Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. – The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) presented Andrea J. Teitel, MS, CRNA, with the Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award at its Mid-Year Assembly, held virtually, April 23-25. Teitel, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), is an educator and affiliate clinical coordinator at the University of Detroit Mercy Program of Nurse Anesthesia, in Detroit, Michigan.

The Federal Political Director of the Year Award, established in 2001, was renamed the Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award in 2013 in tribute and memory of its first winner. It is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the national healthcare agenda of CRNAs by coordinating grassroots CRNA involvement at the state level or through special contributions to the federal political process.

“It is a great honor to receive the Federal Political Director Award and a privilege to promote the profession and help to work towards regulations and legislation that allow CRNAs to practice at their full scope,” Teitel said. “I appreciate the support of the AANA, Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and my employers for providing me with the resources and time to build the relationships that have allowed me to be a successful advocate for all CRNAs.”

Teitel first became Federal Political Director (FPD) for the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA) in 2011 and has most recently served from 2019 to present. She was president and president-elect of MANA from 2014-2016 and its leadership development chair in 2017. She has also served as the government relations chair.

Her nominator lauded Teitel for her integrity and ability to influence others. “No one is more diligent. Tasks that she takes on are always completed. No one is more knowledgeable of current … issues. No one is more socially involved and adept at making friends, influencing people, and advancing our national and state issues.”   

As well as her position at University of Detroit, Teitel is a CRNA with NorthStar Anesthesia at Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township, Michigan, and provides anesthesia services through Mobile Anesthesia Partners to metro Detroit area.  

Teitel received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Michigan State University in Lansing and a Master of Science in anesthesia from Wayne State University in Detroit. She was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2018 as one of its “Notable Women in Healthcare in Michigan.”

As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs are among 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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurse anesthetists across the country have been essential in addressing the deadliest part of the disease in addition to providing top-of-the-line anesthesia care. They have served as experts in airway management, hemodynamic monitoring, management of patients on ventilators, and overall management of critically ill patients.