Congress Daily - Pre-Issue 1

President Garry Brydges: Accomplishing Great Things Together

  • Jul 29, 2019

Garry Brydges, PresidentGarry Brydges, PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN, AANA President, FY2019

It's almost time for the AANA 2019 Annual Congress! It’s been a very busy year, with lots of activities and lots of achievements. Major accomplishments for the AANA and nurse anesthesia this year include:

  • Passage of the Medical-Assisted Treatment (MAT) legislation, garnered through the enhanced collaborative relationships fostered in Washington, D.C.
  • Execution of strategies to amplify the member’s voice and develop an organizational infrastructure that is member-centric.  
  • Implementation of a governance task force based on membership feedback.  
  • Increased fiscal support for states to transform and innovate advocacy efforts on the state level.
  • Expanded our efforts in diversity and inclusion by helping the Puerto Rican community’s voice be heard by the AANA, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), and the AANA Foundation.  

These are just a few of the more important accomplishments we have made over the course of this year that we can all take pride in.

My personal goal was to enhance relationships with a wide array of other special interest groups ranging from AANA members, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), nursing specialty organizations, and many special interest groups in Washington, D.C. While differences of opinion can erode relationships, I am a proponent of continued dialogue to nurture trust with the aim to overcome differences in opinion. In times of disruption, what I have learned this year was not to internalize, but rather embrace disruption and enhance communication with a wide range of organizations. A commitment to collaborate through good and bad times fostered trust, which is the building block of relationships.

My proudest moment this year, and I would also add, a source of personal therapy, was spending time with many of you (our members) in your home states. I was offered an incredible privilege to listen to many of your concerns, represent your voice before many groups ranging from the AANA Board of Directors, NBCRNA, COA, and other external organizations. I witnessed amazing, economically sustainable anesthesia providers who have been pillars of the profession, and others who will move our profession into the future. My time with many of you has truly been an incredible honor and I want to say thank you.  Thank you!

Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists and First-Time Attendees
For first-time attendees, the areas to which you should pay particular attention are vast. Here are three major themes:

  1. Networking: Take every opportunity to attend every networking event available to you. Building lasting relationships among CRNA colleagues is extremely valuable. Events such as the Diversity Black & White Affair, Opening Ceremonies, Exhibit Hall, Kick-off Orientation, Welcome Reception, Foundation Fundraiser, and Annual Banquet are a few critical events to attend. The relationships you develop at AANA Congress will last a lifetime.  
  2. Clinical Education: Every opportunity you have to learn or develop skills such as ultrasound and regional anesthesia, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), and specialty skills like opioid-sparing techniques, will add to your skills and talent and make you even more valuable as a clinician.
  3. Event Location: Chicago is one of the greatest cities in America. You must take time to take-in many of the incredible venues Chicago has to offer, such as Wrigley Field, a wide range of restaurants, historical boat tours showcasing the architecture throughout Chicago, the arts in the theater district and art museums, the landmark Navy Pier (amusement park, shopping, dining, etc.), and shopping and dining along Michigan Avenue (The Magnificent Mile). 

All students need to take every opportunity to network for their future. The Annual Congress attracts expert clinicians, provides perspective and business opportunities for after graduation, offers possible job opportunities, along with a rare experience to learn advanced anesthesia techniques from the experts themselves – such as TEE, ultrasound/regional, and opioid-sparing techniques.

My Top Recommendations for Chicago

  1. Visit Millennium Park and the “Bean” to take a memorable selfie for Instagram and tweeting. 
  2. Take a tour of the home of the Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field, a chance to pick-up your authentic Cubs Jersey – ripe for another memorable selfie for Instagram and tweeting. 
  3. Willis Tower Skydeck - 103rd floor—1,353 feet above the city. Another obligatory selfie for Instagram and tweeting. 
  4. If you can get in (reserve early/now), Alinea Restaurant (1723 N. Halsted St., Chicago), a transformational experience for a foodie. The experience is once in a lifetime – yet another amazing memorable selfie for Instagram and tweeting experience. You’d better have live streaming to iCloud because you will take a lot of selfies here.   
  5. Chicago River Architecture Cruise is a must!   
  6. Dinner or drinks at the Signature Room at the 95th (lounge and restaurant) for an incredible skyline view of Chicago day or night – the selfies won’t stop here. (875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago)   

See you in Chicago!