Profession
  • The Nurse Anesthesiology Pride Foundation Established

    The Nurse Anesthesiology Pride Foundation (NAPF) — formerly, Gay and Lesbian Anesthetists (GALA), announced a rebranding and re-envisioning in 2022. John Gianitsis, MSNA, CRNA, was elected the inaugural NAPF President.

    In the last year, NAPF secured 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, and redefined their commitment to the future of the LGBTQ+ nurse anesthesia community. The organization’s mission is to support LGBTQ+ Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists (CRNAs) and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) through mentorship, scholarship, and professional networking. NAPF’s vision is to support CRNAs and SRNAs in community building, educational, and professional endeavors.

    “I first became involved with GALA in 2018 during the planning of the annual event in Boston, Mass., for the Annual American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) Congress.  When Sandra Kilde, EdD, CRNA and Joy Majors, CRNA, decided to “retire” from their founder and CEO roles in GALA, I accepted the leadership position,” recalls John.

    According to Gianitsis there was an initial brain trust of 15 individuals.  “With the support of many CRNAs, the NAPF was formally created,” explained Gianitsis.  In mid-2021, a NAPF Board of Directors (BOD) consisting of nine members, with a term of two or three years was selected from the 15 founding NAPF members.  The inaugural 2022-2023 NAPF BOD is as follows:

    • President: John Gianitsis, MSNA, CRNA
    • Vice President: Darby Nguyen, DNAP, CRNA
    • Treasurer: Israel Garland, MSN, CRNA
    • Secretary: Felecia Garcia, MS, CRNA
    • Director: Jeremy Carter, MSNA, CRNA
    • Director: Carlota Izaguirre, DNP, BSN, CRNA
    • Director: Bruce Herr, Jr., MS, BSN, CRNA
    • Director: Yianni Markakis, MSN, CRNA
    • Director: Ruben Macias, MS, MPH, BSN, CRNA

    To that end, alongside the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology’s (AANA) rebranding, the newly formed NAPF BOD began discussions around their own revamp, and ultimately decided to retire the GALA name.  In addition, the former GALA community voted to change the name to The Nurse Anesthesiology Pride Foundation. “This was an essential process to align the organization name with LGBTQ+ intersectional identities, and the future of LGBTQ+ visibility and intentional inclusivity in healthcare. The GALA name no longer represents our expansive LGBTQ+ identities and community,” explained Gianitsis.

    The vision of NAPF is to support LGBTQ+ identified CRNAs and SRNAs in community building, educational, and professional endeavors. “NAPF has a long history of funding scholarships for students and this year is no different. Through generous donations, we were able to fund four $3,000 scholarships this year, and due to the pandemic, the money was all raised virtually,” reports Gianitsis. NAPF has sponsored over 80 scholarships, totaling nearly $100,000 since its inception 27 years ago.  In addition to fundraising, Gianitsis reflects on future work for NAPF, including taking a more active role in healthcare access advocacy such as providing resources to anesthesia colleagues that highlight current best practices and inclusive guidelines to better care for the LGBTQ+ community.  The NAPF organization recognizes the importance of LGBTQ+ peer-led professional networking events as many of us have experienced discrimination and marginalization from families, academia, and in healthcare environments as both patients and providers.

    As the 2022 AANA Congress approaches, Gianitsis takes the opportunity to amplify NAPF’s 2022 Meet & Mixer on Saturday, August 13th at D.S. Tequila.  This scholarship fundraising event is for LGBTQ+ folx, partners, allies, and friends. All are welcomed! Tickets are live at a Pride special discount price until June 30th: https://www.zeffy.com/en-US/ticketing/901ce6b5-5270-4f27-832a-6baf1bd60a43.or available through the NAPF website: https://www.crnapride.com/