MTSA, AANA Present First Outstanding Achievement Award for Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship

Above photo: Daniel Nash, CRNA, DNAP

Daniel Nash, DNAP, CRNA, is the first recipient of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship “Outstanding Achievement Award,” presented at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia’s Commencement ceremony last November.

Nash was a member of the ASPM Fellowship’s first cohort and completed the certificate program in 2018, along with 12 other CRNAs.

“Since entering the Fellowship in 2017, Dan has continued to distinguish himself based on his achievements,” said Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Fellowship, during the award presentation. “He has developed and implemented a robust regional block rotation at SSM Health Bone & Joint Hospital at St. Anthony in Oklahoma City for our Fellowship. He has also developed a patent-pending pulsatile pump technology, which is used in cadaveric education ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia.”

According to Johnson, one Fellow each year is selected by MTSA and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. The award is based on a Fellow’s ability to:

  • contribute to the clinical expertise and scholarship in acute pain management;
  • advance the scope of nurse anesthesia practice;
  • develop innovative acute surgical pain management approaches that contribute to safe and effective patient care;
  • inspire other nurse anesthesia providers in the profession;
  • interact collegially with all health care providers to positively impact the image of nurse anesthesia; and
  • participate in community affairs, legislation and organizations that affect and advance nurse anesthesia practice.

“I’d like to thank the AANA and MTSA for awarding me the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship Outstanding Achievement Award,” Nash said. “My fellow nominees are outstanding CRNAs, and to be chosen from amongst them is very humbling.”

Nash added that the Fellowship is “an extremely important program. It’s elevating CRNA practice to a level that we have not seen before. It is bringing a much-needed advanced learning opportunity to the field.”

“I’ve personally been a CRNA for over 25 years, I’ve taught regional anesthesia through my company Maverick for over 10 years, and I had a very solid knowledge base from my experience. But this Fellowship, through its extremely comprehensive and in-depth curriculum, taught me much more than I knew before. [MTSA has] done a great job of putting together instructors from all over the world who teach the Fellows and give us experience that I think we probably can’t gain just through working alone,” Nash said.

“The hard work and dedication of Dr. Bill Johnson is amazing, and I’d like to thank him personally for all he does,” Nash added. “My practice has advanced quite a bit since I’ve completed the Fellowship. I’ve changed a lot of things in my practice for the betterment of my patients and surgeons I work with. My acute surgical pain management has really blossomed from what I’ve learned. I would highly recommend any CRNA to attend this Fellowship. It’s worth the effort, and I feel it’s worth the money, and I think it will advance the knowledge of CRNAs for many years to come.”

In addition to his role as CRNA at Bone & Joint Hospital and partner at Maverick Medical Education in Oklahoma City, Nash also serves as a clinical mentor for the current and future Fellows at MTSA and has developed a range of didactic content as an adjunct faculty member of the Fellowship.

The 2018 Fellowship class was represented by 13 CRNAs from seven different states who spent one year studying advanced principles of acute pain management, documented over 1,000 regional anesthetic blocks, and devoted a considerable amount of time disseminating this knowledge back to their home facilities, according to Johnson.

About the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship

The ASPM Fellowship consists of a classroom component offered via distance education (didactic education) and a clinical component (proctored hands-on clinical experience offered through one or more clinical sites). Fellows learn innovative techniques including multimodal and interventional therapies to manage acute surgical pain, while developing business management proficiency.

A major focus of the program is the utilization of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia—also known as a nerve block—which blocks the pain at the point of surgical contact. Instead of an opioid prescription after surgery, this technique allows patients to take non-addictive, over-the-counter medication and remain pain-free.

As the baby boomer generation ages, increasing numbers of patients are undergoing surgery, and CRNAs are responsible for managing these patients’ surgical pain. The Fellowship provides an advanced skill-set to meet this growing patient demand.

Topics of study include:

  • Legal, ethical, and professional issues related to acute surgical pain management
  • Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of acute surgical pain
  • Non-allopathic considerations for acute surgical pain management
  • Physiological aspects of pain
  • Assessment and evaluation of the patient with acute surgical pain
  • Pharmacogenetics, dynamics, and kinetics related to acute surgical pain management
  • Technical interventions for the management of acute pain
  • Foundations of initiating an acute pain service
  • Business fundamentals in acute pain management

The application period for the next Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship cohort is now open until June 30. For more information, visit

Back to Top

President’s Message:

Growing Our Mission Initiatives

Chris Hulin

One of the most poignant experiences I’ll remember from 2018 is the time we spent serving the people of Haiti on MTSA’s mission trip with faculty and students.

The trip was both fruitful and rewarding for several reasons, which I hope you’ll appreciate:

  • Built on a Foundation. Now that we’ve participated in our third mission trip to Haiti, we have developed quite a number of close relationships with the local providers and have established trust within the hospital system where we serve. They know us and the passion we bring.
  • Expanding our Horizons. We met with a new group during this trip: myLIFEspeaks, a non-profit started by Mike and Missy Wilson and based in Middle Tennessee. It was an honor to provide education to their physicians and nurses on post-operative care, including opioid-sparing methods of treating pain.
  • Student Growth. Our students continue to shine. We were joined by an anesthesiologist from Annapolis, Md., who does not normally work with CRNAs or students. On multiple occasions, he told me how impressed he was with our students’ professionalism and skill. Interactions like this continue to advance our practice, expand our circle of influence in the field, and help us advocate for our profession.
  • New Opportunities. One of the attendees at our educational sessions was an ER physician from University Hospital in Mirebalais, a well-known facility operated by Partners In Health. PIH was co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician and Harvard Medical School professor – and a personal hero of mine. It’s gratifying to know that this ER physician came to our training session and brought back a wealth of knowledge that he will pass on to a world-class institution also serving the people of Haiti. It’s my hope we will be able to work more closely with this group in the future.

I’m especially grateful to those who have supported our Mission Initiatives, particularly Stan Bearden of B. Braun Medical. By donating block kits and catheters, they were able to help us provide the “gold standard” of care in acute surgical pain techniques. You can read more about our mission trip in this issue of Airways.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support our efforts in so many ways. I look forward to joining with you in 2019 as we share our gifts and grow our profession.

Back to Top

Regional Cadaveric Workshops

MTSA offers three opportunities this year for CRNAs to participate in a Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia (USGRA) workshop. The courses are offered on Feb. 17, April 7 and Aug. 4.

More information and registration is at

According to Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of MTSA’s Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship, these hands-on training courses utilize state-of-the-art ultrasound technology and a comprehensive approach to regional anesthesia techniques for surgery and acute pain management.

Participants receive the benefits of small-group “live” scanning and needling stations, low faculty-to-attendee ratios, and an individualized learning plan that suits the attendee’s needs in regional anesthesia. Information presented will be highly practical and immediately useful to the attendee’s daily clinical practice, Johnson said.

Blocks that will be taught include: interscalene, supraclavicular, infraclavicular, axillary, distal upper and lower extremity salvage blocks, fascia iliaca, femoral, adductor canal, popliteal and TAP. There will be pulsatile, cadaveric needling stations using the “Maverick Method.”

The program has been prior approved by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for 16.00 Class A CE credits. AANA designates this program as meeting the criteria for up to 2.00 CE Credits in pharmacology/therapeutics. Participation is limited.

Back to Top

MTSA 2018 Commencement Ceremony

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia hosted Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2018 on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at the Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church. The program was streamed live on YouTube, and a video of the event is available at

Trustee Kenneth L. Schwab, EdD, led the procession of the MTSA board of trustees, administration, faculty and graduates while carrying the MTSA mace. Class of 2018 graduate Warkim Giles offered the invocation, following a welcome message from President Chris Hulin.

During his remarks, Hulin offered special recognition to graduate Morgan Rohde for spearheading MTSA’s involvement in mission work in Guyana, saying, “I’m very grateful for your knowledge, encouragement and connections you provided to make this partnership in Guyana successful.”

Hulin also encouraged graduates to “conduct a life of service. Never give up on helping others. You are extremely blessed to have the gifts and abilities to complete this training and to rise to the level of a CRNA. Use these gifts to their fullest while serving others and making your world a better place.”

After Hulin spoke, MTSA Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Martin, MS, CRNA, added his congratulations to the class of 2018 followed by graduate Michael Brown, Jr., who introduced the first speaker, Kenneth E. Wetmore, MA, Senior Pastor, Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church. Graduate Callie Downs Bush introduced the keynote speaker, former Tennessee State Representative Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers, who encouraged graduates to uplift and serve others.

First cohort of Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship receives certificates

Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship, introduced the first cohort of ASPM Fellowship certificate recipients. He also announced the recipient of the first Outstanding Achievement Award, Daniel Nash, DNAP, CRNA. (See the cover story in this issue of Airways.)

“The content of the Fellowship is very dense,” Hulin said. “I would hold [the Fellows’] achievements up to any postgraduate program in the country. These Fellows are destined to become future thought leaders and innovators in the nurse anesthesia profession and surgical pain management, seeking to decrease the dependency of opioid usage in the operating room and improve patient outcomes.”

After graduates were presented their diplomas, the ceremony was closed with a special musical presentation by graduate Alicia Dellen and a benediction by graduate David Rebello.

Class of 2018 Clinical Experiences

Each year MTSA graduates well-exceed requirements of the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) regarding the number of cases and procedures for clinical experiences in order for the candidate to be eligible to take the National Certification Examination.

NBCRNA sets the required numbers of cases and procedures for clinical experiences in order for the candidate to be eligible to take the National Certification Examination.

The following statistics are derived from the information provided to the NBCRNA for certification requirements for the graduates as of Nov. 1, 2018. NBCRNA requires a minimum number of 600 cases. The average number of cases performed by members of the class of 2018 was 904 cases. The graduate with the highest number of cases performed was John-Paul Garrity who had 1,339 cases.

NBCRNA requires a minimum of 850 hours of clinical time. The average number of hours spent actually doing anesthesia by the members of the class of 2018 was 1,718 hours. The graduate with the most hours of anesthesia time was Ogemdi Madu with 2,537 hours.

NBCRNA requires each graduate to have administered anesthesia to at least 40 pediatric patients. Members of the class of 2018 performed an average of 157 anesthetics for pediatric patients. The graduate with the highest number was Carrie Campbell with 253 pediatric cases.

NBCRNA requires each graduate to have provided anesthesia for at least 30 obstetrical patients. The average number of anesthetics in this category for members of the class of 2018 was 98. The graduate with the highest number was Zach Hoverman with 170 obstetrical patients.

Graduates from all programs across the United States are required to perform a minimum of 35 regional anesthetics. These 35 can be from a combination of all categories of regional anesthesia. The members of this graduating class administered an average of 128 regional anesthetics. Epidural and spinal anesthesia are techniques of regional anesthesia. The members of this class performed an average of 30 spinal anesthetics. The members of this class performed an average of 67 epidurals.


During the graduation ceremony, awards were presented to the following graduates:

Team Spirit Award: John-Paul Garrity

This award is voted on solely by Masters students and given to the person in their class who has continually offered encouragement and was always willing to lend a helpful hand.

Bernard Bowen Award for Academic Excellence: Scott Wier

This award is named for the founder and first Program Director of the school of nurse anesthesia in 1950. The recipient was chosen by votes from the MTSA faculty and administration. The student selected for this award must have upheld the mission and core values of MTSA, achieved a GPA of 3.75 or higher, exhibited professionalism during interaction with classmates and academic faculty, and fostered a spirit of academic excellence beyond the expectations and degree requirements.

Agatha Hodgins Award for Clinical Excellence: James Tarcon

This award is named for the founder and first president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Ms. Hodgins was also a strong advocate for the education of nurse anesthetists. The clinical affiliates of Vanderbilt, General Hospital, along with MTSA Administration, had input into the selection of the recipient for this award. The student selected for this award must have upheld the mission and core values of MTSA, achieved a GPA of 3.75 or higher, and exhibited professionalism during interaction with clinical faculty and classmates, and fostered a spirit of clinical excellence beyond the expectations and degree requirements.

Back to Top

National CRNA Week

During the week of Jan. 20-26, MTSA joined the celebration of anesthesia patient safety and the nation’s nearly 53,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and student registered nurse anesthetists who safely and cost-effectively provide more than 45 million anesthetics each year.

The theme for this year’s National CRNA Week was “Every breath. Every beat. Every second. We are there.” The event helped patients, hospital administrators, healthcare professionals, policymakers and others become more familiar with the CRNA credential and the exceptional advanced practice registered nurses who have earned it. 2019 marked the 20th National CRNA Week, which began in 2000.

Back to Top

Mission Initiative Update

Team completes third successful trip to Haiti

The MTSA mission team, pictured on the steps of Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti, is joined by hand surgeons, anesthesiologists, and the other volunteers from Annapolis, Md.

MTSA faculty and partners were joined by five students on the school’s third trip to Haiti last October, providing acute surgical pain management care in conjunction with hand surgeons from the Touching Hands Project, at Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti in Carrefour, near Port-au-Prince.

The team also conducted education sessions for local ER physicians and anesthesiologists, boosting the standard of care and providing a long-term impact on the people in Haiti. In addition, MTSA students and faculty held training sessions for providers at myLIFEspeaks, a non-profit in Neply that offers services for children who have been orphaned or abandoned.

“We assisted with 17 surgeries, mainly upper extremities, with each patient receiving a peripheral nerve block placed by our students with guidance from our CRNA and anesthesiologist team,” said MTSA Program Administrator Rusty Gentry, DNAP, CRNA, who was part of the mission team. “In one case, we performed a nerve harvest from the leg and placed that nerve into the arm. But mainly our focus was peripheral arm, tendon and ligament transplant, allowing the patients to have better function in their extremities.”

As part of the education for local ER physicians and anesthesiologists, MTSA provided intubation training and donated a McGRATH™ video laryngoscope. B. Braun Medical Inc., represented by Stan Bearden, supported the mission effort by donating block kits and catheters.

“The level of training and experience for ER physicians and anesthesiologists isn’t quite the same as in the U.S., particularly with regard to central lines, intubations and nerve blocks. So our sessions really helped, especially focusing on the axillary block. The students assisted in the instruction, and they were able to scan my neck and arms and perform upper extremity nerve identification. The physicians were eager to learn and did a great job,” Gentry said.

One unique aspect of the trip was the inclusion of a student, Kemens Desruisseaux, who originally hails from Haiti and is fluent in the native language.

“Having such a knowledgeable student to translate information that is challenging for a non-medical person was extremely helpful,” Gentry said. “We normally rely on an interpreter. But having someone from the anesthesia community – a student, no less – it was just incredible. Kemens was a valuable member of the team.

“It’s important to impart to the students the mission of MTSA by participating in these mission trips and allowing them the opportunity to place these nerve blocks and perform anesthetics on patients who may not speak the same language,” Gentry added. “The patients we served in Haiti had a much higher tolerance for pain than we’re used to, even the kids. They just deal with life in a different way. Watching the students serve them in this setting – performing every single block – made me very proud of what they’re accomplishing.”

The 2018 Haiti mission team included the following students from the Class of 2019:

  • Eric Cooper
  • Kemens Desruisseaux
  • Tyler Lamb
  • Kelsey Monger
  • Mercedes Philips

Funding for MTSA’s Mission Initiatives is provided, in part, by the generous contributions of alumni and friends through the Mission and Awards Gala, Golf Classic, Sporting Clay Tournament, and other events and donations throughout the year. To contribute, visit

Emergency room physicians and nurses attend a lecture given by MTSA Program Director Rusty Gentry, DNAP, CRNA.

MTSA SRNA Tyler Lamb performs a regional anesthesia block with Kemens Desruisseaux and the visiting anesthesiologist from Annapolis, Md.

Mercedes Philips, MTSA SRNA, and mission team member prepare to perform a regional anesthesia block.

Back to Top

MTSA’s 6th annual Mission & Awards Gala to be held April 25

Proceeds will benefit Mission Initiatives in Haiti and Guyana


Planning for the 6th annual MTSA Mission & Awards Gala is in full swing, with the event scheduled to be held Thursday, April 25, at the Westin Nashville, announced event chair Ashley Jacobs Mansfield, MS, CRNA. The Gala continues to support MTSA’s Mission Initiatives, including efforts in Haiti, Guyana and local communities.

 “I appreciate Ashley, vice chair Matt Demaree, MS, CRNA, and the entire committee for volunteering their time and energy to plan this year’s Gala,” said MTSA President Chris Hulin. “Our Mission Initiatives continue to reap enormous benefits in many parts of the world by raising the standard of care for patients. I’m very thankful to everyone who supports these efforts by attending or sponsoring this event.

“I’m also excited to announce that we will be joined this year by the class of nursing students we’ve been mentoring on our mission trips to Guyana. They will be traveling to Nashville to spend a week on campus as well as connect with the CRNA community at the Gala. It will be a great opportunity to encourage them and demonstrate the camaraderie we have among the many professionals in our field,” Hulin added.

As part of the Gala, MTSA alumni and friends choose nominees for five awards to be presented at the event: Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Alumni Distinguished Service Award; Nevin Downs, MD Leadership Award; Clinical Excellence Award; Philanthropy Award; and Mission & Heritage Award.

The evening will include a silent auction, reception, dinner and award ceremony. The event is open to all including alumni, faculty, students, physicians, medical groups, corporations and individuals. There are several sponsorships available, in addition to table sponsors and individual tickets.

For more information, contact the MTSA Advancement & Alumni Office at (615) 732-7674 or visit

Back to Top

2019 Alumni Committee

Congratulations to the newly announced MTSA Alumni Committee for 2019!

  • President: Rod Schwindt
  • Secretary: Brad Irby
  • Treasurer: Dwight Kennerson

Decade Representatives:

  • 2010-Present: Samantha Porter
  • 2000-2009: David Murphy
  • 1990-1999: Richard Russell Lane
  • 1980-1989: Danny Denning
  • 1970-1979: Betty Perales
  • Pre 1969 & Retired CRNAs: Lois Bernard
  • Representative-at-Large: Wade Rippy


Back to Top

Save the date for MTSA's fall fundraising events

16th Annual MTSA Golf Classic
Thursday, Sept. 19
Hermitage Golf Course

3rd Annual MTSA Sporting Clay Tournament
Friday, Nov. 8
Nashville Gun Club

These events benefit MTSA’s Mission Initiatives in Haiti, Guyana and local communities. For more information, visit or call (615) 732-7674.

Back to Top

From the Archives

Class of 2007

Students from MTSA’s Class of 2007 gather for a group photo during a break from classes.

Back to Top

Back To Airways