Congress Daily - Saturday, August 10, 2019


AANA Foundation Presents Awards for Research and Service at the Annual Congress

  • Aug 10, 2019
At each Annual Congress, the AANA Foundation honors outstanding achievements in research, philanthropy, service to the Foundation, and volunteerism. Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 John F. Garde Researcher of the Year, Rita L. LebBlanc Philanthropist of the Year, Foundation Advocate of the Year, and Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Awards.

John F. Garde Researcher of the Year:
CAPT Dennis Spence, PhD, CRNA, NC, USN

The Researcher of the Year Award recognizes people who  have  made  significant  contributions  to  the practice of anesthesia through research and is named in memory of John F. Garde, a previous Foundation  trustee, AANA executive director, and charter member of the AANA Foundation. 

The AANA Foundation presents the prestigious 2019 John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award to Captain Dennis Spence, PhD, CRNA, NC, USN.

Captain Spence is recognized not only for his extensive scientific contributions to the nurse anesthesia profession, but also for his selfless dedication as a mentor to other CRNAs, SRNAs, and nurse scientists of the Armed Forces on research and evidenced-based practice. Captain Spence’s research accomplishments include 22 peer-reviewed articles, $1.3 million in research  grants,  and  disseminating research findings at over 40 national and local presentations. 

Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year:
Juan Quintana, DNP, CRNA

The 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.

A former AANA President, Juan Quintana is an AANA Foundation Friend for Life with a long history of contributions to the AANA Foundation, the nurse anesthesia community, and to people in dire poverty with health concerns, who would otherwise go unaided. For the last 18 years, he has participated in over 25 medical mission trips providing critical emergency and anesthesia services to people in need.

Advocate of the Year:
Yana Krmic, MSN, CRNA, APRN

The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to an AANA Foundation Advocate for their outstanding commitment to the nurse anesthesia program through individually supporting the AANA Foundation and encouraging others to do the same. 

The 2019 Advocate of the Year recipient is Yana Krmic, MSN, CRNA, APRN. In addition to serving as an AANA Foundation Advocate since 2016 and her work with the AANA Communications and Professional Development Committees, Krmic ran a year-long Facebook birthday fundraiser that raised more than $28,000 on behalf of the AANA Foundation

Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award:
Judith A. Schmidt, MSN, CRNA and Wilma K. Gillis, BSN, CRNA

The Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award is presented to a CRNA/CRNAs who volunteer and provide anesthesia, education, and training in needy areas of the United States and overseas. 

The winners of the 2019 Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award are Judith A. Schmidt, MSN, CRNA, and Wilma K. Gillis, BSN, CRNA. The humanitarian work of Gillis and Schmidt with Eyesight4kids has helped transform hundreds of children’s lives by correcting eye anomalies in the underserved population of El Salvador.

In fall 2019, Schmidt will take her fourth trip with Eyesight4kids along with Gillis, who will make her seventh consecutive trip with the group.