PARIS — Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist profession by celebrating the 15th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week, Jan. 19-25. This year’s theme is “Our Priority. Our Passion. Our Patients.”

Established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, National Nurse Anesthetists Week was created to bring awareness to the role of CRNAs while highlighting the importance of anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery, and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from nurse anesthetists, according to a press release from the hospital.

CRNAs, who are advanced practice nurses with graduate-level education in anesthesiology, safely administer 34 million anesthetics to Americans each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia in rural communities.

At PCH/FMC, two CRNAs provide anesthesia services to surgical patients and patients in the Pain Management Clinic. They are David Grazaitis, CRNA, APN, manager of anesthesia services, and Lee Webber, CRNA. Both have a specialty training certificate in pain management.

The release said, Grazaitis has been with PCH/FMC since 1983. He is a graduate of Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., and he did doctoral work at Indiana University School of Medicine. He served as a captain in the Air Force and was in a charge position in pediatric shock trauma at Johns Hopkins. He has published a number of research articles in medical journals and co-developed medical education software.

Webber has been with PCH/FMC since 2013. She graduated from Mayo Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia in La Crosse, Wis., and completed some graduate work at the University of Nebraska. She has a special interest and experience in peripheral pain blocks and regional anesthesia. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

The national “Our Priority. Our Passion. Our Patients” theme emphasizes the high standards which CRNAs adhere to when administering anesthesia. CRNAs have been the main provider of anesthesia care to US service men and women on the front lines since World War I, including current conflicts in the Middle East. Their responsibilities include administering anesthetics, monitoring vital signs, and helping ensure millions of patients receive the safest anesthesia care possible.

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