Student Support Center named in DeVasher’s honor

By unanimous vote, MTSA’s Board of Trustees will rename the Student Support Center in honor of Dean Emerita Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher, PhD, CRNA, announced Chairman Victor Martin, MBA, CRNA.

ABOVE PHOTO: MTSA Dean Emerita Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher, PhD, CRNA, reacts as the announcement is made that the Student Support Center will be named in her honor.

Martin made the announcement in a surprise presentation at MTSA’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) graduation ceremony in December, saying, “For 45 years [DeVasher] has been the catalyst and glue of the institution, and the person that prompted and pushed us all to achieve and improve. It’s through her efforts that MTSA made the progression from certificate to Masters; and from Masters to Doctorate.”

The commemoration of DeVasher’s service to MTSA coincided with the School’s first class of graduates from the Practice Doctorate program, which she was instrumental in launching, Martin said. He added that the growth of the institution came with dedication, hard work and effort by the faculty, staff and administration – but that DeVasher’s contribution stands out.

“She and her family’s commitment to the institution is incredible, as her husband Bernard taught for many years, and their daughter Dr. Alescia DeVasher Bethea served as MTSA Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness & Program Development,” Martin said.

“Please join me in congratulating Dr. Ikey DeVasher as we recognize her commitment, impact, and dedication to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia,” Martin concluded, as those in attendance rose for a standing ovation.

Describing her reaction to the surprise presentation, DeVasher said, “As Vic and Chris approached the platform, I was lost in thought as to how much Vic reminded me of his mom, who had been my mentor in nursing, and how she would have been so proud of him. That led me to think how proud I was of both Vic and Chris, two of my ‘anesthesia children,’ for their abilities and willingness to engage in leadership positions.”

She added that she was “surprised, dumbfounded… when the announcement was made. Tears flowed. To have my name in such a prominent place, especially in the sight of a building with the name of my own anesthesia mentor, Bernard Bowen, is very humbling and such an honor. Being selected for this is deeply meaningful.”

The formal naming of the Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Student Support Center completes the naming of all MTSA campus buildings, including Percy T. Magan Hall and the Bernard V. Bowen Academic Center.

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President’s Message: Love Endures

Chris Hulin

I must admit, offering a meaningful reflection on the challenges we faced in 2020 – and presenting a renewed outlook for 2021 – has proven to be very difficult. In fact, I have tried several times to write a message that captures this moment in our shared experience, but my efforts fell short with each attempt.

There’s no need to highlight the struggles, tensions, and fears we’ve all endured, as none of us has been exempt from the adversity of 2020. As we begin 2021, there is still a lot of uncertainty about when, or if, things will get back to “normal” and what we will face next. This uncertainty encouraged me to look to the Bible for answers, and what I found was a reminder in 1 Corinthians 13 that each of us should consider when evaluating our lives and how we will respond to the next crisis:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

(1 Cor. 13, New Living Translation)

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DNAP 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia hosted Commencement Exercises for the inaugural Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Class of 2020 on Dec. 13, 2020, at Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tenn. The program was streamed live online, and a video of the event is available at

Dean Emerita Mary E. “Ikey” DeVasher, PhD, CRNA, led the procession of the MTSA board of trustees, administration, faculty and graduates while carrying the MTSA mace – all while special care was taken for social-distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During his opening remarks, President Chris Hulin acknowledged the unprecedented year experienced by the Class of 2020, saying, “Each of you have been chosen and will soon be serving your communities during the largest healthcare crisis of any of our lifetimes. Your diligence, perseverance and dedication have brought you to this moment in history, and I’m confident that each of you will emerge as leaders and use your experience to advance our profession.”

Following Hulin’s message, Class of 2020 graduate Zach Caldwell offered the invocation; MTSA Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Martin, MBA, CRNA, added his congratulations and encouragement to the graduates; and graduate Kevin White introduced Kenneth E. Wetmore (above), MA, MTSA Chaplain and Senior Pastor, Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church, who delivered a homily.

Graduate Taylor Allen then introduced commencement address speaker MTSA alumna Dina Velocci (right), DNP, CRNA, president-elect of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, who urged the class to maintain work-life balance, give back to the profession, and take care of the communities where they live and work.

Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship and Doctorate Completion Program, introduced the ASPM Fellowship certificate recipients. He also announced the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award: U.S. Army Major Robert Fabich, DNP, CRNA. (See the accompanying story in this issue of Airways.)

Program Administrator Rusty Gentry, DNAP, CRNA, presented a summary of the graduates’ clinical experiences and case counts, followed by the graduates receiving their degrees.

Martin then returned to the podium with a special announcement regarding the naming of the Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Student Support Center. (See the cover story in this issue of Airways.)

The ceremony was closed with a musical presentation by graduate Destin Goins, followed by a benediction by graduate Floyd Flemming.

Class of 2020 Clinical Experiences

Each year MTSA graduates well-exceed requirements of the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetist (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.

The following statistics are derived from the information provided to the NBCRNA for certification requirements for the graduates as of Nov. 16, 2020. NBCRNA requires a minimum number of 600 cases. The average number of cases performed by members of the class of 2020 was 791 cases. The graduate with the highest number of cases performed was Caroline Manion who completed 1,003 cases.

NBCRNA requires a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical time. The average number of hours spent actually doing anesthesia by the members of the class of 2020 was 2,494 hours. The graduate with the most hours of anesthesia time was Aaron Lindquist with 2,805 hours.

NBCRNA requires each graduate to have administered anesthesia to at least 40 pediatric patients. Members of the class of 2020 performed an average of 120 anesthetics for pediatric patients. The graduate with the highest number was Bethany Lindaman with 265 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 2020 was 71. The graduate with the highest number was Ashley Bautista with 177 obstetrical patients.

Graduates from all programs across the United States are required to perform a minimum of at least 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 100 regional anesthetics. Epidural and spinal anesthesia are techniques of regional anesthesia. The members of this class performed an average of 24 spinal anesthetics. The members of this class performed an average of 46 epidurals.


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

Team Spirit Award: Brandon Drew Madsen

This award is voted on solely by 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: Kala Marie Sigona

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: Only De’Andre McKnight

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.

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MTSA Service in Action

MTSA students and staff participated in multiple service projects, both on and off campus, in November in connection with the School’s community service initiative. As part of the on-campus service day, volunteers worked with Rise Against Hunger, the Red Cross and FiftyForward.

“With Rise Against Hunger, we’re feeding people in countries that might not have the same opportunity for food that we do here. It’s an amazing group, and we’re glad to partner with them,” said MTSA Chaplain Ken Wetmore.

“There’s a critical shortage of blood in the United States right now, so this is another way we can give back and fulfill MTSA’s mission. We’re also working with FiftyForward, making cards and taking those to folks who have been shut in during COVID-19 – trying to send a little bit of love their way. These are some of the ways MTSA teaches our students to give back,” Wetmore said.

In addition to the on-campus service, MTSA staff helped prepare Thanksgiving meals at the Nashville Rescue Mission and volunteered at the King’s Daughters Child Development Center in Madison to help with landscaping, weeding, mulching and painting.

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Distance learning available to ASPM Fellows

MTSA now offers a distance learning opportunity to alumni of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship in a subscription format, according to Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Fellowship and DNAP Completion program.

The subscription includes:

  • 24/7 access to the most up-to-date research articles, textbooks, module revisions, and video content for all the Fellowship information using the BrightSpace Learning Management System (LMS). This content as a whole will be updated on a bi-annual basis to reflect the current version of the Fellowship.
  • Discussion Boards that will allow any graduate to post a question and receive a response from past graduates of the Fellowship and faculty about ongoing clinical issues in acute pain management.
  • Access to the most up-to-date video synchronous events that are produced by MTSA Fellowship faculty.
  • Ongoing access to updated illustrations and content produced by Jack Vander Beek and available through the newly relaunched
  • Updated Regional Cadaveric Workshop video content for new novel regional techniques that are available to course attendees.

The distance learning content also includes monthly grand rounds facilitated by Fellowship faculty members Stace Dollar, MS, CRNA, and John Edwards, MS, CRNA, covering the latest research in acute pain management.

Subscription rates for 2020-2021 calendar year are $20 per month, or $175 annually. Contact Rebecca Talley at for more information.

Join the Fellowship

The application period for the next cohort of MTSA’s Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship is now open, with classes beginning in fall 2021.

The ASPM Fellowship is a component of the AANA Pain Management Curriculum. According to Johnson, the primary goal is to advance the knowledge and skills of CRNAs in acute surgical pain management and prepare them to help meet the growing need for this evidence-based approach.

The Fellowship curriculum includes special focus on perioperative point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS), which is the use of portable ultrasonography at a patient’s bedside for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Along with its use for pain management, heart, lung and abdominal ultrasound scanning may reveal sources of hypotension, hypoxemia and other presentations of cardiopulmonary instability.

In addition, fees for the basic and advanced Regional Cadaveric Workshops are waived during the Fellowship enrollment period for any applicants who have met all the admission requirements.

For more information about the ASPM Fellowship, visit.

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Advanced Training for CRNAs

Regional Cadaveric Workshops

Participants in MTSA’s Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia workshops 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, according to Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship and DNAP Completion program. Information presented is highly practical and immediately useful to the attendee’s daily clinical practice.

Limited capacity is available for the following Regional Cadaveric Workshops in 2021:

Basic Course — February 21
Basic Course — March 21
Advanced Course — July 25
Advanced Course — October 17

Johnson said that the following blocks will be taught and demonstrated: PECs I/II, erector spinae, infraclavicular, serratus anterior, costoclavicular, RAPTIR, quadratus lumborum, TAP (iliohypogastric/ilioinguinal, transversalis, and posterior TAP), suprascapular (anterior and posterior approaches), and paravertebral nerve blocks. Advanced approaches to upper and lower extremity will also be taught, to include axillary at the circumflex artery, distal upper/lower USGRA blocks, and anterior sciatic.

Instructors for the daylong workshop include Johnson; Stace Dollar, MS, CRNA; John M. Edwards, III, MS, CRNA; Kelly Martin, MS, CRNA; and MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellows.

Participants can earn up to 16 Class A CE credits by completing the pre-course content and the course content combined. In addition, the AANA designates this program as meeting the criteria for up to 2 CE Credits in pharmacology/therapeutics.

Registration is available at For more information contact Bill Johnson at (615) 732-7846,; or

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) Workshops

MTSA invites CRNAs to learn advanced Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) using ultrasound and state-of-the-art HeartWorks simulators. According to instructor John Shields, DNP, CRNA, all participants will perform basic and comprehensive TEE, including image acquisition, cardiac structure identification and pathology recognition.

Upcoming TEE Workshops:

January 24
April 18

The daylong workshops incorporate the HeartWorks TEE Simulator, a solution for developing cognitive and psychomotor skills for TEE. Users see real-time, seamless ultrasound imaging in synchronization with their movement of the TEE probe, providing a realistic and accurate training experience in preparation for real patient examinations.

Shields said 20 pathologies, including aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, biventricular dysfunction and cardiac tamponade, are featured in the training, along with interventional use for transcatheter procedures. He added that TEE has become the standard of care for cardiac surgery, helping to guide the surgeon’s interventions with this expanded scope of practice.

Each participant in the workshop will be enrolled in a free 12-chapter TEE course offered by HeartWorks eLearn prior to attending. Online videos and materials will also be made available immediately prior to the workshop.

The program has been prior approved by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for 10 Class A credits.

For more information, visit, or contact John Shields at (615) 517-6152,; or

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PoCUS Independent Study

CRNAs can now take advantage of MTSA’s Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) courses, which are pre-approved, Class A AANA continuing education (CE) credit opportunities provided in an online, independent study format.

Courses include:

Module 1: Transthoracic Echo and the FATE Assessment
Module 2: Utility of FATE and Basic Perioperative TEE
Module 3: Volume Assessment and Focused Assessed Sonography for Trauma (FAST)
Module 4: Airway, Gastric and Pulmonary Ultrasound Assessment

For more information contact the instructor, John Shields, DNP, CRNA, at (615) 517-6152 or

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MTSA has launched, a revamped website of practical resources to help anesthesia providers learn ultrasound for regional nerve blocks, announced Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship and DNAP Completion program.

Originally created by Jack Vander Beek, is now owned and authored by MTSA and includes free content as well as opportunities for special access to fee-based continuing education modules. The site also features interactive anatomy illustrations and a range of content on subjects such as ultrasound, pharmacologic agents and local anesthetics.

In addition, enables CRNAs to participate in continuing education, including current information on acute pain management with options to take a quiz and receive AANA credit.

Vander Beek developed the Neuraxiom textbook and website by documenting and illustrating a compendium of Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia (USGRA) techniques that have been successfully adopted by a countless number of regionalists over the years. It applies an evidence-based approach in updating the vast amount of knowledge that has been published in USGRA in the last decade.

For more information, visit

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2021 Alumni Committee

Congratulations to the members of the MTSA Alumni Committee for 2021!

President: John Butorac
Secretary: Grace Shofner
Treasurer: Allen Hamilton

Decade Representatives:

2010-Present: Young Kil Kim
2000-2009: Kim Sharkey
1990-1999: Lee Rutledge
1980-1989: Lee Simmons
1970-1979: Debbie Leeper
Pre-1969 & Retired: Lois Bernard
ASPM Fellowship: Bill England
Representative-at-Large: Adam Kuzma

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MTSA alumni elected to TANA leadership

Brad Koss, DNAP, CRNA

Victor Martin, MBA, CRNA

MTSA alumnus and Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Martin, MBA, CRNA, was recently named 2020-21 president of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA) during the association’s virtual annual conference. In addition, MTSA alumnus Brad Koss, DNAP, CRNA, was named president-elect.

Martin, owner of Stage Two Anesthesia in Franklin, Tenn., has been involved with TANA since 2014, first serving as federal political director and then as Region III director. Prior to Stage Two Anesthesia, he was a founding partner in Tri-Star Anesthesia, PLLC. He has been involved in healthcare since 1980 when he began as an operating room nurse.

As TANA president, Martin’s goals include advocating and educating stakeholders as to what CRNAs contribute to the healthcare community on a daily basis throughout Tennessee.

“Patients who live and ultimately seek medical care in Tennessee should be aware of who we are,” Martin said. “For policymakers, these folks need to know the level of safety, expertise and cost efficiency we provide in Tennessee, crafting legislation that allows CRNAs to function to the level of our training.”

Koss, who is the CRNA Manager of Education at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will take office as the TANA president in October 2021.

“It is both humbling and an honor to have been elected by my peers to represent them as a leader in our profession and to help carry forth the tradition of serving to protect our practice and be a voice for more than 2,000 CRNAs across our great state,” Koss said.

Koss’s career highlights include being inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in 2005 and being honored with MTSA’s Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

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Fabich receives ASPM Fellowship ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’

U.S. Army Major Robert Fabich (above), DNP, CRNA, was the 2020 recipient of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship “Outstanding Achievement Award,” presented at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia’s Commencement ceremony in December.

Fabich currently serves as the Chief of Anesthesia at Bassett Army Community Hospital at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Prior to that, he was part of 102nd Forward Surgical Team deployed to Syria, supporting U.S. troops on their final push against ISIS.

“Robert has done some outstanding work in the field of acute surgical pain management,” said Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Fellowship and DNAP Completion program, during the award presentation. “During his deployment, he participated in more than 600 trauma cases, making him the busiest deployed anesthesia provider in the combat theater.”

Fabich began the MTSA Fellowship in 2018 but had to leave the program for his deployment. After returning to the U.S., he re-enrolled in the Fellowship and completed the program in 2020.

“Robert has presented internationally on topics of acute pain management. He most recently presented at the World Congress of Nurse Anesthetists in Glasgow, Scotland, while enrolled in the Fellowship. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with a Combat Device, and Expert Field Medical Badge. He supports the local community in Fairbanks by volunteering with the local fire department as an EMT and a firefighter,” Johnson said.

Fabich used his war-time experience to publish three case studies, with the help of several colleagues, that were circulated in the journal Military Medicine:

  • A Novel Use of the Erector Spinae Block in the Austere Environment (co-authors: Sharrod Greene, DNP, CRNA; Currie Tighe, BSN, RN; Rebekah Devasahayam, MD; and Tyson Becker, MD, FACS)
  • Definitive Management of a Traumatic Airway: Case Report (co-authors: Benjamin T. Franklin, MD, and Nicholas Langan, MD)
  • Rare Use of Posterolateral Thoracotomy in an Austere Environment (co-authors: Rebekah J. Devasahayam, MD; Currie A Tighe, BSN; and Tyson E. Becker, MD)

“There’s no other program that’s as cutting-edge when it comes to acute surgical pain management and ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia as MTSA’s program. It’s above and beyond anything I experienced in my initial CRNA education. Dr. Bill Johnson does an amazing job with the amount of content that has gone into the program. As a bonus you have the opportunity to learn and interact with some of the heavyweights of regional anesthesia in our profession,” Fabich said.

“I’d like to thank Fellowship faculty such as Bill Johnson, John Edwards, Dan Nash, Stace Dollar, Patrick Myer and others. Each one of them taught me something that I’ve been able to apply in my practice or teach to another colleague. Because of the instruction they gave me, they’ve affected the lives of service members across the United States and the world,” Fabich added.

Prior to joining the Army, Fabich received his BSN from the Military College of Vermont Norwich University, He was accepted into the United States Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing (USAGPAN), and earned his DNP from Northeastern University. A native of Bedford, N.H., he is married to his wife Rebecca of 11 years.

About the Outstanding Achievement Award

Recipients are 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.

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Class of 2022 recognized at White Coat Ceremony

The ceremony celebrating DNAP students’ progression to clinical rotations was held on Oct. 23 at the Madison Church of Christ and streamed live on YouTube. Video is available at

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DNAP Completion Graduation

MTSA Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice completion degree students celebrated graduation on Aug. 23 at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Nashville. The event was also streamed live on YouTube. Video is available at

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2021 CRNA Week

MTSA joined the celebration of CRNA Week, Jan. 24-30, recognizing the nation’s nearly 57,000 nurse anesthetists. In 2021, as the healthcare profession continues to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the AANA led reflections on the heroic work of CRNAs and SRNAs, recognizing the power of the community, and looking forward to a future of providing safe and effective anesthesia care to all patients.

The School was featured in outdoor billboard and radio advertisements in the Nashville market, in addition to social media promotion.

More information is available at

The theme for this year’s National CRNA Week is “Experts you trust. Care you count on.” The annual campaign helps 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.

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Save the Dates for MTSA’s 2021 Events

Mission & Awards Gala
Thursday, May 6
Proceeds support MTSA’s Mission Initiatives, including efforts in Guyana and local communities.

Golf Classic
Thursday, Sept. 16
Proceeds support MTSA’s Mission Initiatives, including efforts in Guyana and local communities.

Sporting Clay Tournament
Friday, Nov. 5
Proceeds support MTSA’s Opioid Reduction initiative.

For more information, visit

Please note, these dates are tentative as there may be unforeseen changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Sporting Clay Tournament 2020

The 4th Annual MTSA Sporting Clay Tournament took place Nov. 6 under beautiful sunny skies. Teams aimed for greatness at multiple shooting stations while supporting MTSA’s opioid-reduction initiative.

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News Notes

MTSA President Chris Hulin expands role with TICUA

MTSA President Chris Hulin, DNP, MBA, CRNA, has been elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) Board of Directors in the capacity of Treasurer. He will serve in this role until February 2022. In 2022 he will stand for election as the Chairman of the Board, which is a two-year commitment.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Chris Hulin serve as the Treasurer of the TICUA Board of Directors,” said TICUA President Claude Pressnell. “He brings incredible value from the perspective of a graduate-only health sciences institution. Chris’s commonsense approach to leadership helps to keep TICUA’s programs relevant and beneficial to our member campuses.”

Jeff King joins MTSA Board of Trustees

Jeffrey L. King, MD, has joined MTSA’s Board of Trustees as of August. He is president of the medical staff at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn. As an anesthesiologist working in the Nashville area at a variety of hospitals for more than 30 years, King has taken on numerous leadership roles within Anesthesia Medical Group, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Summit Medical Center.

MTSA staff updates

MTSA has promoted and added new staff members:

Jessica Creason, MA, promoted to Registrar and Director, Academic Coaching

Caroline Bizot joined as Assistant Registrar, Academic Support Specialist

Michael Morgan, MA, joined as Instructional Design Specialist, ASPM Fellowship

Deidre Williams joined as LMS & IT Support Specialist, ASPM Fellowship

MTSA poster accepted at national conference

MTSA SRNA Lucas Urbi, BSN, RN, (Class of 2021) and Assistant Program Administrator Leigh Taylor, DNP, MS, CRNA, have submitted a poster which was accepted for the Assembly of Didactic and Clinical Educators (ADCE) hosted by the AANA.

The project is titled A Rubric for Noncognitive Factors for Clinical Success. The poster will be displayed in the State of the Science Poster Session, which will be held virtually.

The ADCE program highlights current issues in nurse anesthesia education and provides information beneficial to nurse anesthesia educators. According to Taylor, it is geared to meet the educational needs of CRNAs working as didactic and clinical faculty and program administrators in nurse anesthesia programs.

“Lucas approached me early last summer about an interest in SRNA clinical performance. He recognized that there was no well-studied method to identify students that would perform well in the clinical setting. We have a lot of benchmarks to know if a student will do well in the classroom, but nothing for the clinical setting,” Taylor said.

“At the same time he approached me, I had just reworked our admission’s process. I created a rubric to make the process more streamlined and evidence-based. I asked Lucas if he would like to collaborate on a project to help the MTSA Admissions Committee be more evidence-based, and he agreed. Since September, Lucas has been enrolled in a one-hour independent study course through MTSA with me as the instructor. We have met weekly to discuss our steps with our end goal of creation of a rubric and publication,” Taylor added.

MTSA students inducted into honor society

Four MTSA students from the Class of 2020 were inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society on Dec. 7: DaQuanda Arnett, Only McKnight, Celeste (Kute) Shepard and Chelsea Tanner.

The students were able to join the society due to a collaboration between Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and MTSA, said Vice President of Academics & Institutional Effectiveness Maria Overstreet, PhD, RN.

“The Iota Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International has become a chapter-at-large so that MTSA students are eligible to join should they meet the criteria,” Overstreet said. “Chapter President Leanne Boehm and I have worked more than two years to make this happen.”

Overstreet added that she and MTSA Assistant Program Administrator Leigh Taylor, DNP, MS, CRNA, are focusing on pairing this opportunity with the Evidence Based Practice courses. Students working on projects to improve practice can apply for scholarships to help offset some costs of implementation. Their goal is to eventually include alumni in the society and have an annual in-person induction ceremony.

Those are interested in joining STTI through MTSA, transferring or adding their membership should contact either Dr. Overstreet, Chapter Leader, or Dr. Taylor, Membership Ambassador.

MTSA receives CARES Act funding

MTSA has received $414,426 in funding from Section 18004(a)(3) of the CARES Act, which covers expenses related to campus disruptions due to the COVID pandemic. The funding ranged from personal safety and social-distancing supplies to equipment used to assist with the transition to remote work for staff and faculty, according to Jon Ronning, MBA, Vice President, Finance and Administration.

The largest portion of the funds, approximately $317,000, was awarded to ensure that social-distancing elements could be added to the LRC buildout taking place in the Magan Building. Some of those elements are operable glass walls, automatic door openers, panel dividers, UV filtration system for rooftop HVAC units, and an outdoor study space, Ronning added.

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From the Archives

Class of 1982

Graduates from the Class of 1982 include Richard Reedy, Ken Crawford, Martin Young, Donna Lovell, Shelby Graham, Roxanne Lenz, Deborah Witherspoon, and Dong Shin. Not pictured are: LaDonna Joy Chaney, James Givens, James Ragon, James Ray, Beth Ann Bramlett, Thomas Wiggers, Elizabeth Burton, and Phuc Luong.

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