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TIS’ THE SEASON TO RELAX … really!

By on Dec 23, 2013 in Notes from the President | 3 comments

  Christmas is a very chaotic time of year … trying to attend Christmas programs, concerts, and parties; trying to find the perfect gift; make the perfect Christmas for our family; and making sure not to forget to smile while eating your great aunt’s fruitcake. We burn the candle at both ends …  after working our shift whether 8, 10, 12, or 24 hours. We are shopping, cooking, wrapping, running, and trying to be involved in every aspect of the Christmas Season. But do we really take time to STOP and really contemplate this Christmas time. For CRNAs, December is the busiest time of the year as patients all want to proceed with their surgeries in order to beat the year end. Insurance deductibles get met, and we work long hours trying to ensure that our patients get the best care. As citizens in our communities, we attend the Christmas pageants, parades, and programs. And lastly, we give to our families as much as possible.  But once again, do we really take time to STOP, and contemplate at Christmas. While the world around you is frantically shopping, event going, and in chaos, are YOU taking a small amount of time to enjoy the little things? When you attend your children’s program, are you actually enjoying the moment? (They don’t last long!)  Are you actually looking at the lights, listening to the carolers in the mall, taking time to watch a Christmas movie with your family, and going outside to look at the stars imagining what took place over 2000 years ago. So, as I contemplate this day, I want to start by thanking each CRNA and SRNA in our great state for your dedication to providing patients excellent anesthesia care, for being leaders in your community, for ensuring that CRNAs are leaders in anesthesia. I want to thank our TANA Board of Directors, who constantly work to ensure that CRNAs and CRNA interests are protected. I also want to thank the TANA office, lobbyist, and legal counsel who work to protect our practice.  I am not only blessed with a great family, friends, and co-workers, but I have a state of great colleagues as well. STOP, this Christmas Season and enjoy the little things, thank God for family, friends, and co-workers. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Mark J. Haffey MSN, CRNA, APN...

Message from Mark …

By on Nov 23, 2013 in Notes from the President | 0 comments

I am glad to bring excitement to you and encouragement as you dedicate yourselves to providing the highest quality anesthesia care.   The Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists has been busy this fall. With many questions in regards to Healthcare Reform, TANA has been proactive. Seven CRNAs from Tennessee attended the AANA Fall Leadership Academy, which was designed to educate state leaders and CRNAs in the current issues affecting nurse anesthesia. The AANA Meeting had education tracks in regards to Leadership, Federal Political Director, Governmental Relations, Reimbursement, AANA Foundation, and President-Elect. Tennessee made sure that we had representation in all areas. The academy presents a way for CRNAs to be involved with interactive discussions and lectures that were given by nationally renowned speakers. Information that was gleaned at this meeting will help your Tennessee Board of Directors as we move forward. Your TANA Board of Directors and TANA lobbyist are currently working to ensure that we are prepared for the 2014 legislative session, as well as developing plans to ensure that CRNAs are a vital part of healthcare in TN.   TANA is also displaying our active role in Tennessee Rural Healthcare as an exhibitor at the RHAT Annual Meeting. CRNAs are a vital part of Rural Healthcare in Tennessee with 41 of the 95 counties in TN served exclusively by CRNAs.   Using our new PR Firm, TANA is proactively reaching out to Tennessee CRNAs attempting to engage you in the association. The involvement of Tennessee CRNAs is absolutely essential to our success. As members, you deserve to have an association that is working to enhance your role as a nurse anesthetist. We are currently in the process of redesigning our website making it a useful tool for all CRNAs. Also, we are using our monthly newsletter and blog to interact and seek input from CRNAs. As CRNAs, please feel free to contact me if you have questions and comments.   Sincerely,   Mark J. Haffey MSN, CRNA, APN TANA President Contact Info: Cell: (615) 415-1959 Home: (615) 771-9676 Email: gas4u@bellsouth.net...

Top 10 Things NOT to do at the TANA Convention

By on Oct 10, 2013 in AANA, Making an imPACt, Notes from the President, TANA Annual Meeting | 0 comments

Miss out winning a brand new Apple TV because you were at the bar. Hit the SNOOZE on your alarm, thus missing the morning education session Spill your drink on Region II Director’s, Tony Chipas, laptop consequently shutting down the entire AANA. Miss going to the exhibit hall and seeing the latest anesthesia toys. Announcing to every CRNA your love of Star Wars by leaving your cell phone ringer on in the lecture hall. Let out a big “Go Vols” during the AANA update because you’re watching the UT game on your iPad. Forget to become a PAC member, thus allowing “Big Al” the car salesman to decide whether you are qualified to work in anesthesia. Take a nap and find out you missed the Dr. Don Bell College Bowl and Silent Auction. Forget to attend the PAC Dinner at historic Miller’s Grocery on Saturday night missing the epic event of the century. Forget to spend some time getting to know your CRNA Colleagues. (Who knows … you may be asking them for a job some...

Live Streaming: To Be or Not to Be …

By on Sep 17, 2013 in AANA, Notes from the President | 9 comments

AANA Business Meeting, Live Streaming: To Be or Not to Be … A question has recently been raised in AANA. The question is whether the Annual Business Meeting should be streamed online, and should CRNAs at home be allowed to vote. At first you may say, that is a no brainer, “YES.” I want each of you to read this article, and please comment and vote on this. This is your state president-elect trying to represent the membership of Tennessee, but I need you to be informed about all that is involved. Where did this topic arise? Leaders within the AANA have discussed the poor attendance at the business meeting for years. Although, this year was the largest turnout in 20 years with 538 members present. Looking at the numbers, it is still apathetic since there are 45,000 eligible CRNA voters (1.2%). So, how do we involve more CRNAs and convey the importance of using your voice? Online streaming of the business meeting has been discussed, but there are concerns. What about security of the feed as reports, financials, and future initiatives to advance nurse anesthesia are discussed during these meetings. It is essential that the feed, should on-line streaming be implemented, be secure. Questions arise about how to allow CRNAs not in the business meeting participate in the discussion of issues that will be voted on. (i.e. Pro, Con, Point of Information Microphones). There are then the issues with the cost to place this system. The importance of member input and discussion is ESSENTIAL to the AANA Business Meeting. You also have to ask if involving more CRNAs is worth the risk, but is involving CRNAs the priority. Would CRNAs participate? Would more or less CRNAs travel to attend the meeting? Would the business meeting be disorganized. I believe that we must ask, “How many CRNAs would participate if the AANA invested significant amounts of money in a secure live-streaming business meeting.” With CRNA apathy at an all time high, it is crucial that the voice of CRNAs are heard, but at what cost?  I look forward to hearing your comment and what Tennessee CRNAs want. I will ensure that your voice will be heard. As the AANA continues to look at this issue, it is critical that state associations poll their members and that the voice of CRNAs are heard. So, please respond with Yes or No to Live-Streaming for the AANA Business Meeting, and Yes or No to whether you would participate from home if not at the...

Update from the AANA Conference

By on Aug 13, 2013 in AANA, Notes from the President | 1 comment

The 82nd Meeting of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists is under way in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Nurse Anesthetists from across the country as well as representatives from across the world are meeting this week to learn the latest information in anesthesia, to conduct the business of the association, and to network with colleagues. It is also an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps. The meeting started off with an Opening Convention that included recognition of State Presidents, Friends for Life, Past Presidents of the AANA, and the current AANA Board of Directors. Awards were presented for the John F. Garde Researcher of the Year, Program Director of the Year, Didactic Instructor of the Year, Clinical Instructor of the Year, Rita L LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year, and Public Relations Effort of the Year. Following that has been multiple lectures on anesthesia topics that are at the forefront of the field of nurse anesthesia. Sunday was an exciting day as the business meeting was attended by 526 voting members (a new record since 2000); President of the AANA Janice Izlar presented a report of the association. The strength of the association is still strong with 91.1% of the over 51,000 CRNAs belonging to the association. The report that our Federal Government Affairs Department is as strong as ever this year as they were able to lobby to secure a ruling from CMS that all CRNAs will be fully reimbursed for all services allowed under each states Scope of Practice for CRNAs including Pain Management. Also CMS ruled that Anesthesia Assistants can not bill QZ as independent practitioners, therefore establishing CRNAs position as independent practitioners. President Izlar confirmed the AANA’s initiative to strengthen state associations with the creation of a State Reimbursment Specialist for each state, in order to have a proactive voice in this ever so critical topic. Tennessee is happy to have Abe Abuelouf and Patty Cornwell as our reimbursement specialist. It was also reported that the AANA has initiated a Corporate Partnership Program in order to strengthen our association in the current healthcare landscape. Although relationships with the COA and NBCRNA have been strained this year, great progress was made to strengthen the relationship. Both organizations resigned service agreements with the AANA and the COA has entered into a 20 year agreement with AANA, solidifying the importance of nurse anesthesia education for many years to come. Continued work is ongoing with the NBCRNA. In regards to the relationships with COA and NBCRNA, the membership spoke loudly as they removed restrictive language within the AANA bylaws that required AANA to only use NBCRNA as the recertifying body of the AANA and COA as the accrediting body for nurse anesthesia programs. Financially the AANA is very strong and forecast for the future shows further financial stability. This AANA Annual meeting will continue through Tuesday of this week and many valuable education and hands-on workshops will be held to promote the educational excellence of the association. Tennessee is well-represented with CRNAs from Memphis to Knoxville attending the meeting. Your Tennessee Board of Directors has 4 members here! Looking forward to seeing everyone at the TANA Meeting in October.  ...

Change is Coming

By on Aug 9, 2013 in Notes from the President | 0 comments

Wow! How exciting is this? TANA has its very own blog! I hope all of you are excited about all the new things we have planned for our organization. Change is coming, friends. And, it’s perfect timing. One of the things we learned from our survey this summer is that you all want to hear from us more. Well, your wish is our command. Beginning now, we will be posting regularly right here … on the official TANA blog, and we welcome your comments and conversation. We want our blog to be a place where you can come and discuss issues, topics of interest, or even just catch up with friends from across the state. Our goal is to use this platform in such a way that you will stay informed, be educated and get inspired. In addition, we are also creating a monthly email newsletter, so be on the lookout for it in your inbox! Now, let’s talk social media. It’s obvious that most of you are on Facebook. But, for those of you who use other social media platforms, we’re also on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to check us out, like us, follow us … you know the drill. We know that social media is the place where we can really grow our TANA community, and we’re excited about using it to its full potential. We hope you all will join us in conversation, both professional and fun, and let’s all get to know each other even better. As the President-Elect and PR Director of our awesome organization, I want you to know that I believe in all of you and the work that we do. It’s important. And, as an organization, our goal is to help protect our profession. But that’s not all. It’s also important for us to unite together in what we do. Know that the TANA BOD is looking to engage with all of you. There’s definitely something to look forward to in the future. And, I’m excited to be a part of it. If I can help in any way, don’t ever hesitate to contact me. I’m here for you. All of you. Until next time … Mark...