AANA Foundation Logo


Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award 

Rita L. LeBlancThe 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.

2018 Award 

Naden-Semba, POYThe Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award represents the spirit of Ms. LeBlanc and is presented to an individual who has gone beyond the call of duty as a supporter of the AANA Foundation and other philanthropic organizations. The recipient of the 2018 Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award is Robin Naden-Semba, MS, MPH, CRNA. Robin has been a CRNA for 34 years. Robin discovered her passion for nursing after volunteering on a mobile health unit on the West Bank of Israel during her semester abroad in the Middle East. When she returned home from this trip, she was determined to pursue nursing. After receiving her BSN from St. Olaf College, she went on to work in the Adult and Pediatric ICU at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. Robin saw nurses were needed to work in refugee camps; this is where her passion for volunteer work reignited. While completing her Pediatric Practitioner training and earning her Masters in Public Health, she volunteered in Honduras, Guatemala and Belize for medical mission groups. Since 2004, Robin has volunteered with Cure International thirteen times and worked in Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya and Haiti. Robin even volunteered in Haiti right after the earthquake. This lead her into her volunteer work in disaster relief. Robin says her volunteer work is "part of her blood now." Robin's passion and commitment to helping those in need makes her more than deserving of this award.

Previous Philanthropists of the Year

  • 2006 - Rita L. LeBlanc, CRNA
  • 2007 - Mary G. Dudley, MS, CRNA
  • 2008 - Suzanne Brown, BSN, CRNA
  • 2009 - Theresa Culpepper, PhD, CRNA
  • 2010 - Patrick Downey, CRNA
  • 2010 - Joyce Kelly, EdD, CRNA
  • 2011 - Alverna Skoog, BS, CRNA
  • 2012 - Goldie Brangman, CRNA
  • 2013 - Sandra Kilde, EdD, CRNA
  • 2014 - Col. Gina M. Mason, CRNA, U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
  • 2015 - Elizabeth “Betty” Abrams, MS, CRNA
  • 2016 - John T. "Jack" Hitchens, BA, CRNA
  • 2017 - John Bendele, Jr., MS, CRNA

Application materials for the Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year Award.