5th annual Mission & Awards Gala raises funds for upcoming efforts

MTSA’s 5th Annual Mission & Awards Gala presented by Anesthesia Medical Group recognized awardees (l to r) Stace Dollar, Angel Mangum, Juanita Turnipseed, and Brent Dunworth.

On May 17, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) hosted its 5th annual Mission & Awards Gala, bringing together 200 supporters who gathered at the Westin Nashville. Sponsored by Anesthesia Medical Group, proceeds from the event totaled $24,000, which will help fund the School’s Mission Initiative in Haiti, Guyana and other local communities.

Fox 17 Special Projects Reporter Dennis Ferrier served as master of ceremonies for the evening, which included a reception, silent auction, dinner, award ceremony and entertainment featuring a performance by singer-songwriters Keelan Donovan and Claire Guerreso as well as music by the John and Derek Pell Duo. The invocation was delivered by MTSA senior student Warkim Giles.

New this year were silent auction items such as vacation condos in Aspen and Maui, gift certificates to local restaurants, hotel stays, event tickets, autographed guitars, and many other items.

“As president of MTSA, I have the distinct honor to work with a team committed to a mission of ‘Reflecting Christ in Anesthesia Education,’” said MTSA President Chris Hulin during his remarks. “And tonight, this mission is fully demonstrated by your attendance and support of MTSA’s Mission Initiative.

“I invite you to join me in this important work of extending the healing ministry of Christ by helping to fund the School’s next mission trip this fall. Remember this project in prayers. Your involvement will mean much to us – and those patients who will benefit,” he added.

Hulin also thanked the committee that worked to make the evening a success. They included: Jordan Miller (Chairman), Ashley Jacobs (Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect), Leah Bergman, Lois Bernard, Diana Bird, Matt Demaree, Bethany Gallant, Debbie Greenwell, Kristin Gregory, Roxanne Lenz, Buffy Krauser Lupear, Alison Martin, Meg McDonald, Jananne McKinnon, Nancy Palmore, Laura Payne, Dina Velocci, Jennifer Vest and Nikki Wallace.

During the award presentations, the School recognized the following individuals:

Nevin Downs, MD Leadership Award: Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA
Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Alumni Distinguished Service Award: Stace D. Dollar, MS, CRNA
Mission & Heritage Award: Angel Dawn Mangum, MS, CRNA
Clinical Excellence Award: Juanita Turnipseed, MSN, CRNA

Event sponsors included:

Presenting Sponsor: Anesthesia Medical Group
Dinner: Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, PC
Nevin Downs, MD Leadership Award: Myrtianne Downs
Mission & Heritage Award: KY-TN Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Valley Anesthesia Educational Programs

MTSA’s Board and Administration wish to thank those who attended the Gala or supported the Mission Initiative through special donations.


Stace D. Dollar, MS, CRNA

Mary Elizabeth DeVasher Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Stace D. Dollar, MS, CRNA, currently works at Baptist Health Lexington, in Lexington, Ky. Prior to that, he provided anesthesia for cardiac patients at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. His achievements include: co-founder of Thoroughbred Anesthesia Academy, co-founder and co-director of an Acute Pain Service, and developer of regional anesthesia protocols for orthopedic joint replacements that improved patient outcomes and decreased length of stay.

Dollar spends a great deal of his time in the management of an Acute Pain Service which includes managing inpatients and outpatients with peripheral nerve catheters, educating a team of CRNAs to provide safe ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, and collaborating with surgeons and other health care professionals to manage acute pain. He is involved in several committees at Baptist Health Lexington including the Acute Pain Committee, Ortho-workgroup Committee, and the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Committee.

Dollar currently provides both didactic and hands-on cadaveric instruction for CRNAs in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia and peripheral catheter placements at both the basic and advanced cadaveric quarterly workshops at MTSA. For the past two years, he has had the opportunity to travel to Haiti with MTSA and The Touching Hands Project. While in Haiti, he was able lead an Acute Pain Service and teach MTSA students various regional anesthesia techniques. In January 2016, he joined MTSA as adjunct faculty in the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship to help educate CRNAs in the management of acute surgical pain. He is currently enrolled in the Acute Post Surgical Pain Management Fellowship and Doctoral program at MTSA.

“To win an award that is named after the previous dean of the school, Ikey DeVasher, was very exciting and, at the same time, humbling,” Dollar said. “She has spent a lifetime serving the anesthesia community and MTSA, and she is a phenomenal person.

“Having the opportunity to do mission work through MTSA in Haiti has been life-changing not only for the people we serve, but for me and my family as well. It’s such a unique opportunity for students to learn a different approach to anesthesia and to stay on their toes when urgent situations arise. In addition, I feel very privileged to be associated with the first-of-its-kind Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship. All these opportunities really demonstrate how MTSA continues to stay ahead of the curve in terms of nurse anesthesia education,” he added.

In addition to his professional duties, Dollar has enjoyed 15 years of marriage to his wife, Samantha, and they have three children. He and his family live in Lexington, Ky., and attend Northeast Christian Church.

The Mary Elizabeth DeVasher Distinguished Alumni Service Award is awarded to a MTSA alumnus in honor of this MTSA alumnus and former Dean/Vice President/Program Administrator to celebrate and honor her 45 years of dedicated work and distinguished service to the institution.

Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA

Nevin H. Downs, MD Leadership Award

Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA, has a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Master of Business Administration from Waynesburg University. He is the Director of Advanced Practice and Chief Nurse Anesthetist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Dunworth has received numerous awards, among them the Agatha Hodgins Award for outstanding nurse anesthesia student, the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ Didactic Instructor of the Year Award, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. He has lectured nationally on a variety of topics in nurse anesthesia and maintains clinical practice at Vanderbilt.

“To have been selected as the recipient of the Nevin H. Downs, MD Leadership Award is truly a career highlight for me,” Dunworth said. “Since I am still relatively new to the Nashville area, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Downs. However, as I have spoken to those who knew him and worked with him, I quickly realized what an honor has been bestowed upon me.

“It is humbling, and I am so grateful to receive this award. Nurse anesthesia leadership has become my life’s work, and it has been a joy to partner with MTSA as they continue to drive educational and professional innovation for nurse anesthetists,” he said.

The Nevin Downs Leadership Award is awarded to an anesthesia provider (anesthesiologist or CRNA) who personifies the integrity, honesty, fairness and exemplary leadership with which Dr. Downs served the profession including his advocacy of nurse anesthesia and MTSA.

Juanita Turnipseed, MSN, CRNA

Clinical Excellence Award

Juanita Turnipseed, MSN, CRNA, has held a travel pool position with Anesthesia Medical Group in Nashville since 2001. She administers anesthesia in contracted hospitals and surgery centers at Centennial Medical Center, Hendersonville Medical Center, Saint Thomas Midtown, Saint Thomas West, Skyline Medical Center, Summit Medical Center, Tennova Healthcare Lebanon, and Williamson Medical Center.

During her career, Turnipseed has also worked as a CRNA independent contractor and as a registered nurse in health systems throughout the southeastern U.S., including the Cardiac/Medical Intensive Care Unit at Veterans Administration Medical Center in Memphis. She graduated from Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Walden University and currently serves as vice chairman of the Tennessee Board of Nursing, reappointed by Governor Bill Haslam in October 2017 for a second four-year term.

“I was pleasantly surprised and honored to win this award,” Turnipseed said. “I’m thankful to be recognized for clinical excellence because I work hard every day and strive for excellence not only in my professional life but in my personal life as well.

“A majority of my colleagues are graduates of MTSA, and I work with MTSA students in my practice. It gives me an opportunity to meet students in different stages in the program, help them think through their goals, and how to incorporate what they’re learning into their own practice.  I appreciate that MTSA focuses on outreach and mission work. I believe in giving back, and I’m glad to be associated with an institution that focuses on those values,” she said.

Turnipseed is the proud parent of two children and grandparent of three boys.

The Clinical Excellence Award is awarded to an anesthesia provider (anesthesiologist or CRNA) or clinical site (hospital, clinic, etc.) that provides a nurturing and exemplary atmosphere with true eagerness to instruct, train and educate MTSA students. The recipient will embrace the MTSA mission and core values.

Angel Dawn Mangum, MS, CRNA

Mission & Heritage Award

Recently a CRNA at MacDonald Army Health Center in Fort Eustis, Va., Angel Mangum, MS, CRNA, has worked in medical facilities throughout the U.S. and overseas – including Alabama, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Korea. She was born into an Army family and has been an Army spouse and wife for 34 years. Through 20 moves and multiple deployments, Angel has served as a Family Readiness Group leader and advisor to many organizations including spouses’ clubs, thrift shops, museums and Army Community Service organizations, to name a few.

As an Army spouse, Angel has donated thousands of hours of exceptional personal commitment focused on improving the overall quality of life for soldiers and their families. She has already been recognized with a Commander’s Award for Public Service and three Outstanding Civilian Service Awards for her volunteer and public service to the Army’s soldiers, families, units/organizations, programs and communities.

Whether working with the families of deployed soldiers, families in crisis, or assisting the Army in developing new and more efficiency policies, Angel’s efforts are a legacy and true reflection of her selfless dedication to the nation, its military, and the families of those who serve.

“I was very touched and honored to find out I had received this award,” Angel said. “It was so unexpected. Although I’m a CRNA, a lot of my volunteer time has come outside of the operating room. With the school’s mission focused on service inside and outside the OR, it was nice to see that connection with the work I’ve done over the years.

“From day one, MTSA was a family that took care of us. I had given birth just prior to entering the program, and Ikey DeVasher said, ‘We’ll get you through this.’” She was terrific. Her value as an instructor and a Christian is unmatched,” she said.

Angel received a Master of Science from MTSA in 1997. She and her husband Kevin live in Washington, D.C., and have a daughter, Anela, who works at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Mission & Heritage Award is awarded to an individual who embodies and exemplifies the heritage, mission and core values of MTSA.

Back to Top

President’s Message: Our Generous Nurse Anesthesia Community

Chris Hulin

Reflecting on our recent Mission & Awards Gala, I’m struck once again by how generous and caring the anesthesia community is. Because of your support:

  • In Haiti we are able to provide anesthesia care, while our students gain tremendous experience in regional anesthesia blocks and service to others.
  • In Guyana we are able to focus on mentoring, curriculum development and instruction for students in the country’s only nurse anesthesia school. Additionally, we are able to fund a new high-fidelity simulator which will be installed during our visit in July.

On every trip to Haiti, we have been accompanied by Stace Dollar. So it was very fitting that he received the Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Alumni Distinguished Service Award. His devotion to our School’s mission is truly exemplary.

I would also like to add my congratulations to awardees Brent Dunworth, Angel Mangum and Juanita Turnipseed. Each of these recipients has shown an extraordinary level of commitment to our field which we can all learn from and emulate.

Clinical Partners

In addition to the awardees, the Gala provided an opportunity to recognize the many partners that help the profession of nurse anesthesia continue to thrive. Without our teaching faculty, clinical sites and hospital partners, we wouldn’t be able to have a successful nurse anesthesia program.

I’m especially grateful to Anesthesia Medical Group and Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists whose financial support helped make the Gala possible. I also want to thank the Vanderbilt CRNAs and alum who dedicated time and talent to plan and organize the newly added auction and for helping organize the other important details of the evening.

Beyond the event specifically, I am deeply appreciative of the many individuals who support us financially and give of their time and talent. CRNAs who mentor MTSA students each year provide a service that cannot be overstated. Their commitment to patient care and the advancement of our profession is commendable. And those who serve on our board committees play a critical role in charting a course for the future growth of our institution.

As always, thank you for continuing to partner with us on this and so many other initiatives to promote nurse anesthesia!

Back to Top

Registration open for Golf Classic

15th annual event supports mission efforts

MTSA invites alumni and friends to participate in the 15th annual Golf Classic, which allows players to hit the links while supporting a good cause: the School’s Mission Initiative in Haiti, Guyana and local communities. Teams of four compete in a scramble format for prizes based on scores and special competitions on specific holes. Lunch and dinner are provided.

15th Annual MTSA Golf Classic

Thursday, Sept. 20
Hermitage Golf Course – General’s Retreat


10:30 a.m.: Registration opens
12:00 p.m.: Lunch
1:00 p.m.: Shotgun Start
Awards & Dinner to follow event

Hermitage Golf Course is located at 3939 Old Hickory Boulevard, Old Hickory, TN. To reserve your team or sponsorships, please contact the MTSA Advancement Office at (615) 732-7665 or visit

Back to Top

Save the date for 2nd annual Sporting Clay Tournament

Friday, Nov. 9

8:30 a.m. – Registration
10:00 a.m. – Tournament Starts (all equipment provided)
Awards luncheon to follow (lunch included): Team awards for 1st 2nd 3rd place

Nashville Gun Club
Sporting Clay Complex
1100 County Hospital Rd.
Nashville, TN 37218
(Located off Briley Parkway, Bordeaux area)

Last year’s inaugural Sporting Clay Tournament provided an opportunity for marksmen and novices alike to aim for greatness at multiple shooting stations at the Nashville Gun Club. Lunch will be provided, and prizes are awarded for those who hit the most clays.

To register, visit

Back to Top

Mission Initiatives

Continuing a Legacy of Service

July 28 – Aug. 2, 2018

MTSA will return to Georgetown Public Hospital System to work with students in the nurse anesthesia program Class of 2019. The team will conduct classroom review, preparing students for final didactic and clinical competency exams, and will begin setting up a platform for their simulation program. They will also help build curriculum capabilities and additional connectivity to MTSA content.

Joining the team this year is Guyanese nurse practitioner Rowland Ramdass, DNP, FNP, who teaches at Hostos Community College in New York and works in interventional cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Oct. 7-13, 2018

Six students, along with MTSA faculty and partners, will continue the work of providing Acute Surgical Pain Management care alongside hand surgeons from the Touching Hands Project, at Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti in Carrefour, just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. As in past years, the team will also conduct education sessions for local doctors and nurses, helping to raise the standard of care and leave a long-term impact on the local population.

To contribute to MTSA’s Mission Initiatives, visit

Back to Top

MTSA offers CRNAs multiple options for advancing career

Workshops, fellowship, online class provide variety of educational opportunities

MTSA continues to offer a range of non-degree seeking programs for CRNAs who want to expand their skill set:

Advanced Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Workshop

Aug. 3 – Registration Closes
Aug. 5 – Course Date

The daylong Advanced Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Workshop is taught by Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship; Stace Dollar, MS, CRNA; John M. Edwards, III, MS, CRNA; and MTSA Acute Pain Fellows.

The workshop includes ultrasound instruction, administration of block medium, and catheter insertions. In addition to classroom lectures, instructors use hands-on demonstrations and “live” model scanning.

Workshop attendees learn a variety of blocks, including IPACK, PEC I/II, erector spinae, infraclavicular, costoclavicular, RAPTIR, quadratus lumborum, TAP (iliohypogastric/ilioinguinal, transversalis, and posterior TAP), and paravertebral.

More information and registration is available at

Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship

July 31 – Application Period Closes
Sept. 4 – Course Begins

The field of pain management is continually growing. As the baby boom generation ages, increasing numbers of patients will undergo surgery, and CRNAs will be responsible for managing these patients’ acute pain. The AANA/MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship equips CRNAs with the necessary knowledge and skill-sets to meet this growing demand. From medical management approaches, such as multimodal therapies and opioid sparing strategies, to advanced interventional techniques, including continuous catheter utilization, CRNAs acquire the knowledge to treat these patients with confidence and skill.

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.

More information and registration is available at

Advanced Physiologic Foundations (online)

Brett Clay, DNAP, CRNA

Aug. 30 – Application Period Closes
Sept. 10 – Dec. 21 – Course Dates

The Advanced Physiologic Foundations course discusses advanced human physiologic concepts at the system, organ, cellular, and subcellular levels, with the overall goal to enhance the learner’s foundation for nursing practice. The course is taught online by Brett Clay, DNAP, CRNA.

Foundational concepts; central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems; cardiovascular system; respiratory system; renal system; skeletal muscle/neuromuscular synapse; and smooth muscle will be discussed. Hormonal regulation will be integrated with various physiologic processes. Emphasis will be on integration of concepts as a basis for understanding interrelationships among complex physiologic processes.

More information and registration is available at

Basic Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Workshop

Nov. 2 – Registration Closes
Nov. 4 – Course Date

The eight-hour Basic Cadaveric Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Workshop is a hands-on, basic training course utilizing cadavers and “live” scanning models, state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, and a comprehensive, highly-practical approach to regional anesthesia techniques for surgery and acute pain management.

Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director, MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship, along with fellow instructors Stace Dollar, MS, CRNA, and John Edwards, MS, CRNA, will teach interscalene, supraclavicular, infraclavicular, axillary, distal upper and lower extremity salvage, fascia iliaca, femoral, adductor canal, and popliteal blocks using the “Maverick Method.”

Participants will receive the benefits of small-group needling stations, low faculty-to-attendee ratios, and an individualized learning plan that suits the attendees’ needs in regional anesthesia.

More information and registration is available at

Back to Top

Students, alumni advocate for CRNAs at Mid-Year Assembly

MTSA delegation met with members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

MTSA students and alumni traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the AANA’s Mid-Year Assembly. In addition, they met with lawmakers to discuss policy issues related to nurse anesthesia. (l to r) Student Brad Elliott, alumna Deana Vandivier, Congressman Jim Cooper and student Jamie Burns.

While visiting Washington, D.C., for the AANA’s Mid-Year Assembly, MTSA’s delegation attended “Tennessee Tuesday” with Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. (l to r) Jamie Burns, Deana Vandivier, Brad Elliott, MTSA President Chris Hulin, and students Alissa Clawson and Todd Demars.

In April, MTSA students and alumni participated in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ (AANA) Mid-Year Assembly, which took place in Washington, D.C. The group included students Jamie Burns, Alissa Clawson, Todd Demars and Brad Elliott as well as MTSA alumna Deana Vandivier, CRNA, MSN, MTSA President Chris Hulin, and MTSA Board Chairman Victor Martin, CRNA.

The group met with various lawmakers and their staff, including Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Congressman Jim Cooper of Nashville.

“This was my first year going to the AANA Mid-Year Assembly,” said Vandivier, who graduated from MTSA’s Master of Science program in 2007 and has served as a pediatric nurse anesthetist at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for 11 years. “Meeting with these lawmakers was so exciting, especially since I’d never been exposed to this type of advocacy work. Like a lot of CRNAs, I’ve been very focused on family and work. But now that I know how to better engage in the legislative process, I’m talking to everyone about it and encouraging them to get involved too.”

Vandivier, who is also a veteran, added that she was especially grateful to talk to Rep. Cooper about her concerns related to the Veterans Health Administration.

“The fact that Congress did not allow the full scope of practice for CRNAs hit home for me. Although I don’t work at the VA anymore, many of my colleagues do. So I made sure he knew how important that issue was to me, along with access to care. I also pointed out that if CRNAs are good enough to be on the front lines of battle with surgeons, we’re good enough to be in the ORs in hospitals,” she said.

In addition to policy discussions with lawmakers, Vandivier said that she enjoyed meeting peers from across the country and working together on common goals.

“My appreciation for being an AANA member has grown as a result of the conference, knowing how much they fight for our professional rights. And it was uplifting to have comradery with everyone there. I also enjoyed learning what the AANA’s political action committee (PAC) does. I was inspired, so now I give to the PAC and encourage everyone else to give as well. If we all pull together, we can be a strong voice for our profession,” she said.

Martin’s involvement with the AANA stems from the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA), where he serves as a board member and works as the Federal Political Director.

“One of the objectives of Mid-Year is the formation of relationships,” Martin said. “The main focus includes our legislators and their staff members. But it also extends to those that are formed within our own association. Our students form bonds that will extend for years into their practice.

“CRNAs and SRNAs are exposed to ‘US Politics 101’ as it relates to our profession. As nurse anesthetists we realize that our responsibility to the profession extends beyond the operating room. Advocacy can take place in D.C., in our home state and our home town. This meeting promotes that type of culture for all involved,” Martin added.

Student Perspectives

The Mid-Year Assembly also gave MTSA students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about health care policy and how it relates to the field of nurse anesthesia. It was the first time Burns and Elliott attended the conference, and both reflected positively about their experiences.

“The conference was a great experience,” Elliott said. “There were a lot of eye-opening experiences, getting behind the scenes to see how the legislative process works – or doesn’t work – on behalf of the profession I’m pursuing. Also I learned how important it is for practitioners and students alike to get involved with advocacy and how it can directly affect our future careers.”

Elliott said the group’s preparation helped them make the most of their time talking with lawmakers: “With Representative Cooper, we were able to give some personal experience. We talked about how supporting educational programs can benefit issues that he takes to heart, such as the opioid crisis. We were able to promote the School in an area that he didn’t know much about with regard to the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship and how ultrasound-guided regional techniques go a long way to help mitigate the opioid crisis.”

When addressing what he hopes to see as a result of the meetings, Elliott said, “The ideal response would be all of these legislators would have a more sound understanding of our profession, how we fit into meeting the challenges of health care in this country, then vote accordingly.

“For me personally as a student, the meetings reaffirmed my commitment to stay active at the local and state level as well. The legislative process can move a lot faster at the state level, especially regarding scope of practice. And bills that would affect my immediate future could come up at any given time. So it’s important to stay aware and develop relationships with local legislators,” Elliott added.

As for Burns, the thought of stepping into the political realm was somewhat intimidating at first. However, she said, “the AANA was great about educating us beforehand during the conference and equipping us with information. And because Dr. Hulin is so active in representing the School, we had already had many of these conversations about specific policies and legislative agendas, so I did feel very prepared.”

During the visit, Burns had an opportunity to meet with legislative aids for Congresswoman Diane Black, who represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. Beyond those meetings, Burns said she enjoyed interacting with others in the field of nurse anesthesia and encourages others to get involved.

“To engage in advocacy you have to think beyond yourself. Even if your job is great or you don’t want to ‘stir the pot,’ it’s worth getting involved. Attending these meetings is also a great networking opportunity. One of my favorite parts of the conference was when they divided up the states by region. I was in a meeting with people from all over the southeast, and they all gave status updates on legislation happening at the state level. It was great to network across the board with students and CRNAs who are potentially future coworkers,” she said.

Vandivier was impressed with the MTSA students who attended the conference and meetings with lawmakers. “All the students who went were amazing. They spoke with poise, they were confident, and they represented MTSA well.”

According to the AANA, the purpose of the Mid-Year Assembly is to:

  • Prepare AANA members to effectively advocate on Capitol Hill for protecting and advancing CRNA practice and reimbursement;
  • Coordinate communication of professional advocacy across states and regions; and
  • Develop professional advocacy skills and healthcare policy understanding that promotes CRNA leadership at the national level and in professional practice.

Next year’s Mid-Year Assembly is scheduled for April 6-10, 2019.

Back to Top

MTSA staff volunteer with tnAchieves program

Mentors help first-generation college applicants

Rebecca Talley, MEd
Special Assistant to the President

Jennifer Speer
Assistant Director of Financial Aid

A life of service is central to MTSA’s core values, and members of the staff have taken that commitment to heart by volunteering for the tnAchieves program.

MTSA President Chris Hulin, Assistant Director of Financial Aid Jennifer Speer, and Special Assistant to the President Rebecca Talley are mentoring high school seniors who are first-generation college applicants.

tnAchieves supports at-risk students by helping to eliminate roadblocks to post-secondary education. It operates in coordination with Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise initiative as part of the Drive to 55 campaign, which aims to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate to 55% by 2025.

The program matches students with adult mentors who remind them about important deadlines, assist with paperwork and provide encouragement.

“This is my first year as a tnAchieves mentor,” Speer said. “I was given the opportunity to be a mentor at Hendersonville High School. After receiving my list of nine mentees, we were encouraged to reach out by email to their parents, prior to sending an email of encouragement to the list of mentees. After that, our job was to stay in touch with the students through emails and texts encouraging them and reminding them of what they had to do to stay eligible for the program.”

Mentors keep the students on task to ensure they register for the scholarship, file documentation by the deadline, attend a mentor-mentee team meeting, and complete community service hours. Their role also is to be the person students can come to for help and guidance, answering questions and giving tips on how to navigate the college application process.

“It’s an honor to participate in the tnAchieves mentor program, and I am so thankful to be a part of an organization which encourages employees to be involved in the community,” Talley said. “The college-going process is not always intuitive, and there are so many incredible support programs for students in Tennessee. The tnAchieves program provides an additional avenue to inform students of the resources available to them and make the whole process a little less daunting.”

“tnAchieves is such a great cheerleader for its mentors, sending out weekly emails to encourage us. Plus, useful training and webinars are available. As long as you have time every few weeks to send a quick email of encouragement to your students and attend a few mandatory meetings, it is a rewarding service to students,” Speer added.

About tnAchieves

tnAchieves is the partnering organization to the TN Promise Scholarship in 84 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. Its mission is to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance.

The program pairs students with volunteer mentors and requires its students to complete at least 8 hours of community service each semester. The founders of tnAchieves understood that students, particularly at-risk students, need more than funding to complete college; therefore, tnAchieves offers a holistic approach to student access and success by providing wrap-around supports to students in an effort to increase Tennessee’s post-secondary attainment rate.

Back to Top

MTSA Alumni Needed for Mentorship Program

Inaugural Mentorship Program will enable alumni to provide professional expertise with current MTSA students

MTSA’s unparalleled alumni network provides opportunities for current students to learn about job markets and anesthesia groups in a student’s potential area of location after graduation.

“We need alumni who would be willing to receive emails from current students who seek employment information,” said MTSA Assistant Program Administrator Leigh Taylor, MS, CRNA. “We know alumni mentors could give valuable career advice to them through long-distance communication such as email. As an alumni mentor, the frequency and form of communication would be up to your determination. MTSA’s alumni mentors do not have to be in Madison, Tennessee, in order to give back to our student community; we invite all alumni to participate in this mentorship program.”

For more information please contact Leigh Taylor at or (615) 732-7850.

Back to Top

Class of 2020 White Coat Ceremony

Thursday, Aug. 16
10 a.m.
Location: Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church (adjacent to MTSA campus)

MTSA recognizes first-year students’ successful completion of the second semester of the DNAP program including skills testing and machine check off. Students and family members are welcome as students receive their official MTSA lab coat.

Back to Top

Family Fun Day


Back to Top

Alumni Updates

MTSA grads at Cancun Anesthesia: Heather Childress, Monika Banach, former MTSA President WOT Smith, Missy Carlton, Heidi Blake and Jamie Shaw Huffman all enjoyed lunch and reminiscing.

Back to Top

From the Archives

Class of 1976 graduating seniors receiving a certificate in anesthesia. (l to r) Bernard DeVasher (Tennessee), David Shultz (Texas), Gary Barber (Florida) and James Kennedy (Tennessee).

Back to Top

Back To Airways