Newswise — Rosemont, Ill. — The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Bernadette Henrichs, PhD, CRNA, CCRN, CHSE, FAANA, with the 43rd Annual Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator Award during its 2022 Annual Congress, August 12-16, in Chicago.

The Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator Award, established in 1980, is presented to a CRNA who has made a significant contribution to the education of nurse anesthetists. The award recognizes the individual’s commitment to the profession of nurse anesthesia and to the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesiology and result in high-quality patient care.

Henrichs has dedicated her life’s work to promoting the nurse anesthesia profession through many significant contributions to the education of nurse anesthetist students over the years. Currently, Henrichs is the director and a professor for the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College as well as the director and professor of CRNA Education and Research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine. The original nurse anesthesia program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital was established by Helen Lamb in 1929, and when the program dissolved, it was Dr. Henrichs who re-established the program in 2004 at Barnes-Jewish College. Last year, her graduates honored her with the Helen Lamb Outstanding Didactic Instructor.

Since then, the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Goldfarb School of Nursing has been honored with becoming the second school in the U.S., and the fourth school in the world, to gain accreditation by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists. She is considered a pioneer in the use of clinical simulation for nurse anesthesia education. Henrichs conducts simulation with her students weekly during the duration of the clinical portion of the program, helping them to prepare for responding to anesthetic crises.

Prior to starting that program, she was clinical coordinator and chief CRNA at the Washington University Department of Anesthesiology and adjunct assistant professor and assistant program coordinator at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Henrichs also has been called upon as a consultant on nurse anesthesia  in the United States as well as China and England.

“Like the leader that came before her, Helen Lamb, Dr. Bernadette Henrichs unambiguously represents everything a nurse anesthetist should aspire to be,” her nomination said. “She is passionate about and devoted to uplifting the nurse anesthesia profession through educating and cultivating nurse anesthesia leaders.”

“I am so honored to follow in Helen Lamb’s footsteps and continue her tradition of training nurse anesthetists at our medical center.  It has truly been an honor and one of the greatest achievements and highlights of my life, “said Henrichs of the award.

Henrichs is a graduate of St. Louis University with a PhD in educational studies and a Master of Science in Nursing. She received her certificate in nurse anesthesia education from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.