1 year ago

CRNAs: Providing safe, affordable anesthesia care in your hometown

All citizens of Alabama want and deserve safe, efficient, cost-effective anesthesia care for themselves and their loved ones.

Do you wonder who that person is behind the mask that’s taking you to surgery? Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) ensure that the citizens of Alabama receive the highest standard of anesthesia care for their surgery, interventional procedures, labor and delivery and emergency needs where and when you need it. For rural residents, traveling long distances for surgical services incurs expense, time and can add risk to patients. As CRNAs, we enable Alabama citizens to receive essential care close to home.

There are 53,000 CRNAs in America providing more than 45 million anesthetics each year. There are more than 1,700 CRNAs practicing in Alabama. In many settings, CRNAs work in coordination with your surgeon to provide the safest surgical experience possible. Your local CRNAs provide 24/7 call coverage, provide anesthesia for all surgical procedures, as well as respond to vascular and airway emergencies throughout the hospital. Your physicians rely on CRNAs for anesthesia expertise.

CRNAs are highly educated and trained advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Prior to attending a nurse anesthesiology graduate program, we obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have an average of three years of full-time critical care experience. At the time of entry into a post-graduate Nurse Anesthesia residency, the candidate has already had greater than five years of hands-on experience. Nurse Anesthesia training is comprised of masters and doctoral level academic classes in combination with greater than 9,000 clinical hours. CRNAs are trained to perform all types of anesthesia techniques for all types of surgical procedures and patients of various ages and health status. Upon degree completion, the CRNA has more than eight years of training and hands-on patient experience. All CRNAs must pass a national board certification exam in order to practice anesthesia; 100% of practicing Nurse Anesthetists are board certified.

CRNAs are the primary anesthesia providers in rural America, for maternity patients, our veterans, the military and to medically underserved Americans. CRNAs provide almost 100% of anesthetics on the frontlines to our wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. In rural Alabama, most anesthetics are also given by CRNAs. This is nothing new. CRNAs have a long-standing history as the first anesthesia providers dating back to the Civil War.

In recent Alabama legislation, the topic of anesthesia direction has been an issue. Senate Bill 156 clarifies the definition of a CRNA by describing the coordination that exists with surgeons and removes language that can be seen as a barrier to care, especially in rural Alabama.

Surgeons, dentists and podiatrists are excellent at what they do, but they are not formally trained in anesthesia like CRNAs. Therefore, they do not order specific anesthesia medications or treatments. Your operating physician does not have the time, expertise, or desire to be involved with the anesthetic. Direction language implies that the non-anesthesia physician must direct the anesthetic, when in fact, they merely just order anesthesia to be performed by the CRNA. Not only is this practice disingenuous, it also deters physicians from rural practice, making recruitment difficult. Rural facilities depend on surgical services for financial viability, and surgeons depend on CRNAs.

With 88% of Alabama’s rural hospitals suffering financially, CRNAs bring much need anesthesia services to those hospitals so that you do not have to travel long distances for certain surgical procedures. Surgeons working with an all-CRNA practice do not incur additional malpractice premiums which is a testament to the outstanding record of CRNA safety. Numerous peer-reviewed published studies confirm that anesthesia is safe when given by a CRNA.

Alabama CRNAs are proud to bring healthcare home for you, and as your anesthesia experts, we are honored to care for you and your family. SB 156 does not change the scope of practice. It does not change the relationship between the physician and CRNA. SB 156 provides the accurate, truthful definition that you, your physician and our facilities deserve. We greatly value your health and thank you all for trusting us to be your healthcare providers. Every breath, every beat, every second: your local CRNAs are there for you.

Michael W. Humber, CRNA, DNP, MNA, is the state political director for Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists

6 hours ago

Alabama Power sends hundreds of linemen, support personnel to assist after Tropical Storm Isaias hammered East Coast

Tropical Storm Isaias hit the eastern coast of the United States hard this week, leaving millions of Americans without power while producing high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes.

In the wake of the storm’s wrath, Alabama Power Company on Wednesday morning sent 133 lineworkers and 94 support personnel to New Jersey to assist utility FirstEnergy in its storm response.

A release from the company outlined that Alabama Power upon arrival will support FirstEnergy subsidiary Jersey Central Power and Light, which serves 1.1 million customers in the central and northern parts of the Garden State.

In addition to directly supporting FirstEnergy, Alabama Power advised that it released more than 325 contract lineworkers to assist in storm restoration at various other utilities along the East Coast.


“Our crews are prepped and ready to offer assistance in the restoration efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias,” stated Kristie Barton, Alabama Power Company’s power delivery services general manager.

“As soon as it is safe to do so, which includes observing all of our COVID-19 safe practices protocol, we’ll be working to restore power as quickly as possible,” she continued.

The company’s help was reportedly coordinated through the mutual assistance program of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, a trade association comprised of several member utilities.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 hours ago

Ivey named to leadership of National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) on Wednesday announced its new executive committee for 2020-2021, with Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) becoming chair of the association that represents the 55 leaders of all American states and territories.

Members of the executive committee were elected during the NGA summer meeting, which was held in a virtual format this year.

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) was one of the governors elected to the nine-member executive committee.


“I’m honored to have been elected to serve on the [NGA] Executive Committee for 2020-21,” Ivey said in a Wednesday tweet. “I look forward to working with my fellow governors to develop initiatives & policies to support our country now & in the future.”

The NGA recently highlighted Alabama’s workforce development efforts under the Ivey administration as a model for other states to emulate.

Ivey assumed the governor’s office on April 10, 2017. In November 2018, she was elected to her first full term as Alabama’s chief executive. That term will expire in January 2023. Ivey could seek reelection in 2022.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

8 hours ago

Mo Brooks: Democrats are banking on creating more moochers in 2020

The latest stimulus bill in Congress is tied up for many reasons, but a major sticking point appears to be the continuation of a $600 a week unemployment booster on top of what states already pay in benefits.

With the current impasse, there is currently no bonus to be given to those who are unemployed.

This is creating a battle between those who want to keep the bonus payment going for the foreseeable future and those who believe that the high payment is keeping people from vigorously re-entering the job market.

The stalemate in Washington, D.C. will eventually break. Some form of sweetener will be included, and the battle for stimulus will move on to the next bill.

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) views this battle as part of the larger ideological battle in the United States.


Brooks appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Wednesday and referred to the Democratic Party as “the moocher party.” He said he believes this disconnect all started in the 1960s when Democrats embraced the idea of the “Great Society.”

Brooks opined, “Democrats have discovered that’s a huge voting block that they get in elections, so one way to win an election is to turn more independent, self-reliant voters into moochers.”

The congressman from Huntsville believes this is nothing new and noted how political it all is.

“Democrats perceive that that’s going to help them tremendously in the 2020 elections just a few months from now,” he advised.

My takeaway:

Brooks, of course, is right.

The argument from the media and their Democrats is always going to be some version of: “We want to give you [this] and they don’t because they want you to die.”

Free healthcare, free childcare, free college education, and it never stops.

Stopping any of this is the equivalent of kicking a baby in the face and taking its food.

Democrats have bought into this idea for years, and in the time of rampant unemployment and a pandemic, they will kick their grievance politics into full gear to gain new power.

The House, Senate and presidency are at risk this year. Republicans can give in and extend the $600 unemployment benefit (they will), and Democrats will just move to the next free item.

In 2020, this strategy might work.


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

10 hours ago

Dollar General opens 450,000 square foot distribution center in Montgomery

Budget shopping chain Dollar General on Wednesday announced the opening of its large, new cold storage distribution center in Montgomery.

The 450,000 square foot facility is the product of a $26 million investment for the company and will support around 65 new jobs in the River Region.

The Montgomery facility is cold storage, meaning it is designed to store goods that must be kept chilled like milk and deli products.

“Welcome to Montgomery Dollar General, thank you for investing in our state and in our people,” said Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday during a digital event celebrating the facility being opened.


“We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous support from both state and local officials who helped make this project happen,” remarked Rod West, Dollar General’s vice president of perishables growth and development.

The low-cost retailer opened its first store in Alabama in 1965 and now has around 800 retail locations in the Yellowhammer State.

“Dollar General is a trusted company with a long history in Alabama,” said Elton Dean, Montgomery County Commission chairman, in a statement on Monday.

“The River Region has a lot to offer, and we are thrilled that this esteemed organization, that does business across the country, recognizes that,” Dean added.

Dollar General also has a traditional distribution center in Bessemer and claims to employ approximately 8,100 Alabamians in total.

Montgomery’s new distribution center is located on Mobile Highway, around 15 minutes southwest of downtown.

“We welcome Dollar General and look forward to years of partnership and progress to come,” commented Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed on Wednesday,

The company says it will support around 1,500 stores in surrounding areas and help spur the “DG Fresh” initiative “which is a strategic multi-phased shift to self-distribution of frozen and refrigerated goods such as dairy, deli and frozen products” according to a release.

“We are confident that Dollar General recognized our strong workforce and business-friendly environment when choosing a location for this facility. We are excited to welcome Dollar General and countless companies to come, to grow in Montgomery,” concluded Arthur DuCote, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce chairman.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

10 hours ago

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Republican nominee Tommy Tuberville in the Yellowhammer State’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

Tuberville, after defeating former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in last month’s GOP primary runoff, is set to face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November’s general election. The AFA had endorsed Sessions in the runoff contest.

In a statement, AFA executive vice president Chris Isaacson said, “We are proud to endorse Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate race. He is a conservative with an impressive list of accomplishments, and we know that he will continue that record in his role as U.S. Senator.”


“Tommy knows that decisions made in Washington impact families and businesses and will be an effective voice for the people of Alabama,” he concluded.

This comes as another major endorsement for Tuberville from the agribusiness community. The Alabama Farmers Federation endorsed the former Auburn University football coach last year and has been credited as being integral along his path to securing the Republican nomination.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association. The AFA is an excellent organization that stands for pro-business policies. Protecting Alabama industry is a key to our state’s success,” Tuberville stated.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn