Newswise — Rosemont, Ill. (AANA) –The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Sarah Tweedy, DNP, CRNA, ARNP, with the Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award of the Year Award during its 2024 Mid-Year Assembly, April 20-24, in Washington, DC.

The Federal Political Director of the Year Award, established in 2001, is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the national healthcare agenda of CRNAs, also known as nurse anesthetists or nurse anesthesiologists, by coordinating grassroots involvement in their state and in the federal political process. In June 2013, the AANA Board of Directors renamed the award in honor and memory of the first winner, Dan Vigness who was an active member of the South Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

According to her nomination, Dr. Tweedy has fostered strong relationships with Iowa’s political leadership, strategically strengthening the CRNA practice landscape for Iowa and helping to improve the anesthesia services provided to Iowans as a whole.

In her role as Federal Political Director of Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA), Tweedy worked closely with the offices of several federal legislators to increase their knowledge of the crucial role CRNAs play in Iowa’s rural healthcare landscape and to garner support for nondiscrimination language and the Save Rural Hospitals Act. Additionally,  Tweedy volunteered to participate in U.S. Representative roundtable discussions to help educate both legislators and the public about the outstanding CRNA practice in Iowa.

“It is an honor and privilege to receive this award, and I thank the AANA for the recognition,” said Tweedy. “I thank the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists for not only the nomination, but for supporting the federal advocacy initiatives that make CRNA practice better at home in Iowa and across the country. The importance of advocacy has been instilled in me since I was a nurse anesthesia resident, and I am proud to say I have been involved in advocacy as long as I have been involved in anesthesia. For me, the two go hand-in-hand. I am honored to continue the strong tradition of advocacy excellence for which IANA is known, and I look forward to accomplishing even more in the years to come. I am grateful to my mentors and colleagues in nurse anesthesiology who work tirelessly for a solid future for our beloved profession! It is an honor to serve my profession and to receive this award.” 

Tweedy has been a member of the AANA and IANA since 2014. She has held numerous leadership positions including her current role as Federal Political Director of IANA, which she assumed in 2018. Tweedy served as IANA Region 1 Director from 2020 – 2022 and has served as Secretary of IANA since 2022. At the national level, Tweedy served on the AANA CRNA-PAC Committee in fiscal years 2021-2022, and served as CRNA-PAC Chair in FY23, during which she led one of the largest fundraising years the PAC has ever had. Tweedy provides independent anesthesia services across multiple locations in rural and suburban Iowa.

Tweedy earned her undergraduate nursing degrees from the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, and her Doctor of Nursing practice (DNP) degree from University of Iowa in Iowa City in 2017. She resides in Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband and their beloved husky.