Public Relations Recognition Awards - 2017 Entries

Below are listed the 15 entries AANA received for the Public Relations Recognition Awards in five categories. All entries are listed. Winning entries were selected by the AANA Communications Committee at their September meeting, and are noted as the winning entry.


West Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists​ (WVANA)

WVANA participated in National CRNA Week 2017 with the objectives of announcing and celebrating the week in West Virginia, letting CRNAs know they are appreciated, and to make the public aware of the nurse anesthesia profession. WVANA contacted local TV news station, WBOY, about doing a story on CRNAs. They also placed an article in a local paper, and rented billboards.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, and Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week.

Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists (WANA)

WANA members educated and informed the public and healthcare community about the potential impact of CRNAs on the modern healthcare system at meetings and events throughout the year. During National CRNA Week, local mayors issued proclamations for National CRNA Week. Advocacy campaigns in Olympia on State Legislative Day and in Washington, D.C., by WANA members and leaders were effective and well received by government leaders. WANA's Spring Meeting set records for both attendance and PAC donations. WANA members also increased the goodwill within and beyond the local hospital communities through their community involvement.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, and Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week.

Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MeANA)
WINNER - Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year

MeANA's generous donation earned its membership Silver Status by the Travis Mills Foundation. The contribution will be posted on the Travis Mills Foundation website for one year. CRNA Kristie Hoch appeared on "Voice of Maine" - a statewide radio broadcast. CRNAs Tom Nolan and Bruce Rioux published editorials in the two largest Maine newspapers, making the public aware of the critical role CRNAs and APRNs play in serving veterans throughout the state. Lectures and interpersonal interactions helped foster new relationships with nursing and medical colleagues. Dr. Corriveau presented a talk on pain management to the Maine Chapter of the College of Surgeons, and many physicians asked him to come to their hospitals to further discuss alternative pain management strategies. University of Maine students requested a return visit after a presentation at the first Annual Student Nurse's Career Fair at the main campus. During Veterans' Stand Down Day, veterans throughout the state were appreciative of CRNAs' efforts to help educate and navigate them through the various resources available. The governor of Maine passed Legislative bill LD 1166 that will allow independent practice for CRNAs practicing in rural and critical care hospitals, effective 90 days after June 13, 2017.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week, and Best use of "CRNAS: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today" Campaign to Promote te Nurse Anesthesia Profession. 

Hawaii Association of Nurse Anesthetists (HANA)
​WINNER - Best Public Relations Effort by a Small State Association

New branding efforts revitalized the HANA image and how it is perceived by members and the public. New logos were created to represent the organization in a professional manner; a new website was established to unite membership and educate the public on HANA's role in advocating for the practice of nurse anesthesia; and a social media presence was established to disseminate information to members and the public.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, Best Public Relations Effort by a Small State Association, Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)

A multi-pronged PR effort aspired to describe the role and number of CRNAs within the U.S. as well as MSKCC, explain the education requirements of CRNAs, as well as the history, and show CRNAs's involvement in all elements of anesthesia care. A social media campaign reached both employees and the broader Memorial Sloan-Kettering community. A video describing the role of CRNAs and celebrating the accomplishments of CRNAs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering was posted to the facility's intranet where it could be viewed by 15,000 employees across eight different care sites and two states. A webpage was also created on the intranet for all employees to access and learn more about CRNAs. MSKCC's Facebook page shared CRNA Week and received 843 likes, 29 comments and 56 shares. The winner of the CRNA of the Year award was also shared, along with a profile, and received 300 likes, 54 comments, and 16 shares. Sharing the week on Instagram received 441 likes and four comments. CRNA of the Year received 206 likes and seven comments on Instagram.

Submitted for Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week, and Best Public Relations Effort by an Individual, Small Group, Organization or Company Not Affiliated with a State Association.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nurse Anesthetists

Vanderbilt University's CRNAs wanted to make a difference outside of their facility to serve in various ways in the community. They collected gently used jeans and delivered them to a Teen Dream Center that serves underprivileged teensagers in the afternoons and on weekends. They restocked the food pantry at a women's shelter; collected clothing items for a rescue mission shelter; collected toiletry and kitchen items for Bridges Women and Children Shelter. For Christmas, they collected funds and purchased four bicycles with helmets for children at a women's shelter. Also, each Mom received a large box with their name on it with items they could use. One of the CRNAs dressed up like an elf and picked up the residents of the shelter in a passenger van that they rented. The mother and neighbor of one of the CRNAs dressed up like Santa and Mrs. Claus and helped deliver the packages. Carols were sung between the activities and lunch was provided.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year and Best Use of "CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today" Campaign to Promote the Nurse Anesthesia Profession.

Oklahoma Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Digital billboards were rented in two of Oklahoma's largest cities, with seven strategic locations in each city. Facebook advertisements were also placed for the entire CRNA Week. At the Level 1 Trauma Center University Hospital, hundreds of visitors viewed posters and table tents, and also picked up CRNA pens. Posters were placed by each busy location in the hospital: elevators, registration and cafeteria. Table tents were in all the waiting rooms. CRNA pens were at information desks, cash registers, etc.

Submitted for Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week, and Best Use of "CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today" Campaign to Promote the Nurse Anesthesia Profession. 

Mississippi Association of Nurse Anesthetists
​WINNER - Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week

The association wished to increase awareness of CRNAs in the state of Mississippi. The Daily Effective Circulation impressions of our selected sites ranged from 21,000-46,000 impressions per day, giving a two-week total of 1,792,000 impressions. Facebook likes and shares increased. Press releases were published in local newspapers.

Submitted for Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week. 

Memphis Student Nurse Anesthetist Foundation (MSNAF)
​WINNER - Best public relations effort by an individual, small group, organization, or company not affiliated with a state association

Community service and community outreach activities included paticipation in community health fairs and health screenings, providing guest speakers to area colleges and high schools to promote the CRNA profession, and providing mentors to new student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) in the Memphis area. In addition, MSNAF developed an SRNA scholarship program, as well as an annual continuing education seminar for CRNAs.

The nurse anesthesia profession and the CRNA's role in healthcare was introduced to more than 600 nursing students in the Memphis area, and more than 200 high school students interested in health-related professions. More than 700 children from low-income families were given free health assessments when MSNAF members supposrted Memphis' largest back-to-school health fair. MSNAF's scholarship program, which began in 2014, doubled its offerings and awarded two scholarships to eligible member SRNAs. AANA-approved continuing education was delivered to attendees of MSNAF's educational weekend on May 12 and May 13, 2017. Also, more than 250 soft-shell jackets were purchased by CRNAs, SRNAs, RNs, physicians and other healthcare professionals across the U.S. to raise money for the MSNAF's SRNA scholarship endowment.

Submitted for Best Public Relations Effort by an Individual, Small Group, Organization, or Company Not Affiliated with a State Association. 

Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TXANA)
​WINNER - Best Use of "CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today" Campaign to Promote the Nurse Anesthesia Profession

The Texas association was determined to advertise who CRNAs are and what they do over the course of the first half of 2017. They developed a "pre-roll" YouTube video. A pre-roll video must be watched for a minimum of five seconds before they can be skipped. The 12-second video, which ran from March 1-May 31, aired 11,900 times and was watched in its entirety 2,602 times.

TXANA contracted with the Texas Tribune to advertise on behalf of Texas CRNAs for the entire calendar year. In addition to distribution of a daily online newspaper, email blasts are sent out to members (many of which are lawmakers, staffers, and legislative aides) each morning. They received comments from several lawmakers acknowledging they had seen the ads.

TXANA partnered with the Lubbock Avalanche Journal to advertise on behalf of CRNAs using a program called Engine 212, which is linked to a Google delivery system. The program offers the ability to advertise throughout a state (newspapers, multiple social media sites, local blogs, mobile sites, YouTube videos, television and radio websites) using a single vendor. A statewide CRNA Week campaign ran from January 1-28, 2017. During January, 1.64 million impressions/views were delivered throughout the state of Texas. A second ad used the tagline "CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today." Results for both ads delivered 2,654,068 impressions, with 11,383 clicks for a composite click-through rate of 0.43 percent.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year; Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week; and Best Use of "CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today" Campaign to Promote the Nurse Anesthesia Profession.

Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists (WIANA)

WIANA ran a CRNA spotlight campaign as part of National CRNA Week. CRNAs in various practice settings were spotlighted on the WIANA Facebook page and shared with key state legislators during National CRNA Week. They also posted Facebook ads, and its Facebook page likes increased from 387 to more than 1,300 during this campaign. The Wisconsin CRNA message also spread across the airwaves with an ad on Wisconsin Public Radio during National CRNA Week, using the AANA campaign ("CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today"). WPR reaches out to 455,000 listeners each week.

WIANA also performed legislator, healthcare administrator, membership and public outreach from September 2016 through the summer of 2017. Membership outreach included a semiannual newsletter informing members of the association's activities and keeping membership aware and engaged with CRNA events, issues and celebrations. The public outreach included volunteering their support for more than 1,200 Wisconsin athletes by staffing water stations at the Madison Marathon in November 2016. WIANA's support of the marathon raised money for the Madison Chapter of My Team Triumph.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year; Best Promotional Effort for National Nurse Anesthetists Week; Best Public Relations Effort by an Individual, Small Group, Organization, or Company Not Affiliated with a State Association; and Best use of “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today” Campaign to Promote the Nurse Anesthesia Profession.

Connecticut Association of Nurse Anesthetists (CANA)

The Connecticut association, in an effort to bring the Connecticut nurse anesthesia community together in a social setting, expose members to the association and raise money for a good cause, hosted "CANA with Cocktails" at a beer garden restaurant on January 28. Around 100 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) attended, roughly 20 percent of the state membership. A photo booth was set up with costumes. The game Large Jenga was available to play. Hors d'oeuvres were served. The event was free with a suggested donation to the AANA Foundation's Rise Above campaign—$1,000 was raised.

Submitted for Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week.

North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA)

NCANA worked to garner support for state legislation introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly to modernize nursing practice and to clarify CRNA practice. The association also worked to provide education to legislators and the public about the practice of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in North Carolina.

Activities included partnering with the North Carolina Nurses Association; contracting with a public relations firm; providing updates on the NCANA website; holding weekly phone conferences; making weekly legislative visits by members; creating a microsite dedicated to garnering support for the legislation; performing phone polling in targeted legislative districts; writing and publishing letters to the editor; securing targeted radio spots, digital ads and video; and passing out educational handouts to legislators.

HB88 and SB73 gained significant traction and bipartisan support in the General Assembly. The bills are still active and lobbying efforts will continue through the end of the legislative session next year. A public poll of 500 registered voters was conducted; 73 percent of those surveyed supported the legislation to increase healthcare access by removing barriers to CRNA practice in North Carolina.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year.

Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA)

The Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists used National CRNA Week in late January to launch a much larger, monthlong, multimedia, statewide campaign to celebrate the work of nurse anesthetists and inform residents about the role of the profession in providing safe, affordable healthcare.

The campaign included a mix of paid media, earned media and social media. Some of the social media posts were liked and shared so much that the total number of impressions set records for PANA engagement. A new feature included digital ads in high-density CRNA areas. The goal was to pass professional designation legislation SB274, and it succeeded. The measure received committee approval on February 8, during PANA's campaign, and passed the Senate on March 22.

Submitted for Best Overall Public Relations Effort for the Past Year, and Best Promotional Effort for National CRNA Week. 

Delaware Association of Nurse Anesthetists (DANA)

The Delaware Association of Nurse Anesthetists organized a group "build day" in coordination with Habitat for Humanity. This involved organizing 14 student and member volunteers for a full day of construction labor. The builders included DANA CRNAs from Delaware hospitals, DANA board members, and SRNAs from two different universities. In addition, DANA made a financial contribution for building materials. Five homes were created, three of which the DANA crew worked on. The DANA team re-hung doors, fitted door and window moldings, and installed baseboards and windowsills. Others cleaned and painted ceilings, walls and moldings.

The project provided DANA wth name recognition in the community and also the opportunity to improve the community members' health by building safe and affordable housing for the most vulnerable neighbors. It also instilled a sense of belonging and pride in the community

Submitted for Best Public Relations Effort by a Small State Association.