as a CRNA in a variety of anesthesia care models including an oral surgery office, surgery and GI centers, and hospital systems. She is currently an independent contractor in critical access hospitals and a large community hospital system. As a legal nurse consultant, Tomas has experience as an expert witness in anesthesia litigation. In 2013, she volunteered with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and traveled to Ethiopia to teach regional anesthesia to nurse anesthetists at the Addis Ababa School of Anesthesia. Tomas is a long time, generous Foundation supporter, has been a State Advocate for Ohio since 2012, and serves on the Foundation's RISE Above Steering Committee. Her passion and enthusiasm for volunteerism and anesthesia shines, and her work has positively impacted fellow CRNAs and her patients.

Previous Advocates of the Year

  • 2006 - Dianna Heikkila, CRNA
  • 2007 - Richard Kirschke, BA, CRNA
  • 2008 - Danette Plautz, MSN, CRNA
  • 2009 - Wilma Gillis, CRNA, ARNP
  • 2010 - Vicki Coopmans, PhD, CRNA
  • 2011 - David Schwytzer, BS, CRNA, ARNP
  • 2012 - Celeste Hinzmann, CRNA
  • 2013 - Stephanie May, DNAP, CRNA
  • 2014 - Kathleen Thibeault, MSN, CRNA
  • 2015 - Russell Lynn, MSN, CRNA, APN (posthumously)
  • 2016 - Christina Kloepping, BSN, RN

Application materials for the Advocate of the Year Award.