Hello MoANA CRNAs,
I wanted to take a brief moment to thank everyone for their vote of confidence in electing me as your new President. I have been a CRNA for more than 25 years of which twenty has been as an owner of an all CRNA practice; Excel Anesthesia. Our company has contracted with more than 24 facilities throughout the Missouri area and provided mainly non-medically directed CRNA services. It is through managing these CRNA services that I have come to understand the importance of being involved at the state level in the legislative advancement of our CRNA practice; especially in Missouri where we face so many restrictions. Strangely enough, there have been many occasions in which state surveyors have arrived at one of our facilities and not been fully-educated on the Rules, Regs, and Laws that govern Missouri CRNA scope of practice. The Surveyors oftentimes want to know where the anesthesiologist is and why we don’t have one. Over the years, this has been a definite eye-opener and impressed upon me the massive importance of being knowledgeable about our state CRNA scope of practice as well as having an understanding of all the departments involved in Missouri practice regulations. If I hadn’t been, our facilities could easily have received citations and/or been temporarily shut down. Some centers probably would have sought anesthesia services elsewhere.
I understand that the number of CRNAs in Missouri that actually work in an independent setting are the minority; most work for large hospitals. I often hear from members, “Why are we focusing on pain, or why are we fighting about orders for controlled substances while providing services in the operating room? These issues really don’t affect me. What is the big deal?” The big deal is that if even one CRNA is unable to provide services to a patient in need due to a political “turf-battle” or a ridiculous restriction it is too many! Not only are the hands of the CRNA tied and the surgeons are placed in a difficult position but more importantly the patient suffers! It is my opinion, that ANY restriction placed on a CRNA that limits their ability to provide anesthesia services must be challenged and fought. Any issue not fought, is an issue lost and is a step backward. Missouri can’t afford any more steps backward. Missouri is listed close to the bottom of the list–37th for its ability to provide its citizens access to healthcare. We are not in the business of making this worse….we are here to make it better. We do this by educating ourselves first, and then the various stakeholders, the public, and our patients. We must have a seat at the table otherwise, we will find ourselves on the menu. With your help-that is exactly what I plan to do! I plan on sitting at the table.
I look forward to working on behalf the MoANA and its members and relying on my business experience as we face the upcoming year together. We have an excellent board ready to get started so please feel free to contact me or any of our other board members with any issues or concerns. We are constantly updating our website to keep our members updated and informed. Please log-in and click on the Member section for more information. If you are having difficulty you can reset your password or notify Carol Kemna our Executive Director and we will get you set back up.
I hope to see you all on Lobby Day January 30 and 31st in Jefferson City.
Jean M. Covillo, CRNA, MA
President MoANA 2017-2018
Excel Anesthesia, LLC