Newswise — Park Ridge, Illinois—The 2017 Advocate of the Year recipient is Garalynn Tomas, MEd, CRNA. Her passion and enthusiasm for volunteerism and anesthesia stands out, and her advocacy work has positively affected her fellow CRNAs and her patients. The award will be presented during the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist (AANA) Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress, Sept. 8-12, 2017, in Seattle.

  • Tomas has volunteered with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and traveled to Ethiopia to teach regional anesthesia to nurse anesthetists at the Addis Ababa School of Anesthesia.
  • As a legal nurse consultant, Tomas has experience as an expert witness in anesthesia litigation.
  • Tomas is the owner of GVT Medical Service Consultants, Inc., and has worked as a CRNA in a variety of anesthesia care models including an oral surgery office, surgery and GI centers, and hospital systems.
  • She is currently an independent contractor in critical access hospitals and a large community hospital system.
  • Tomas is a long time, generous Foundation supporter, has been a State Advocate for Ohio since 2012, and serves on the Foundation’s RISE Above Steering Committee.

“It is my belief that by your deeds you shall be known,” said Tomas. “I am humbled to be chosen amongst the many hard-working and creative AANA Foundation state advocates. This award is truly an honor.”

Advocate of the Year Award
This award is presented to an AANA Foundation Advocate for outstanding commitment to the nurse anesthesia profession through individual support to the AANA Foundation and also encouragement of others to do the same.

About the AANA Foundation
Established in 1981, the AANA Foundation is a charitable organization devoted to anesthesia research, education and development.  The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. The Foundation funds scholarships, doctoral fellowships, post-doctoral fellowships, research grants, general poster sessions, oral "State of the Science" poster sessions and doctoral mentorships.  Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year, Advocate of the Year and Researcher of the Year Awards are presented annually by the AANA Foundation. 

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.