AANA Foundation Health Policy Institute & Fellowship Programs

2019 Health Policy Institute Attendees

Health Policy Institute

In 2019 the AANA Foundation sent their inaugural CRNA class through the Health Policy Institute program at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Five CRNAs were selected and funded to attend the nationally renowned seminar that aims to educate attendees about the recent, current, and expected approaches of health care law, as well as other health policy related issues. The program delves deep into the health policy making process and takes the time to teach attendees the knowledge and networking needed to have an impact in federal and state policy.

George Mason University's Department of Health Administration Policy and the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, together with an impressive group of guest lecturers from government, think tanks, and executives, use this course to bring together students from across the United States to learn in a dynamic environment. Some of the lecture topics included judicial decisions and health reform, social determinants of health, value-based reimbursement, the health policy making process, state health reform, state challenges with the opioid crisis and many more. This dynamic course has the inaugural class of CRNAs eager to jump into policy work to strengthen the nurse anesthesia profession, and to have a positive impact on patients through the use of health policy. The AANA Foundation plans to continue to send a class of CRNAs and SRNAs through the program again in 2020. 

The Foundation will soon be accepting applications for the George Mason Health Policy Institute Program in Arlington, VA on June 1-3, 2020. The application will be available in late March/early April. 


Health Policy Fellowship

The AANA Foundation Health Policy Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for CRNAs with an interest in Health Policy and is intended to provide an educational on-the-ground experience working in a Capitol Hill office. Fellows will work full time in a U.S. Congressional office in Washington, DC for approximately 6-9 months and gain valuable experience in the inner workings of the U.S. Congress and the legislative process. Fellows will participate in a variety of tasks such as assisting staff with a legislative portfolio including attending committee meetings and interacting with constituents.

If you are interested in the AANA Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, please submit a brief statement of interest by email to foundation@aana.com and include Health Policy Fellowship in the subject line. You will then be contacted when further details become available. 


Participant Comments

"I highly recommend the Health Policy Institute. It was the perfect mix of knowledgeable, respected speakers, & networking with a small group of state level activists who I feel I can reach out to for the rest of my career now. I particularly liked the wide-ranging topics of the speakers, from macro-economics, to political pundits, to quality executives & data researchers, which gave an incredible perspective. Kudos to the Foundation for thinking outside the box to educate CRNAs not just about anesthesia & related policy, but taking the global view.”

-Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA


"I just want to thank the AANA Foundation for giving me the opportunity to attend the Health Policy Institute at George Mason University.  This was the first time the AANA Foundation offered CRNAs the chance to participate in this program.  The speakers were impressive and captivating presenting different aspects of the current state of healthcare.  The CRNA group was wonderful.  The group bonded immediately having lively discussions and friendly debates.  It was more than I hoped for.  I would do it again in a minute!"

-Toni Schmittling DNAP, MBA, MS, CRNA


"I expected to learn a lot; I didn’t expect to enjoy the George Mason Health Administration and Policy Class as much as I did. I spent a week with an amazing cross-section of CRNAs, all arriving with their own backgrounds, opinions and objectives. We were in class with masters and doctorate level students from within the health care community as well as health care policy community, which made for interesting dialogue and learning. I was absolutely blown away that the group of CRNAs dominated the intellectual discourse. I was proud to call them colleagues. Now, I am proud to call them my friends. I have reached out to all of them in this past year for opinions, advice, and most importantly, friendship. I cannot recommend this class enough. The Health Care Policy course has been a great addition to my health care policy knowledge and I have been able to share what I learned with my state association as well as my anesthesia business. I cannot wait for AANA to offer part two."

-Jean Snyder DNAP, MSNA, CRNA