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Official news from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Healthcare Advocate Recognized for Commitment to Anesthesia by Professional Association

  • Apr 3, 2019

For immediate release: April 3, 2019
For more information: contact AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill.—Stephen Smith, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and resident of Alpharetta, Ga., received the 2019 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. Smith is the 18th 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. Daniel D. Vigness, MS, CRNA, was the first recipient of the Federal Political Director of the Year Award. A CRNA for nearly 30 years and a South Dakota native, Vigness lost his battle with cancer in 2013.

For more than a decade Smith has led the legislative efforts for the Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (GANA), on the state and federal level.  Smith’s year-long approach to advocacy has helped to ensure access to safe anesthesia care by tirelessly lobbying the Georgia legislature and engaging the CRNAs and nurse anesthesia students in his state to do the same.

“I appreciate the nomination and selection for the Daniel Vigness award; this is truly an honor to be recognized in this manner by my peers,” said Smith. “Advocating for the profession of nurse anesthesia is directly tied to the wonderful patients and families we care for each day. I could not have accomplished all that we have without the dedicated CRNAs and students across the state of Georgia.”

Smith is currently the chief operating officer and co-owner of Georgia Anesthesia LLC, an all-CRNA, office-based practice in the greater Atlanta area, where they provide anesthesia for 15 healthcare practices. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer on the business of anesthesia and mentor to nurse anesthesia students. The anesthesia group also serves as a clinical site at their orthopedic rural practice for the Emory University nurse anesthesia program. 

Smith received his master’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a diploma in nurse anesthesia from Truman Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia in Kansas City.  In addition, he earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

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