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Nurse Anesthetists in Pa. Ensure Patient Safety, Help to Control Rising Health-care Costs

Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists

CONTACT: Kurt Knaus; P: 717-724-2866; E:

Nurse Anesthetists in Pa. Ensure Patient Safety,

Help to Control Rising Health-care Costs

HARRISBURG (Jan. 20, 2020) --- Pennsylvania ranks among the top draws nationally for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and students, with 13 highly rated nurse anesthetist programs serving every corner of the commonwealth and helping to sustain one of the largest contingencies of professionals in the country.

This week marks CRNA Week in Pennsylvania, when patients, hospital administrators, health-care professionals, policy-makers, and others learn more about CRNAs and the work they do to keep patients safe and help reduce the cost of health care. The week-long celebration runs in conjunction with the 21st annual National CRNA Week from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25.

“Surgery and anesthesia can be intimidating,” said Angelarosa G. DiDonato, DNP, CRNA, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA). “That’s why it’s so important for people to understand the vital role CRNAs play as a patient advocate. We stay with our patients for every heartbeat and every breath, administering their anesthetics and watching over their vital signs. We never leave their side.”

Pennsylvania is recognized as a leader in anesthesia education and training, with 13 programs spread throughout Allegheny, Columbia, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Westmoreland and York counties. (For a full list of programs, visit and click “Resources.”)

CRNAs are the hands-on providers of anesthesia care, operating safely in every setting where anesthesia is administered, including hospital operating and delivery rooms; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons; pain management centers and more.

The nation’s 54,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists safely and cost-effectively provide more than 49 million anesthetics each year. PANA itself represents more than 3,700 CRNAs and students across the state --- one of the largest contingencies in the country.

The role CRNAs play in Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s health-care system is expansive.

CRNAs are the main providers of anesthesia care in rural communities and medically underserved areas, delivering essential health care and preventing gaps in services. CRNAs also are battle-tested, serving on the front lines since World War I as the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel in austere combat theaters.

With advanced degrees and a high level of education and clinical experience, CRNAs are able to deliver the same safe, high-quality anesthesia care as other anesthesia professionals but at a lower cost, helping to control the nation’s rising health-care costs.

Because of their training and experience, numerous medical studies show there is no statistical difference in patient outcomes when a nurse anesthetist provides treatment. In fact, these studies by nationally recognized health-care policy and research organizations prove that CRNAs provide high-quality care, even for rare and difficult procedures.

That’s because CRNAs are with the patient throughout the entire procedure. Anesthesiologists, on the other hand, may have several cases to attend to simultaneously, or they may be somewhere else handling another response.

CRNAs provide routine anesthesia care but also quickly respond to patient changes and emergencies during surgical and medical procedures, ensuring patient health and safety.

For more information about certified registered nurse anesthetists in Pennsylvania, visit or follow along on social media via Twitter at @PANACRNA or on Facebook at


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