WASHANA Winter 2016
Advocacy - The act or process of supporting a cause or proposal: the act or process of advocating something.
As CRNAs in Washington State, we embrace many roles. As practitioners, we advocate for our patients on a daily basis. Intuitively, we speak up as the wall of defense in critical moments throughout the patient's peri-operative experience. We determine when to delay or cancel a case. During our anesthetics, we advocate for our patient's safety while ensuring a stable surgical process; we provide lifesaving interventions and life-sustaining medications. We, as CRNAs, have been proven in our excellence in study after study. Patient advocacy is in our DNA.
Advocacy extends beyond the operating suite. WANA has leaders across the state as head of departments, preceptors of students, business owners, educators, and mentors. For me, my passion lies in being an advocate for our profession. I embrace our advocacy core value of representing the collective professional interests of CRNAs. Next month, we have Legislative Day when we discuss state policies with Representatives and Senators; we maintain Washington as the premier state to practice nurse anesthesia. Every spring Mid-Year Assembly brings CRNAs to Washington, D.C. We walk the halls of Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and policy creators while advocating for national issues. We are well received, and we make a difference.
During the period of time when we are not in Olympia and Washington DC, advocacy, for me, takes on different roles. As a member of the AANA-PAC Committee, I assist an amazing group of CRNAs in fundraising and the evaluation of legislators on a national level. In the summer months, I attend several bipartisan fundraisers throughout the Seattle area to promote our profession. Communicating with our ARNP colleagues through being a board member of ARNPs United is imperative for WANA to have a united front on statewide concerns. In December, WANA was present at Governor Inslee's holiday party (he wishes WANA well and thanks us for providing safe, cost-effective care across the state).
Above, left to right: First Lady Trudi Inslee, WANA Lobbyist Melissa Johnson, WANA President Ashley Fedan, Governor Jay Inslee.
Click on image to view larger size in a new window.
Despite fundraising and visits with legislators, I also understand that advocacy is not easy. Threats to our profession are quiet, but constant. The VHA Handbook, which allows CRNAs to practice to our full scope, is being challenged by anesthesiologist colleagues in our state. Nurse anesthetist groups are being replaced by larger businesses in our local hospitals. An attempt for anesthesia assistants is on our horizon (as legislation has been present in states across the country). These circumstances make work conditions challenging; relationships with surgeons, anesthesia colleagues, administrators can become even more uncomfortable when the threats are local. As an advocate for our profession, my aim is to pursue what is in the best interest of CRNAs, both in Washington State and across the country.
Methods of advocacy vary. This year, every national Senator and Congressman received holiday cards on behalf of WANA thanking them for their support. Washington State Health Care Committee members were also sent well wishes prior to the legislative session. The board has begun utilizing a new tool to encourage advocacy throughout the membership. Letters sent from our first blast email have had a dynamic effect on legislation on the national level - there will be more to come as more threats to practice are presented. Social media (Facebook and Twitter) encourages CRNA involvement from across the country to address WANA concerns. Recent battles positively affected by social media include labor battles in Michigan, VHA handbook legislation, and advanced practice in Arizona. Not utilizing all methods of advocacy can have detrimental effects in transparency and practice for CRNAs across the country. My goal, as an activist and advocate, is to harness these processes, and if need be, make the professional sacrifices so that the members are not harmed in challenging times.
It is an honor to serve as your WANA President. Although I am a CRNA first and advocate second, my service to you is devout. The collective goal of having a strong membership, knowing what you need, and how I can best be of service is my purpose over the next two years. I am planning on town hall meetings throughout the state during my term. I know coming to meetings can be hard with families and schedules. My goal is to come to you, be available, and get to better know the WANA membership, so we can better serve you. I stand on strong shoulders and a beautiful legacy. Because of what you do for your patients on a daily basis, we will make the future bright!
Ashley Fedan, CRNA, MS, ARNP
WANA Committee Roster (PDF)
WANA Board Roster (PDF)
WASHANA Winter 2016 Menu:
Federal Political Director Report
State Reimbursement Specialist Report
WANA PAC Report
AANA Region 5 Update
Public Relations Committee Report
PR Recognition Awards
Board Development Report: WANA Leadership Opportunities
Communications Committee Report
CRNA Legislative Day 2016
WANA Offers Student Loans to CRNA Students
Important Contact Information
Vendor Thank You
^ Back to top ^