February Legislative Update

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February 2024 Newsletter

The February Newsletter covers the following topics:

  • NYSANA Update, Mark Blazey
  • Support the NYSANA PAC
  • Get Involved with NYSANA
  • Upcoming District Events
  • Last Call to Submit Your Abstract
  • AANA Mid-Year Assembly
  • Kathleen O'Donnell Excellence in Leadership Award
  • Yankees Healthcare Appreciation Celebration

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January 2024 Newsletter

The January newsletter covers the following topics:

  • NYSANA Update, Mark Blazey
  • CRNA Week events schedule

  • Start New Habits — PLUS, Win a Spafinder Gift Card!

  • Call for Abstracts for CRNAs

  • 2024 Fall Meeting in Saratoga Springs, NY

  • Legislative Update

  • 2024 PAC Challenge

  • Legal Counsel Update

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Times Union Letter to the Editor

Legislature could improve rural health care with nurse anesthetist bill

Letter to the editor of the Times Union regarding Officials say updates N.Y. Health infrastructure in Danger, Dec 5, 2023

Mark Blazey, Rochester

For healthcare to remain viable in rural New York, lawmakers must address outdated healthcare delivery models and Medicaid reimbursement in anesthesia. 

The primary providers of anesthesia in rural hospitals are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Though highly trained, advanced practice providers, we face unnecessary barriers to practice. A CRNA’s scope of practice is not formally written into New York State law. New York is the only state to not formally recognize CRNAs, leading to staffing and financial shortages. Nearly a third of CRNAs trained in New York between 2018 and 2023 have left to practice in other states.

Some1500 CRNAs provide essential care to rural Medicaid patients yet lack of recognition in state law. As a result, hospitals may not be reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries --ruinous for New York’s rural healthcare system. 

Additional barriers to practice, such as physician supervision of CRNAs, comes with an unnecessarily high price tag for patients and medical facilities; study after study prove this redundancy does not increase patient safety or improve outcomes. CRNAs have the skills, the education and expertise to provide rural patients with anesthesia care and pain management services and ensure access to care for populations that would otherwise have to travel long distances from their homes for treatment.

The legislature must pass S769-A/A6958-A, which would move the state toward innovative, evidence-based health care, increasing access to care in rural New York.

The writer is the president of the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Published December 25, 2023

Mark Blazey's Testimony on the Healthcare Workforce Shortage


Assembly Health Committee Chair Paulin, Assembly Mental Health Chair Gunther, Assembly Committee on People with Disabilities Chair Seawright, Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Fahy, Assembly Labor Committee Chair Joyner and members of the respective committees, I thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony for your consideration as you look at the status of the health care workforce in New York State.

My name is Mark Blazey, and I am the President of the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NYSANA). NYSANA is the statewide professional association representing New York’s nearly 2,200 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Resident Registered Nurse Anesthetists (RRNAs). NYSANA has been advocating for state recognition for CRNAs as advanced practitioners commensurate with their national certification, advanced education, clinical training, and experience for over 30 years. One of the most important ways to address the health care workforce issues in New York is....(read on)

November 2023 Newsletter

The November newsletter covers the following topics:

  • NYSANA Update, Mark Blazey
  • CRNA Week planning & events, Rachel Dubay and Michael Thamsen
  • Legislative Update, Sean McGarry
  • Health & Wellness, Meta Manguilis
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Daniel Payne
  • Social Media Round-up, Michael Thamsen
  • Event Calendar

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October 2023 Newsletter

The October newsletter covers the following topics:

  • From Mark Blazey: Goals for 2024
  • Government Relations Committee/Legislative Update
  • Awards Recipients
  • DNP Research Surveys for CRNAs
  • Upcoming Events

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Advocacy Alert: Nursing Advocacy Day on Saturday, November 4th

Dear Colleagues,

The Pace University College of Health Professions is hosting a Nursing Advocacy Day on Saturday, November 4th at One Pace Plaza Manhattan.

President Mark Blazey will be speaking about NYSANA’s advocacy efforts and lessons learned. Legislators will attend the 1:00PM - 3:00PM. All NYSANA members are encouraged to attend to brief New York lawmakers on the issues important to NYSANA.

The event is free and includes breakfast and lunch. Please register with the organizers and email Mark Blazey to let him know you will be there.


7:45am - 8:15am Registration and Breakfast

8:15am - 12:45pm Advocacy Education

1:00pm - 3:00pm Legislator Reception

See you there-

Sean McGarry,

NYSANA Immediate Past President and GRC chair

Message from the Board of Directors

Dear Members, 


NYSANA held its annual meeting on September 30, 2023. 48 voting members attended and approved ten bylaws amendments. Members can review these updates here. The current bylaws can be found on the NYSANA website.


The newly-elected board was installed at the end of the Annual Meeting. Due to the resignation of President-elect Kara Hedman, our newly-elected Vice President Mark Blazey moved directly into the President's role.

The new board voted to appoint Michael Cogan as interim Vice President to replace the position now vacated by Mark. David Monahan, NYSANA’s outgoing Secretary, was appointed to fill Michael Cogan's role as NYSANA Treasurer for the remainder of the term, which will expire in Fall 2024.

As an appointed officer, Michael Cogan will not move directly into the presidency role in fall 2024. Rather, the members will vote for the Vice President in the next election cycle. Similarly, David Monahan will serve as interim Treasurer for one year. When the ballot opens for 2024-2025, the members will then also vote for a Treasurer in the next election cycle. Mark Blazey will remain as President for 2 years.

The Board of Directors would like to thank Mark Blazey for transitioning into the role of NYSANA President so quickly. Mark will be supported by Past Presidents Sean McGarry and Giovanna Mahar, as well as the entire Board of Directors. We wish Kara Hedman well and welcome her to run again and serve the state in the future. She will be missed!

A list of board members can be found on the NYSANA website. Please reach out to any board member with questions.

September 2023 Newsletter

The September newsletter covers the following topics:


  • Call to Join the Meeting of the Membership on Saturday, September 30, 2023
  • Committee & Board Reports for 2022-2023
  • President’s Update on AANA Dues Increase, Legislative Strategy, and more!
  • Upcoming Calendar

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Summer Newsletter

The August newsletter covers the following topics:


  • President's newsletter including decison to hold a virtual spring meeting
  • Member poll: District meetings
  • Legislative Update
  • Board Election Update
  • Fall Meeting with Twin Oaks Workshop — click here to register
  • Upcoming Calendar

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June 2023 Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest NYSANA news.

June's newsletter covers the following topics:

  • President’s Message 
  • Legislative Update: end of session 2023
  • Spectrum News Story
  • Invitation to join a NYSANA Committee
  • Peer Wellness
  • NYSANA Election Update
  • Fall Meeting with Twin Oaks Workshop
  • Liberty District Meeting

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Spectrum News Covers NYSANA Fight for Title

Spectrum News featured Sean McGarry and Jeremy Lombardoni in a 3-minute long story which aired Saturday June 3. The story underscores the meaning and importance of title recognition to our profession and healthcare in New York state.

Sean highlights our essential role in providing access to critical anesthesia services in rural and underserved areas. He explains how the passing of legislation would recognize CRNAs formally in state education law to increase both the quality and access to the anesthesia and surgical services across the state.

Jeremy's and Dr. Peter Dowling's story highlights the CRNA's role in addressing the opioid epidemic through opioid-free anesthesia. Jeremy also had a chance to explain the true meaning of physician supervision in anesthesia.

 We are grateful to all who contributed to this story.

Watch and share now

Improving healthcare for LGBTQIA+ Community

June is national LGBTQIA+ pride month. The meaning of Pride month is just as varied and multifaceted as the individuals that make up this unique and diverse community. Pride month is a time to reflect on what it means to live in one's most genuine and authentic truth and to express that truth in a way that is unabashed. Pride is also a time to reflect on the progress that the LGBTQIA+ community has made when it comes to rights and civil liberties while also highlighting further opportunities to close gaps in equity. During pride month the community comes together in the form of parades and celebrations to openly show support for each other and for those that are not yet comfortable living in their truth so that they feel less isolated.

The intersections of the queer community and healthcare highlight a history of disparity based on gender expression and sexual orientation that has been rooted in implicit bias, institutional barriers, and a lack of training in regard to specific community needs. This disparity manifests as decreased access to healthcare, increased prevalence of preventable medical conditions, and increased morbidity and mortality related to mental health when compared to the general population. This disparity becomes even more profound when compounded with belonging to other traditionally underserved communities. We as a society have made great strides in improving these conditions but there is still much work to be done.

Opportunities for improvement include but aren't limited to:

- Inclusive sexual health education
- Increased funding to public health resources
- Intentional health screening for queer patients that highlights disease prevention and mental health while maintaining a nonjudgmental atmosphere
- Improved employer benefits for same-sex partners
- Healthcare benefits that include access to gender-affirming care
- Legislation that makes discrimination based on gender expression and sexual orientation illegal on a federal level
- Inclusive and intentional education for healthcare providers about the history of disparity and the specific health needs of the LGBTQIA+ community
- Active recruitment of healthcare providers from the LGBTQIA+ community to help identify and bridge gaps in care that can lead to disparity

As this Pride month begins, now is the time to engage in conversations with our colleagues, teams, departments, and employers about what policies are in place to protect and serve members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are seeking care as well as those who are providing care. Together we can help to make our places of healing to be open and equitable to everyone under the rainbow. 

May Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest NYSANA news.

In this month's newsletter, NYSANA President, Sean McGarry recaps the recent Advocacy Day.

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CBS News Coverage of Advocacy Day 2023

Watch Advocacy Day New Coverage on CBS

NYSANA in New York Daily News

Rural Healthcare Op-Ed by NYSANA members

Thank you to Elyse Gallo, CRNA, Michael Thamsen, CRNA and Sean McGarry, CRNA, for submitting this opinion piece to the New York Daily News, discussing CRNAs practicing at the top of their license as a viable solution to New York's rural healthcare crisis. See Page 6.

Buffalo News Op Ed

Another Voice: Supervision of CRNAs is unnecessary and impedes care

Read President Sean McGarry's op-ed in the Buffalo News.

"Removing unnecessary supervision requirements increases access to care for all New Yorkers. This must be the priority. Right now, New York is the only state in the country that has not formally recognized the title and scope of practice of a CRNA. No more waiting! New York needs to come through for its CRNAs."


April Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest NYSANA news.

In this month's newsletter, NYSANA President, Sean McGarry celebrates the profession of CRNAs.

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January Presidential Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest NYSANA news.

In this month's newsletter, NYSANA President, Sean McGarry celebrates the profession of CRNAs.

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