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Getting Politically Involved on a Federal Level

Dr. Andrew Griffin, SIUE School of Nursing nurse anesthesia program director, is currently serving as the Federal Political Director for the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA). This position requires him to communicate with Congress to benefit nurse anesthetists in regards to policy changes.

Andrew was asked to take over this role three years ago and has been successful in fulfilling its duties. "I was excited and eager to fill the position," Andrew said. "I felt that my connection to SIUE made me a good fit as we are the only public state university with a nurse anesthesia program."

Also serving as an active political member within the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), Andrew was asked to speak at their Fall Assembly Leadership Academy in November 2012. The conference was held in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Andrew's presentation was titled, "Fundamentals of the federal political director's job and how it fits within AANA."

"Illinois had a good year in 2012," Andrew said. "Our congressmen were very vocal and active in supporting nurse anesthesia and advanced practice nursing. They were very involved in changes to health care."

To Andrew, success is not measured in how many bills are passed. "It's important for our congressmen to be educated on what nurse anesthesia means to our state."

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