Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. -- The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) will recognize Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) as the winner of its Health Leadership Award for 2022 at its Mid-Year Assembly, to be held in Washington, D.C., April 2-6.

The Health Leadership Award was established in 1922 and is presented to an individual working at the federal government level who had made a significant contribution to the formation of national health policy. The award recognizes support for the vital role that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) play in providing access to cost-effective, quality anesthesia services.

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013. As the Co-Chair of the House Nursing Caucus and husband of a registered nurse, Davis has long championed AANA priorities including full practice authority in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the permanent removal of supervision for CRNAs under Medicare Part A conditions of participation.

In 2020, in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, Davis introduced the Nurse Workforce Protection Act (H.R. 6809), a bill that requires facilities and employers that take emergency relief funds or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to maintain at least 75% of the nurses on payroll and to cover at least 75% of their salaries. Davis also hosted AANA’s immediate past CEO, Randy Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA, in a Facebook Live series centered around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rep. Davis has long been a champion of CRNAs at the federal level, working for our ability to practice at the full scope of our education and licensure,” said AANA President Dina Velocci, DNP, CRNA, APRN. “We are pleased to recognize Rep. Davis’s long history of service and to honor and thank him for his support.”

As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs are members of one of the most trusted professions according to Gallup.  CRNAs provide anesthesia care across all settings and in all patient populations and are the primary anesthesia providers in rural and underserved areas and on the battlefield in forward surgical teams. Because of their expertise in anesthesia delivery and management of critically ill patients, CRNAs have been a highly sought-after healthcare provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.