Newswise — Park Ridge, Illinois—Arthur Zwerling, DNP, DAAPM, MSN, MS, CRNA, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, posthumously receives the highest award issued by the 52,000-member American Association of Nurse Anesthetists: The Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment. The award will be presented to his family during the AANA Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress, Sept. 8-12, 2017, in Seattle.

“Though Art’s sphere of influence extended to nearly every corner of the nurse anesthesia community, he will most vividly be remembered for his work in the recovering community, and for promoting wellness in the nurse anesthesia profession,” said Terry Wicks, MHS, CRNA, former AANA president and former chair of both the Wellness Committee and the Wellness and Chemical Dependency Curriculum task force.

“Art was clearly instrumental in providing guidance, tools and support while mentoring a new CRNA to create a unique program improving the diversity within the profession of nurse anesthesia,” said fellow program administrator, Bette Wildgust, MSN, MS, CRNA, and Diana Quinlan, MA, CRNA, past chair, Peer Assistance Advisors Committee, in their nomination of Art. “Art’s role as program director, clinician and faculty, and his knowledge of advanced pain management modalities, further strengthen his contributions to advancing the art and science of nurse anesthesia.”

Art's Outstanding Accomplishments

  • Served for 16 years on AANA Peer Assistance Advisors Committee, four years as chair.
  • Volunteered more than 1,400 hours to literally save the lives of CRNAs and students suffering from substance use disorder and related issues, and also guiding their families.
  • Established and moderated an online forum for all Anesthetists in Recovery (AIR), and a tandem group for their partners.
  • Created an online group for state peer advisors.
  • Successfully campaigned to have curriculum modules on wellness added to AANA’s online learning system.
  • Highly respected lecturer on substance use disorder, pain management, and clinical anesthesia practice.
  • Invaluable contributor to Wearing Masks DVD series
  • Volunteered overseas, teaching nurse anesthetists in Belize, Eritrea, Cameroon.

Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment
The Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment was established in 1975 to recognize individuals whose foremost dedication to excellence has furthered the art and science of nurse anesthesia.

The award was established to honor Agatha Hodgins (1877-1945), founder and first president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. A notable pioneer in the field of anesthesiology, Miss Hodgins was one of the first to perfect the nitrous oxide-oxygen technique of anesthesia.

About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit and and follow @aanawebupdates on Twitter.