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NYSANA President, Giovanna Mahar, testifies at the NY assembly Public Hearing on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Delivery of Health Care and the Health Care Workforce

Last Wednesday, November 17, 2021, NYSANA President, Giovanna Mahar, took to the court room to testify in a Committee Hearing at the New York State Assembly about "Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic." The Committee was interested in assessing the lessons learned during the pandemic, including the appropriateness of Executive Orders issued by the Governor during the declared emergency period as it relates to access to health care and training requirements of health care workers. Giovanna speaks upon the unnecessary restrictions placed on CRNAs and the significance of Executive Order 4, originally issued during the height of the pandemic by former Governor Cuomo. The order suspends the health code to remove the supervision requirements for advanced practice registered nurses with a doctorate or master’s degree specializing in the administration of anesthesia. This allows for CRNAs to have full scope of practice utilization and assists in patient care and staffing workload. Giovanna continues on to discuss the important role of CRNAs and the need for a formal scope of practice in New York State.

Watch Giovanna's full testimony here.

NYSANA President, Giovanna Mahar, published in The Register Star

We're happy to announce that our President, Giovanna Mahar's, recent op-ed regarding Full Practice Authority in Veterans Healthcare was published in The Register Star, a daily newspaper published in Hudson, New York and covering all of Columbia County. 

"The current barrier to CRNA in the VA health system is an anti-competitive action recognized by the FTC, AMVETS, one of the largest veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and others. It is time to bust the healthcare monopoly within the VA and ensure our veterans have the care they need and deserve for their sacrifice and services."

Read the full article here.

 

NYSANA urges the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to create national standards of practice that will allow Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice at the full extent of their training, education, and licensure.

As we take the time this month to honor the more than 892,000 veterans who live in New York State, it is important to remember that we owe America’s veterans far more than words of gratitude. They have earned the best, most timely healthcare—without long waits and red tape—through the Veterans Administration (VA). As President of the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists I urge the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to create national standards of practice that will allow Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice at the full extent of their training, education, and licensure. Removing barriers so that advanced practice providers, including CRNAs, can practice to the top of the education and licensure is the right policy and honors those who have served our country.

This move will not only expand access to care for veterans but decrease wait times so that care can be delivered when they need it most, while decreasing the cost of that care for the VA.  In addition, it would allow the VA needed flexibility with rural facilities and providers working across state lines.

During the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the unique skills and expertise of CRNAs have allowed us to step forward in a way few others can, to treat veterans and others, leading the way in terms of advanced airway and ventilation management, which have been essential in addressing the deadliest part of this unforgiving virus.

To help meet the needs of veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the VA issued Directive 1899 in April 2020, which encouraged VA medical facilities to utilize VA healthcare professionals to practice and operate within the full scope of their license, registration or certification to increase veterans’ access to healthcare. It is now time to make that action permanent.

National standards of practice will allow all healthcare professionals working in the VA system to have consistent scope and requirements of practice, notwithstanding any state license, registration or other requirements. Since nearly one-third of all VA medical facilities have one or more sites of care in another state, and 14 percent of licensed healthcare professionals employed by the VA have a state license, registration or certification in another state than their main VA medical facility, having national standards of practice would allow these providers to care for veterans where and when they need it most.

In 2016, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reviewed a proposed rule to remove physician supervision requirements for advanced practice nurses (APNs), including CRNAs. The FTC praised the proposed rule as a way to increase the VA’s “ability to provide timely, efficient, and effective” care for our nation’s veterans and increase their access to needed healthcare and decrease wait times for patient appointments. The FTC noted theses changes in the VA would also benefit healthcare consumers in private markets.

Yet today, while all other types of APNs can practice to the full extent of their training, education, and licensure, CRNAs cannot. In fact, CRNAs are the only advanced practice nurses without full practice authority in the VA healthcare system.

This is despite the fact that the ability of CRNAs to provide high-quality care, even under the most difficult circumstances, has been recognized by every branch of the U.S. military. CRNAs have full practice authority in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force and are the predominant provider of anesthesia on forward surgical teams and in combat support hospitals, where 90 percent of forward surgical teams are staffed by CRNAs.

The current barrier to CRNA in the VA health system is an anti-competitive action recognized by the FTC, AMVETS, one of the largest veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and others. It is time to bust the healthcare monopoly within the VA and ensure our veterans have the care they need and deserve for their sacrifice and services.

Visit anesthesiafacts.com to ask New York State Congressional leaders to contact U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough in support of the VA’s effort to establish National Standards of Practice for Healthcare Professionals, and to support allowing CRNAs to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

 

CRNAs provide critical service to the military and veterans

CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S military personnel and our nation’s veterans. We thank these CRNAs for their critical service.

Nurses first provided anesthesia on the battlefields of the American Civil War. During World War I, nurse anesthetists became the predominant providers of anesthesia care to wounded soldiers on the front lines. Today, CRNAs have full practice authority in every branch of the military and are the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on front lines, navy ships, and aircraft evacuation teams around the globe.

Learn more here.

Are You Ready to Pass Our Legislation? Let's "Get It Through in '22"

NYSANA Colleagues:

It is an honor to serve the 2021-2022 term as your president. I look forward to meeting and working with as many of you as possible this year. Your board is a geographically diverse group that will assist in engagement and ask for involvement from you.

Legislative Update
On September 27, 2021, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency based on the healthcare staffing shortage and issued Executive Order 4. It was announced on October 27 that Executive Order 4 has been extended until November 26, 2021. This order suspends the health code to remove the supervision requirements for advanced practice registered nurses with a doctorate or master’s degree specializing in the administration of anesthesia. Does this sound familiar? This executive order is consistent with the previous directives as issued by former Governor Cuomo during the height of the pandemic. We now have two governors that have recognized the importance of the entire health care team. Let's build off that momentum to remind and encourage our facilities to follow the suggestions of the Governor’s executive order. Tensions are high and morale is low, full scope of practice utilization can assist in patient care and staffing workload. We are working to establish relationships with the Governor’s team and to continue to discuss the important role of CRNAs and the need for a formal scope of practice in New York State.

2021 - 2022 Goals
I have two main goals:

1. Passing our legislation, or as I like to say "Get it through in '22."
2. Engage the membership.

In my humble opinion, these two goals go hand in hand, and they involve YOU. Despite the opportunities, COVID-19 provided our profession, we’ve fallen short of our previous goals. This needs to speak to every one of us! This displays that despite the environment being ripe for change, change will not occur unless we become bigger and louder. This means that change starts with us, the NYSANA membership. So, let’s stand together and advocate for what we know we deserve, for what is long overdue and what has already been done in 49 other states. Help protect your profession and your practice!

Below are immediate steps NYSANA encourages you to take to get involved and advocate for your profession.

Read Bill S5435
In order to successfully advocate for your profession, you have to know and understand what we are fighting for as an organization. Start by reading Bill S5435. If you have any questions regarding the bill, please reach out to Chair of the Government Relations Committee, Amy Harbeck.

Read Bill S5435

Private Facebook Group For NYSANA Members and Close Supporters
Watch your email in the coming weeks for an invitation to join NYSANA's members and supporters only, Facebook Group. This group will provide a platform for NYSANA members to network with your peers, learn how to advocate for your profession, and engage with your state organization in a more personal way.

How to Talk to Your Legislators Training
Throughout the months of November and December, myself and NYSANA Lobbyist, Amy Kellogg will be traveling to each Educational District to conduct interactive trainings on "How to talk to your legislators." We will be sending out more information include dates, times and locations of these trainings in the following weeks.

CRNA Nurse Anesthesia PAC Fund
As NYSANA gears up for 2022, the NYSANA PAC is committed to supporting the advocacy of CRNAs across New York State. It is essential to have a robust PAC in order to let our voices be heard in a greater capacity. There has never before been a better time to pledge and donate! PAC is looking for CRNAs from around the state to lead fundraising teams in our upcoming efforts. Please contact Stephanie Grolemund, PAC Chair for more details at [email protected]  If you are not able to donate your time to the association, please consider donating money in any amount at Donate to the PAC

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to act as your President and spokesperson. I will work hard to encourage engagement and Get it through in ‘22! We can and we will do this - it’s time!

Respectfully,

Giovanna Mahar, DNAP, CRNA
President, NYSANA

A Message from the NYSANA Vice President

A Message from the NYSANA President

Katherine M. Grosner receives the 2021 Goldie Brangman Award

Katherine Marina Grosner, DNP, CRNA

Every year at the Annual Fall Meeting the Goldie Brangman Award is given to a deserving SRNA. Goldie Brangman, CRNA, MEd, MBA was an accomplished CRNA and exceptional mentor. She served as the first and only African American President of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology and President of NYSANA from 1960 - 1961. Goldie famously treated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., after a near-fatal assassination attempt in 1958.  

This year's Goldie Brangman Award recipient is Katherine M. Grosner (University of Buffalo Nurse Anesthesia Program), Evaluating the Barriers to Opioid-Free Anesthesia for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in Diverse Practice Settings through the Creation of a Survey Tool. Read below to learn more about Katherine, her research into opioid alternatives, what it means to her to be awarded the Goldie Brangman Award and why being a member of NYSANA is important

Why is it important to you to be a NYSANA member?
I learned the importance of being a NYSANA member as an SRNA, where I valued the opportunities to attend association meetings, such as the fall meetings in New York and Syracuse, and Advocacy day in Albany. I plan to continue my active membership as a CRNA and hope to attend more meetings in the future.  The future of healthcare is tenuous, especially in these current times, and I believe more than ever that we must stay involved and be vocal about protecting our practice, which includes staying a NYSANA member. 

Read More

UltraCare Featured on "Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid"

The life-saving work performed by CRNA’s during the pandemic and the game-changing impact of UltraCare’s innovative COVID-19 Emergency Response and Vaccine Teams was highlighted in the most recent segment of the educational television show "Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid."

The segment “Med-Tech Series: Managing & Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine” tells the story of how UltraCare quickly developed and deployed teams of CRNAs and other medical professionals from around the country to fill critical care gaps in hospital ICUs and to provide life protecting vaccinations to more than 200,000 seniors at elder care facilities in several states.

NYSANA President, Yana Krmic, featured in the segment, was working at Hoboken Medical Center during the height of the pandemic as the sole APRN provider. In Yana's words, "This is a great example of how extensive CRNA practice truly is. Our knowledge, our expertise and our value have been praised by Hospital administrators, MD Intensivists, Pulmonologists, Cardiologists and other critical care professionals all across healthcare. We are no longer a secret! We are sought after professionals who have much more to offer than just giving anesthesia inside the operating room."

Check out the episode here: https://bit.ly/3j05Il8

Announcing the NYSANA Fall Meeting Speakers & Topics




  • Pharmaco-Who? Pharmacogenomics in Anesthesia Care & Preoperative risk stratification: What do we need to know now? with Dru Riddle, Texas Christian University, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, School of Nurse Anesthesia. North Star Anesthesia.  Region Director, AANA PhD, DNP, CRNA, FAAN 
  • Anesthesia Reimbursement and Compliance & Cost Effective Analysis - Best Practices with Dr. Juan Quintana, COO, Sleepy Anesthesia Associates, LLC, Past President AANA, DNP, MHS, CRNA
  • NYSANA Update to the Membership with Yana Krmic, President, NYSANA, CRNA, MSN
  • Effective Member Advocacy to Drive Change with Ralph Kohl, Senior Director, Federal Government Affairs, AANA 
  • AANA Update to Membership & Caring for the Parturient with Co-Morbidities with Dina Velocci, President, AANA , DNP, CRNA
  • Sleeping with Mary Jane: Cannabis Considerations for the CRNA with Daniel D. King, DNP, CRNA, CPPS

Learn more about the Fall Meeting speakers here!

Advocates push Governor Cuomo to sign air ambulance legislation into law

Advocates say that every day a piece of legislation awaits Governor Cuomo signature, lives could be at risk. Legislation that would allow medical helicopters to carry blood and perform transfusions passed the Senate and Assembly last month but needs Cuomo’s approval to become law. The story of Binghamton resident Travis Flanagan inspired many lawmakers who worked on the bill. Flanagan was in a horrific farming accident in March that lead to both of his legs being amputated. Flanagan, who works as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, believes the blood Guthrie Air had on board saved his life. Flanagan has enlisted the assistance of his colleagues in the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists in raising awareness of the issue and lobbying the Governor to sign the legislation.

Meanwhile, Flanagan has been fitted for prosthetic legs with a goal of being able to stand for the birth of his third child who is due on July 15th.

Watch the Interview Here

Meet your 2021-2022 candidates for NYSANA Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2021/2022 board! The following candidates were announced at the NYSANA Business Meeting on May 15, 2021. Learn more about each candidate here

Electronic voting will open on Tuesday, July 6 at 9:00 AM and conclude on Tuesday, July 20.

Yana Krmic on Capital Tonight

NYSANA President, Yana Krmic was featured on Spectrum News’ Capital Tonight, calling on lawmakers to make permanent the provision approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the pandemic that allowed nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without the supervision of a physician or a surgeon. Removing the supervision requirement would have a huge impact on patient care and access and ease budgetary pressure for health care workers. Check it out: https://bit.ly/2TVpioR

Yana Krmic on CBS6

NYSANA continues to fight for our CRNA’s to get both a license and autonomy in our work. At the height of the pandemic, Governor Cuomo allowed CRNA’s to practice without being supervised by a physician as we performed countless intubations in life and death situations for Covid-19 patients. Now, we want that executive order to be made permanent.  New York State is the only state in the nation that does not recognize the certified registered nurse anesthetist in this way. Check out President, Yana Krmic on CBS6 fighting for our CRNAs https://bit.ly/3iFH0qz

Extensive Education CRNAs Receive

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) works as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who administers anesthesia to patients, typically during surgical, diagnostic, obstetric or other medical procedures. CRNAs complete advanced nursing degrees either at the master’s or doctoral levels. In addition to their advanced nursing degrees, CRNA candidates must obtain national certification in their field. Here’s a look at the extensive education CRNAs receive.

A Recap of 2021 Nurses Week




NYSANA Members:

On the heels of the 2021 National Nurses Week celebration, we again want to say THANK YOU for all that you do.

Please click on the video here that showcases some of our NYSANA member CRNAs in action.

Nurses Week provides the opportunity to recognize our nurse anesthetists for all your hard work and efforts. You have dedicated your lives to the medical field and helping others. Over the past year, nurse anesthetists have selflessly entered unknown territory and risked their lives for our health and the greater good. We are extremely grateful to you for making that choice and we can't thank you enough.

NYSANA sees you and the hard work and passion you continue to pour into your work each and every day. This past year we stood united and proved that together we are resilient and stronger. Thank you for the way you've selflessly stepped up to the frontlines and performed essential roles throughout your communities and across the state. We're in this together. We are stronger together. 

Thank you!

Yana Krmic,
President, NYSANA

Amy Kellogg Addresses NYSANA Membership on the Topic of Member Advocacy

NYSANA Lobbyist Amy Kellogg encourages members to contact your local lawmakers and educate them on our important legislative priorities because no one can tell our story better than we can.

Watch the Video Here

Molly Metzger Addresses NYSANA Membership on the Topic of Member Involvement

Welcome Molly Metzger, NYSANA’s new executive director. Molly’s objective is to alleviate any operational and administrative duties so that you, the NYSANA member and leaders, can continue to move the association forward. 

Watch the Video Here

Message from the NYSANA President, Yana Krmic

We cannot be complacent and watch from the sidelines. If we want to make a difference, if we wish to move this association forward, than we have to advocate and let our voices be heard. “Our future as a CRNA depends on you.” That is the message from NYSANA President, Yana Krmic. 

Watch the Video Here

Psychologist Dr. Drew Anderson Addresses NYSANA Membership on Topic of Mental Health

Being a CRNA is extremely rewarding, but can also be incredibly stressful and even traumatic at times. This past year was especially trying. Now more than ever it is time to check your mental health or reach out to a colleague who may be showing signs that they are struggling. Psychologist Dr. Drew Anderson points out things to look for in someone who may be in crisis or on the verge and how you can help.

Watch the Video Here