Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. — The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Michael Greco, PhD, DNP, CRNA, with the 42nd Annual Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator Award during its 2021 Annual Congress, August 13-17.

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.

Greco is the founding program director at the Hofstra University-Hofstra-Northwell graduate program in nurse anesthesia in Hempstead, New York. In this position, he developed the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program. It is the first and only program in the United States preparing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNPs) to become dual-certified as CRNAs and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNPs), providing the educational background for them to function at the highest level in clinical practice and increasing access to care and cost-saving to healthcare facilities. The inaugural cohort will be starting in September 2021.  

Prior to starting that program, he served for many years as program director of the nurse anesthesia graduate program at Columbia University School of Nursing in New York.  Greco also is a reviewer for accreditation for CRNA programs through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, and he chaired the AANA Professional Development Committee from 2018-2020. He practices clinically at Northwell Health in New York, where he is assistant vice president for System Nurse Anesthesia Services.

“His leadership impact is widespread through his work,” his nomination said. “…His commitment to academia has resulted in numerous education standards and policy changes nationally, which has proven to be an asset to the nurse anesthesia profession… He has focused efforts on integrating under-represented nurses into advanced practice nursing roles for more than a decade.”

“Reflecting on the impact Helen Lamb had on our profession though her unwavering commitment to nurse anesthesia education truly makes her a legend of her time. I am so thankful to be nominated by my colleagues and selected to receive this prestigious award demonstrating how one’s influence and creativity can change healthcare and the way we practice,” Greco said. “Although I accept this award, I would like to share this award with all CRNA educators who influence and make an impact on our students for our profession’s future.”

Greco is a graduate with a PhD in nursing from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.  He earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and completed his master’s degree in nurse anesthesia at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn. He received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York.