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SIUE nursing anesthesia program director gets national award

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing’s Dr. Andrew Griffin was honored with the 2014 Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Griffin was recognized Monday, April 7, during the organization’s Mid-Year Assembly in Washington, D.C. He is the director of the SIUE Nurse Anesthesia Program.

Established in 2001, the Daniel D. Vigness Political Director Award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the national health care agenda of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists by creating CRNA involvement in their state and in the federal political process.

“I accept this award on behalf of all nurse anesthetists who promote our profession at the state and national level,” said Griffin. “Many achievements of the nurse anesthesia profession are the direct results of CRNAs across the country informing and building relationships with their local legislators. I am truly proud to be a CRNA and equally honored to receive this award.”

“Andy’s knowledge, willingness and ability to talk about the issues important to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists make him the kind of asset that any advocacy group would be lucky to have working on their behalf,” said U.S. Rep Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. On April 2, Davis recognized Griffin’s accomplishments on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A CRNA for nearly 20 years, Griffin has been an active member of the AANA where he has served six-consecutive terms as the federal political director for Illinois. He also currently serves as president-elect for the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Griffin is known to local, state and federal legislators for his political involvement on behalf of the IANA and the AANA.

Griffin serves as the chair for SIUE’s Department of Primary Care and Nursing Health Systems, while working as an assistant professor of nursing. He works closely with nursing students to increase awareness of the importance of involvement in the health care legislative process.

Griffin has a doctorate of philosophy in nursing from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He earned a master’s in nurse anesthesia at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in Madison. Griffin received two bachelor degrees: a BS from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a bachelor’s in nursing from Saint Louis University.

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