Newswise — Rosemont, Ill. – The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Michael MacKinnon, DNP, FNP-C, CRNA, FAANA, with the 23rd Ira P.  Gunn Award for Outstanding Professional Advocacy during its 2023 Annual Congress, August 18-22, in Seattle.

The Ira P. Gunn Award was established in 2000 to recognize the accomplishments of CRNAs or non-CRNAs who are involved in overcoming legislative, legal, and regulatory challenges to nurse anesthesiology practice rights. The recipient of the award receives recognition by peers as a person who has made an important contribution to the advancement of nurse anesthesiology practice rights.

Throughout his career, MacKinnon has been a passionate champion for CRNA protection and advancement. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the president of the Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AZANA) where he shaped measurable goals and a strategic plan that would ultimately lead to Arizona opting out of physician supervision in 2020.

MacKinnon’s many roles include servicing AANA as Student Voting Rights Task Force chair in 2016, AANA Nominating Committee chair, 2018-2019, and his current position as AANA Anesthesiology Assistant Task Force chair. He was inducted as a Fellow of AANA in 2021 and received the honor of being named Arizona CRNA of the Year for 2021.

MacKinnon is an independent CRNA practitioner, instructor and lecturer, adjunct faculty for the Midwestern University CRNA Program and the Middle Tennessee CRNA Program, and associate professor/assistant director of the National University CRNA Program.

According to his nomination, “If your state has battled Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) legislation, you are forever grateful for Mike MacKinnon. He is an expert on the subject and can answer any question promptly with solutions and educated talking points that matter to legislators.” Others cited his focus on issues impacting CRNA practice including reimbursement and his determination to advance the status of CRNAs.  “Ira P. Gunn was not one to conform to the wishes of the ’status quo‘ and was always willing to consider another argument if it was equally supported with factual and verifiable information. I see many similarities between these two individuals.”

“I am so honored to follow in Ira Gunn’s footsteps and continue her tradition of advocacy and engagement for our profession.  It has truly been an honor and one of the greatest achievements and highlights of my life, “said MacKinnon of the award.

A CRNA since 2009, MacKinnon earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Dalhousie at Halifax, Nova Scotia and received his nurse anesthesiology education from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.  In addition, MacKinnon obtained his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at University of Alabama.