Horizon Health Named Clinical Site for Anesthesia Block Training

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  • Written By: Horizon Health

One of three locations in the US to receive honor

Horizon Health has been named a clinical training site for anesthesia providers pursuing advanced education in managing acute surgical pain.

Horizon Health is one of only three locations in the country currently designated as a clinical training site for the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship, a nationally accredited program for experienced Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) through the American Academy of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). The other locations are in Idaho and Oklahoma.

The one-year fellowship program is a partnership between the AANA and Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. It is available to licensed CRNAs and consists of an intensive online didactic educational component, as well as hands-on clinical experience at one or more clinical sites, including Horizon Health.

The post-graduate program allows practicing CRNAs to learn advanced techniques for managing a patient’s pain surrounding surgery. These include the use of non-narcotic alternatives, multimodal approaches (utilizing several different medications to block diverse pain pathways), as well as the use of peripheral nerve blocks, which involves injecting a local anesthetic (numbing agent) near a nerve to block pain for a prolonged period of time.

“Being selected as one of only a few clinical training sites in the nation is a huge honor, especially for a rural hospital like ours,” said Lee Webber, CRNA at Horizon Health.

Paris Community Hospital, a service of Horizon Health, employs four CRNAs to provide anesthesia services to surgical patients. They are: David Grazaitis, CRNA-APN, manager; Lee Webber, CRNA-APN, co-manager; Adam Schneider, CRNA-APN; and Lovie Cotton, CRNA-APN.

The Anesthesia Department was chosen because of its unique and extensive experience with peripheral nerve blocks. These skills are separate and distinct from providing anesthesia for surgeries. Blocks are most often administered to patients in an outpatient setting as a component of their pain management treatment.

Dr. Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, and director of the Acute Surgical Pain Fellowship at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, states:

“Horizon Health’s anesthesia department was chosen for its continued commitment to advancing their regional block skills, reducing opioid consumption in the community, and pursuing knowledge in the use of the multimodal non-opioid pharmacology in the surgical population. We thank them for their continued commitment to train and educate both students and CRNAs in the field of acute pain management.”

So far, one fellow has trained at Paris Community Hospital and two others are scheduled for this fall.

Paris Community Hospital also is a clinical site for graduate-level nursing students pursuing specialty training in anesthesia. Through Horizon Health’s direct affiliation program with Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville (SIU-E), senior nurse anesthetist students attend clinical rotations at the hospital as part of their education.