Congress Daily - Saturday, August 10, 2019


Opening Ceremonies Celebrate Patriotism, CRNA Service

  • Aug 10, 2019

On Saturday, Aug. 10, a standing-room-only crowd of CRNAs, SRNAs, visiting dignitaries, and guests from around the country and around the world witnessed the AANA 2019 Annual Congress Opening Ceremonies in Chicago. The ceremonies combined tradition, patriotism, inspiration, and a bit of Chicago-style flare and bravado as the AANA honored the achievements of its members and welcomed attendees to the four-day event.

Following tradition, the Opening Ceremonies began with an expression of patriotism as the audience stood in respectful silence during the Presentation of the Colors of the United States. The audience remained standing, but they weren’t silent for the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Jim Cornelison, the anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team. Before singing Cornelison explained why audiences cheer during the national anthem at Blackhawks games as an expression of pride and patriotism and noted that veterans/members of the military are always present on the ice when he sings. The Opening Ceremonies audience responded with cheers and applause during the anthem that would rival any sporting event.

Educational Highlights
Michael Greco, PhD, DNP, CRNA, the chair of the AANA Professional Development Committee, offered a preview of the unparalleled educational content. “ Much of this year’s educational content was generated from over 170 abstract submissions, a 26% increase from last year.  After careful review by our Professional Development and Professional Practice Committees, 80 of the of those submissions have been integrated into our program,” he said. “Thanks to all of you who submitted such unfailingly high-quality abstracts for the AANA 2019 Annual Congress!” 

Greco went on to thank the members of the Professional Development Committee: Courtney Brown, Edward Salkind, DNAP, MS, CRNA; Yana Krmic Yana Krmic, MSN, CRNA, CCRN, APN, CRTT; Daniel King, DNP-C, MNA, CRNA; and Jamie Katz, BSN, RN, student representative.  

A Salute from the President
AANA President Garry Brydges, PhD, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC, CRNA, FAAN, welcomed the attendees to Chicago and the convention.

He began by recognizing members who are currently serving or have served in the military. “The nurse anesthesia profession is privileged to have many heroes sitting among us today. These are military men and women who have made untold personal sacrifices to serve our country and protect our freedom. It takes an extraordinary person to choose to leave the safety and comfort of home and family, knowing they may not return,” he said.

Distinguished Guests
Brydges introduced the following guests from healthcare organizations present in the audience:

  • David Hebert, American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Dr. Sophia Thomas, American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Dr. Debbie Hatmaker, American Nurses Association
  • Chris Wehking, American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Dr. Peter Kallio, Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists
  • Diane Boettger, Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists
  • David Wyatt, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses
  • Lupe Hernandez, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Thanks to Corporate and Meeting Supporters
Brydges thanked AANA Corporate supporters Fresenius Kabi, Medtronic, Merck, and Pacira “for your loyal support over the years.” “By working together, we can create significant value for our members, while advancing practice excellence and patient safety,” he said. 

He also offered a special thank you to Annual Congress Supporters: “With your support, we are able to provide attendees with the best education, tools for everyday practice, and enhance your overall experience at this year’s Congress.”

CRNA Week Video Debut
Following award presentations to outstanding educators, Foundation honorees, and Public Relations Recognition Award recipients, Brydges introduced a new video set to debut for CRNA Week 2020. The video tells the story of a little girl worried about her baby brother’s surgery, and how a CRNA supports her and her family through the procedure and afterward.