Every year, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists hosts the Mid-Year Assembly (MYA) in Washington, D.C. This meeting brings together nurse anesthetists and students to learn about the issues that impact nurse anesthesia practice and patient choice. More importantly, MYA attendees learn how to address those challenges through professional advocacy and health care policy change.
MYA is organized as a three-day conference every April with valuable lectures on matters that affect CRNA practice. Topics include the general state of health policy at the federal level, provider nondiscrimination reimbursement, full practice authority, and the CRNA’s crucial role in delivering anesthesia services to rural and underserved communities. Patient choice, improved access to care, and the positive economic impact CRNAs have on the health system are also discussed at the meeting. Attendees may choose between an introductory or an experienced track. Both tracks prepare conference participants to speak with legislators about important CRNA concerns. Equally important, there are opportunities to network with colleagues and discuss matters (and solutions) that are state or organization-specific.
Following the lectures, MYA launches its lobbying efforts with a big kickoff rally on Capitol Hill. Because California is the most populous state (40 million people!), CANA has 55 Congressional office visits to make in 2 days – that’s a lot of walking and talking! MYA participants are never lobbying alone: the CANA Delegation is divided into teams with a nice blend of experienced team leaders, CRNAs, and students. Some members travel to Washington just to join the delegation for the office visits. This has a tremendous impact because more contributing CRNAs means more effective office visits and also sends a clear message to the legislators that CRNAs are a powerful force in health care.
Every day, CRNAs protect their patients through the excellent care they provide, but advocacy and member engagement is what protects our treasured profession. Please help protect CRNA practice: join the CANA Delegation and attend the 2020 Mid-Year Assembly!