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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 | 11 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!    ...

Another Student Testimonial from the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly

By on May 14, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 0 comments

Here’s another student testimonial from Darlesia Denise Smith, SRNA, about her experiences at the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly. The experience at the 2015 Mid-Year Assembly opened my eyes to what every CRNA and SRNA should engage in for the future of the profession. I had the opportunity to learn so much valuable information on the legislative bill process, advocacy, local and national policy issues, and how valuable CRNAs really are in healthcare. This assembly opened my eyes to how much time and dedication the AANA, CRNAs, Senators, and Congressmen spend to protect the practice. As a student, I felt so privileged to be able to participate in having a voice for currently practicing CRNAs and those to come. After visiting Capitol Hill and sitting in the offices of our district Senators and Congressmen, I do not take for granted the invaluable conversations and am very appreciative of the time they take to listen. It is definitely something that I will always remember and share with my fellow SRNA colleagues. Thank you TANA, Nurse Anesthesia Program Directors, AANA, and everyone else involved in making this opportunity possible for SRNAs! Darlesia Denise Smith, SRNA Class of 2016 at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga UTC Nurse Anesthesia students with Dr. Linda Hill, TANA President Julie Bonom, and Congressman Fleischmann UTC Nurse Anesthesia students Darlesia Smith, SRNA, and Meg Duggan,...

TANA Members Attend AANA Mid Year Assembly in Washington – Student Testimonial

By on Apr 30, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 0 comments

Over 35 TANA Members attended the AANA Mid Year Assembly in Washington D.C. where they visited with our U.S. Representatives from Tennessee, and attended a Tennessee Tuesday event to meet with our U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.   Below is a testimonial from Elizabeth Roehner, SRNA from UT Knoxville about what attending the event meant to her: Traveling to Washington DC to represent the CRNA practice in the state of Tennessee was both exciting and educational. I learned so much from seeing how the national organization, AANA, plays a huge role in our practice by protecting and fighting for our opportunities to provide safe and effective patient care. There is so much activity that goes on behind the scenes that makes our daily practice possible, that it makes sense why our monetary contributions to TANA and AANA are a necessity. Meeting my Senator and Congressman showed me how face-to-face interaction with true decision makers can make a difference! These relationships are important to establish and nurture in order to protect the CRNA practice in Tennessee. I am so thankful for this opportunity and experience! Sarah Combs, SRNA and Elizabeth Roehner, SRNA from UT Knoxville in front of the Capitol...

Another Student Testimonial from the 2015 AANA Mid Year Assembly

By on Apr 30, 2015 in AANA, Student Success | 1 comment

Here’s another testimonial from an SRNA who attended the 2015 AANA Mid Year Assembly. I would like to thank TANA for the amazing opportunity to attend the 2015 AANA MYA.  In my opinion, this experience was priceless in so many ways.  By attending the MYA I was able to not only become politically active personally, I was also able to connect and network with like minded CRNAs and SRNAs whose goals are to further our profession.  Meeting the senators and house representatives was a brand new experience and made me realize how important the AANA and PAC institutions truly are.  As prospective CRNAs it is easy for us to master the clinical aspect of nurse anesthesia but the MYA highlighted the “elephant in the room” topics that are often left out in the classroom; One of which is the business of nurse anesthesia. Rubbing shoulders with past, present, and future presidents of state and national associations was a major benefit to attending the DC assembly.  I was able to pick their brains and inquire about their paths to success in the CRNA profession. The networking benefit of the event was invaluable, I was able to connect with Stephen D. Smith of Georgia, Lena Gould, CRNA, Senator Bob Corker, CRNAs from Delaware, and so many others.  By networking and  having these contacts, it would be easier to gain employment nationwide upon graduation in July of 2016.  Thanks again to TANA, and TANA FPD, Vic Martin, CRNA, for the opportunity! Pelu Ogunyemi, BSN, SRNA Nurse Anesthesia Track – Class 2016 Class President Doctor of Nursing Practice Union University Union University SRNAs (Ian Bicol, Scott Awtry, and Pelu Ogunyemi) with Dennis Bless, CRNA (immediate Past President of AANA) and Sharon Pearce, CRNA (AANA President) Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program Luncheon with Students from Union University Union University SRNAs (Ian Bicol, Scott Awtry, and Pelu Ogunyemi) networking with SRNAs from across the...

Help Promote National CRNA Week on Social Media

By on Jan 23, 2015 in AANA, National Nurse Anesthetist Week | 0 comments

Please see the message below from AANA President Sharon Pearce.  Check out the social media events scheduled throughout National CRNA Week by visiting the AANA website, and remember to use the hashtag #CRNAWeek to help promote this year’s campaign and spread the word about the incredible work CRNAs do to help millions of patients each year.  Happy CRNA Week! Dear Colleagues, National CRNA Week (#CRNAWeek) starts next week (January 25-31, 2015), and what better time than now to take advantage of today’s social media landscape to educate others about how CRNAs ensure patient access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care? As you may know, social media provides immediacy, accessibility, and can unite people like no other information-sharing medium. Sometimes referred to as a means to achieve mass persuasion, today’s social platforms serve as the driving force behind changing public opinion, harnessing thoughts that lead to actions, and reaching people across boundaries. The power of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others is evident in the role social media have played in national awareness campaigns such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, or even on the political front, such as helping to increase enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. Moving forward, we as CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists can have fun creating our own successes by collectively promoting this year’s CRNA Week through the use of online social spaces. Be sure to use the official hashtag for this year’s campaign (#CRNAWeek), and take advantage of the wealth of social media ideas and resources provided to you on the AANA website. Also, be sure to participate in the AANA social media events that will occur every day during CRNA Week. You can find us on Facebook at AANA/American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and on Twitter by searching for the official AANA handle @AANAWebUpdates. You can also find us on LinkedIn by searching “American Association of Nurse Anesthetists,” and follow us on Instagram at aanaphotos. Most importantly, enjoy using social media to creatively spread the word about our remarkable profession and the important work we do on behalf of millions of patients each year. Best wishes for a successful CRNA Week Sharon Pearce, CRNA, MSN AANA...