I have some exciting information, news as well as other important updates on the IANA board of directors’(BOD) activities. The IANA BOD and committees are actively working to improve our organization so it evolves to meet member needs.
First, your current BOD assumed stewardship of the IANA at the 2017 Fall meeting. The IANA is economically sound under the astute management of Frontline Public Strategies. Frontline is led by executive director Micah Roderick and his team in Springfield, IL. Furthermore, the IANA maintained its agreement with Roger Bickel, Esq. by renewing his contract on December 1, 2017. Roger has an extensive lobbyist and legislative background that has benefited the IANA. Look for Roger’s regular and detailed updates on the IANA website: www.ilcrna.com in the Members only_Advocacy_Legislative Reports section. Both Micah and Roger remain committed as proponents of CRNA practice in Illinois and are instrumental to the success of the IANA.
The IANA is a member of the Illinois Coalition of Nursing Organizations (ICNO). ICNO revised new language for the NPA (Nurse Practice Act). This key piece of legislation governs the practice of nursing and was passed into law in 2017. Currently, there are amendments filed to modify of the NPA. The next step is to create rules that guide the enactment of this legislation and it may take quite some time. Stay tuned for Roger’s updates on that process, its impact on CRNA practice and other legislative news this session. February 16, 2018 marked the deadline to submit bills for new laws or changes to the current laws for the present legislative session. Currently, we are reviewing submitted bills and their potential to impact on CRNA practice.
In 2017, Senate Bill -1094 extended the grandfathering of APN licensure for Illinois CRNAs without a master’s degree until July 1, 2023. This crucial piece of legislation sponsored by Illinois State Senator, Pamela J. Althoff safeguarded these experienced CRNAs’ right to practice in Illinois until 2023. Senator Pamela Althoff received the 2017 IANA Legislator of the Year Award. On December 12, 2017, I presented the award to Senator Althoff in Chicago, Illinois. Senator Althoff is a strong advocate of the nurse anesthesia profession. Her staunch support helped pass this crucial piece of legislation in a short amount of time.
When I began my role as your IANA president, I strongly felt that we as an advanced nursing specialty needed to aggressively promote our vital role in the Illinois healthcare market. I obtained a public relations proposal from the AANA PR department. The IANA PR committee began to work with Chris Bettin and the AANA PR department. The PR committee led by Jennifer Greenwood, CRNA, PhD and Joshua Newman, CRNA, MSN launched a huge PR push to better promote the splendid work CRNAs perform in Illinois. A huge goal is to have a more visible presence in the state capital on our annual lobby day with promotional materials at a kiosk in the center of the state capital building. In addition, we purchased a billboard promoting our profession on the main highway into Springfield, IL. This billboard proudly reminds the public and all of the state legislators as they exit they highway to go to work, that CRNAs Are There: Every Breath, Every Beat, Every Second. Lastly, look for apparel and other items promoting Illinois CRNAs at the Spring Meeting and on our website. For the first time, members will be able to create business cards with the IANA logo for a nominal fee. A portion of this fee benefits the IANA PAC fund. These are fantastic ways to promote yourself as a CRNA to your patients and colleagues while also supporting the organization.
On September 20, 2017, Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. The devastation that ensued is well-known to the U.S. Susan Krawczyk, CRNA, APRN, DNP managed a humanitarian endeavor on behalf of the IANA and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) from all five programs in Illinois. This effort became an opportunity to support SRNAs at the three programs in Puerto Rico. Creation of a Go Fund Me page raised over $1,200 which enabled these desperate students to purchase much needed items that will aid their studies. Susan’s efforts were key to the success of this initiative.
Currently, the IANA PAC fund is approximately $23,000. In comparison, our physician colleagues’ PAC fund is well over $100,000. The ISA has a large capability to financially support numerous legislators that further advance their legislative agenda, and this is often in conflict with our agenda. Our goal is to improve our fund so that we are over $100,000 with several projects. First, creation of a monthly credit card charge plan allows members to donate a larger sum over a longer period. Currently, there is an online raffle for two tickets to great seats and a parking pass for the Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues game on March 18. The cost per raffle ticket is $10.00. Furthermore, the IANA PAC committee planned a fun filled night on May 19 at a minor league baseball team during the Spring 2018 IANA conference. The Peoria Chiefs is a Class A minor league baseball team and the cost per ticket is $50.00. The IANA has access to an outdoor deck, food and beverages. Lastly, at the Spring Meeting a regional block workshop allows CRNAs to improve their regional skills. All proceeds from the registration fee for the workshop on May 20 benefit the IANA PAC fund. PAC funds are separate from the dues IANA receives through the AANA. This allows the IANA to support key legislators that promote and support CRNA practice. Please consider a donation to the PAC fund because it is through advocacy and support from key legislators that allow CRNAs practice to their fullest potential.
As you can see, your IANA BOD, Public Relations and Political Action Committees are diligently striving to improve member engagement, promote CRNA practice, and advocate on your behalf. The new strategic plan is now in place so stay tuned for more positive developments. I encourage IANA members to remain connected to the IANA leadership through email, Illinois CRNA/SRNA Facebook or the IANA website. This is the only way to we can evolve as an organization to influence change that benefits every member and ultimately our patients. More importantly, I urge every CRNA in Illinois to visit their Senators and House Representatives at both the State and Federal levels. These in district appointments are an invaluable resource to build a relationship with influential legislators. We are the hidden secret in healthcare, and I envision a day where our role as anesthesia experts is well-known to everyone. The key to that change is you!
Rosemarie D. Slowikowski, CRNA, APRN, DNP