Dina Velocci, CRNA, DNP, APN: Candidate for National Position as American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Region II Director

By on Apr 26, 2016 in AANA | 8 comments

For Dr. Velocci, her candidacy to serve as the AANA Region II Director is not about the position. It is not about climbing the ranks of an organization. Rather, Dina Velocci, CRNA, DNP, APN says “it is a calling, borne out of love for my profession as an anesthetist.” Dina began working with CRNA professionals who were prominent past AANA board members when she was just a student. The influences of these past board members became a driving influence for her future involvement with the AANA. She has served in many roles for the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA), the seventh largest organization in the AANA. As a two-term President, President-Elect, District Director, Secretary-Treasurer, Chair of the Government Relations Committee, Finance Committee Member, and TANA-PAC Treasurer, Dina has used her excellent communication and problem-solving skills to become an effective leader at all levels. In today’s environment, the healthcare industry is forever shifting. Dina says of the role of AANA Region II Director, “that it will be challenging, but most rewarding for many reasons”. The most important is in knowing that at the end of the day, I am having an impact on protecting the profession and our patients.” Dina believes that the AANA has an obligation to find solutions to such challenges as reimbursement bundles, scope of practice, and other career issues. She further states, “We have to be a proactive organization and tear down the remaining barriers in order to become the prominent voice of anesthesia in both the healthcare community and in the eyes of the public.” To accomplish these goals, Dina believes that the AANA nationwide is the strongest when the members’ voices are heard, valued and represented in defining our profession – a profession she does not take lightly. Rather than taking a seat at the round table of healthcare she states, “it is time to invite the leaders of the healthcare industry to our table of discussion.” Dr. Velocci makes it clear that her ten plus years in leadership roles in TANA has never been about her, but about accurately representing her members. She has proven to be a strong advocate for the association, never backing down in the face of adversity. This tenacity is an important quality in a leader taking part in the conversations across the many silos of the healthcare field. When Dina is not caring for her patients or advocating for her profession, she can be found with her teenage daughters, Olivia and Julia. Together, they enjoy traveling, skiing and other...

Updates and Photos from the AANA Mid Year Assembly

By on Apr 20, 2016 in AANA, Update from the Hill | 2 comments

A group of TANA members recently traveled to the AANA Mid Year Assembly in Washington, D.C. The Mid Year Assembly is a great time for CRNAs from across the country to visit with their peers, get updated information from the AANA legislative team, learn about trends going on around the country, and–most importantly–visit with our legislators on Capitol Hill to remind them of the important work CRNAs are doing all over the country!             “We spoke at length with the healthcare legislative aides for our Senators and multiple legislators. We described the level of education and training of CRNAs. [They] were very receptive, and I think we taught them a few things about the issues,” explained TANA President Terri Durbin, CRNA, DNP, APN. “We also learned a lot about the Affordable Care Act and its implications for anesthesia.             Issues the group discussed included Title VIII Workforce Development funding, the VA practice issue, and rural access to care, and other important topics. They also learned a lot about the Affordable Care Act and its implications for anesthesia. Attendees were also able to meet and hear speeches from candidates running for AANA board positions, including our very own TANA Secretary/Treasurer Dina Velocci, CRNA, DNP, APN who is running for AANA Region II Director. Thank you to all the TANA members who attended this year’s Mid Year Assembly. You represented us well!    ...

Student Spotlight – Medical Missions in Madagascar!

By on Feb 12, 2016 in Student Success | 3 comments

Here’s a great article about UTC student Meghan Duggan and her medical mission work in Madagascar! Graduate Student, Meghan Duggan Assists with Anesthesia in Madagascar By: Farron Kilburn Meghan Duggan, a senior graduate student in the School of Nursing’s Nurse Anesthesia Program, spent two-weeks aboard a Mercy Ship at the Toamasina Port in Madagascar this past October. She spent the majority of her time aiding in the administration of anesthesia for various surgeries on the ship for the local Madagascar population. Mercy Ships is a nonprofit organization that hosts a hospital aboard a ship with the mission to “provide lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent.” It is a rare opportunity for any student to be invited or allowed to serve aboard the ship, but Meg Duggan applied to accompany UTC Assistant Clinical Professor for the Nurse Anesthesia Program, Ray Alonge, MSN, CRNA and was accepted. Professor Alonge has volunteered on Mercy Ships for the past 10 years and has cultivated a trusting relationship with the organization. Meg raised the money for the medical mission trip through a fundraising site and charity events. Several of her fellow graduate students in the program helped her with a bake sale at Erlanger Hospital. Family, friends, professors, local hospital staff, and alum of the program all donated to make the trip possible. The UTC Graduate Student Association contributed funds as well, because Meg conducted some research as part of the trip. “It was definitely a community effort. And, my clinical schedule at the hospitals in Chattanooga had to be adjusted. Everyone was really accommodating. I knew I had to represent Chattanooga and UTC well, because in a way, this mission trip was a group effort.”     Meg’s daily schedule started at about 7:00 AM and ended after a case (an individual surgery) was finished usually by 6:00 PM—but sometimes as late as 8:00 at night. She was also on-call a couple of nights a week—some of those nights she had to return to the surgery deck at midnight or later for an emergency procedure.   Some of the common surgical procedures Meg assisted with in an anesthesia assistant capacity included removing maxillofacial tumors. Though they are benign, they can be deadly by obstructing the airway if not removed. Orthopedic surgeries to correct bone deformities such as severe bow-leggedness were also common. Correcting cleft palates was another frequent surgery performed on the ship. These procedures are not otherwise available to the people of Madagascar—so the Mercy Ship stationed at Port Toamasina fills a glaring medical need, and people travel across the country in hopes of getting medical attention from those on board. Pre-surgery, Meg worked with medical translators who aided with informed consent for patients and explaining how the anesthesia would work with putting them to sleep and waking them up. While there, Meg took notes about how the pre-surgery intake form that includes a patient’s medical history varies depending on the population you are serving as a medical provider. “You have to ask questions in medical histories in Madagascar that you might not need to here in the States. Knowing the types of questions to include depending on the culture and environment you’re in is a key component to being a good medical care provider. Right now I’m working on comparing how our typical intake form would be modified for the people in Madagascar.” Meg highlighted how the medical team on the ship worked with the resources immediately available. She said one of her favorite aspects of her time in Madagascar was seeing how the healthcare providers on the ship often donated their own blood for patients and were even “on-call” for donating. This is known as a “Walking Blood Bank”. She said she saw people carry their own blood immediately after donating straight to the patient in need. She said, “You would never see that in the U.S.—it was very moving to witness.” “I learned so much,” said Meg. “Every Wednesday morning we would have anesthesia meetings where I was able to hear about interesting cases and anesthesia-related topics from around the world.”   During her downtime, Meg studied for her UTC Anesthesia coursework in the library or in the Starbucks on the ship. She will be sharing some of her research and more about the trip at the UTC Graduate Research Symposium on April 14,...

National CRNA Week is January 24-30, 2016 – Promotional Materials are Available!

By on Dec 18, 2015 in National Nurse Anesthetist Week | 3 comments

Each January, we celebrate National CRNA Week, a time for CRNAs to stop, reflect, and celebrate who we are and what we do. This week, January 24-30, 2016, gives us a more highlighted opportunity to promote our profession to those who work with us every day, and those whom we take safely through surgery. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists offers many promotional items for your use during National #CRNAWeek: Buttons Pens Table Tents Posters Shirts Coffee Mugs Brochures Not to mention the press releases, proclamations, resolutions, public service announcement scripts, and more! You can find them all right here:www.aana.com/crnaweek and www.aana.com/crnaweekinfo. This year’s theme, “Making a Difference One Patient at a Time,” really brings home the dedication of CRNAs to our patients and our profession. You are urged you to toot your own horn and let people know the good that we all do. If you order your National CRNA Week materials by close of business (4 pm CT) Friday, December 18, they will ship before December 24. Wouldn’t it be nice to start the new year with everything you need to celebrate National CRNA...

Dave Ratliff Named Recipient of the 2015 Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award

By on Oct 22, 2015 in Announcements, Our Super Heroes, TANA Annual Meeting | 2 comments

Local CRNA Honored as Practitioner of the Year By: Terri Durbin, CRNA, DNP, APN (Maryville, TN)  – Local Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Dave Ratliff was recently awarded the Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year award by the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists at their Annual Meeting in Murfreesboro, TN. The Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to nurse anesthesia practice as a clinician, educator and/or researcher. It is voted on annually by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Mr. Ratliff is heavily involved in teaching and missionary work in Guatemala and Kenya while holding a full-time position as a clinician at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He also serves as the Team Leader for the Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesia for the Annual Man Run for Prostate Cancer. Julie Bonom, CRNA and President of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists said “This award demonstrates Dave’s commitment to anesthesia and to high-quality patient care. Dave is an outstanding role model for student nurse anesthetists, and is an inspiration to his colleagues.” Dave’s wife, Janet, and daughter, Katie were present as he received his award. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have been providing anesthesia care to the citizens of Tennessee for over 150 years. Currently, there are more than 2,400 CRNAs licensed to practice in Tennessee. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural...

Support Second Harvest Food Bank at the TANA Annual Meeting

By on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

TANA Members, We will once again be supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee by collecting food donations at the TANA Annual Meeting. If you are attending the meeting we ask that you please bring as many food items as you would like to donate.  Below is a list of the most needed items. You can find more information here about the scope of services they provide and the impact they’re making right here in our very own state.  You can also visit secondharvestmidtn.org to learn more....

TANA Annual Donald Bell, CRNA, College Bowl – Friday, October 16th

By on Oct 2, 2015 in TANA Annual Meeting | 0 comments

  Don’t miss the TANA Annual Donald Bell, CRNA, College Bowl to be held on the Friday night of this year’s TANA Annual Meeting!  Everyone is welcome, and audience participation is encouraged!  There will be food, prizes, and an abundance of school spirit!  

Fun Run/Walk to Benefit TANA-PAC

By on Sep 29, 2015 in TANA Annual Meeting, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Don’t forget to throw in your running shoes when you pack your bags for the TANA 78th Annual Meeting!  We’re kicking off our Saturday schedule of events with a 2-mile fun run/walk, leaving from the front of the conference center. There will be lots of giveaways, as well as prizes for the fastest participants.  It’s sure to be a lot of fun, not to mention a great way to actively protect your profession as all proceeds benefit TANA-PAC!  You can register the morning of the event or any time prior by clicking...