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Official news from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Healthcare Advocate Recognized for Commitment to Anesthesia by Professional Association

  • Apr 20, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2018
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Mary O'Brien, EJD, MSN, CRNA, ARNPPark Ridge, Illinois – Mary O’Brien, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and resident of Swisher, Iowa, received the 2018 Daniel F. Vigness Federal Political Director of the Year Award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) during the AANA’s Mid-Year Assembly held in Washington, D.C. O’Brien is the 17th recipient of the award. 

The Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director of the Year Award was established in 2001 by the AANA Board of Directors to acknowledge the CRNA who makes the greatest strides in advancing the AANA’s federal healthcare agenda through grassroots political activities as a Federal Political Director. A CRNA for nearly 30 years, Daniel D. Vigness, MS, CRNA, was the first recipient of the Federal Political Director of the Year Award. A South Dakota native, Vigness lost his battle with cancer in 2013.

O’Brien, EJD, MSN, CRNA, ARNP, is currently a staff nurse anesthetist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, in Iowa City. “It is such an honor to be selected for this award. I wish to thank the members of the AANA board of directors and the many CRNAs across the country for taking the time to mentor and support me over the years as I have worked to advance our profession,” said O’Brien. “Dan was a friend and gave me the best sage advice as a new CRNA, and I am proud to have my name alongside his for this award.”

A nurse anesthetist for more than 15 years, O’Brien is well known to local, state, and federal legislators for her political involvement. Her efforts have helped make the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists a well-known healthcare organization in the state of Iowa. 

O’Brien received her master’s degree in nurse anesthesia and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.  She also graduated from Allen Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Waterloo, Iowa. In addition, she earned her Executive Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School in Los Angeles, California.

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