Directors and Staff

Board Members

Council Officers

CRNA Educator
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Vice President
Paul Austin, PhD, CRNA, FAAN
CRNA Educator
Texas Wesleyan University

Dennis J. McKenna, DNAP, CRNA
CRNA Practitioner
Medical University Hospital

Council Directors

Rachel Davis, DNP, CRNA, CHSE
CRNA Educator
Baylor College of Medicine Doctor of Nursing

Sarah B. Held, DNP, MBA, RN
Healthcare Administrator
M Health Fairview / Fairview Health System / HealthEast Care System

Terry Keller, PhD, LMSW, LISW, ACSW
University Administrator
Lourdes University

Eric S. Swirsky, JD, MA, MHPE
Public Member

Kelly Wiltse Nicely, PhD, CRNA, FAANA, FAAN
CRNA Educator
Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia

LaShonda Gray, DNP, CRNA
CRNA Practitioner

V. Chris Simmons, DNP, CRNA, CHSE-A, FAANA, FAAN
CRNA Educator
Duke University Nurse Anesthesia Program

A. Hayden Miller, BSN, RN
Student Representative
Cleveland Clinic Foundation School of Nurse Anesthesia / Case Western Reserve University

Chief Executive Officer

Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Gerbasi has served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) for 20 years. He is responsible for overseeing the accreditation of 130 graduate level nurse anesthesia programs located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. He is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. He completed his undergraduate and graduate education at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. He has published numerous research studies, authored several chapters and a textbook for nurse anesthetists. In 2002 he received the John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) Foundation. In 2022, the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented COA CEO Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, with the Agatha Hodgins Award during its 2022 Annual Congress, August 12-16 in Chicago.  The Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment was established in 1975 to recognize individuals whose foremost dedication to excellence has furthered the art and science of nurse anesthesia. In 2023, Dr. Gerbasi was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. The Academy recognizes nurses that have made outstanding contributions to healthcare at national and international levels.

Director of Accreditation Services

Tom Anderson, MLIS, ​

Accreditation Specialists

Barbara Farkas, MAdEd,

Susan Monsen, MATD,

Molyka Leonard, MPA,

Kara Chlebek, MPA,

Director of Office Operations

Liza Curiel, MNA,

Accreditation Operations Specialist

Susan Schneider,

Pauline McKenna,

Accreditation Finance Clerk

Chris Ramos,

Executive Assistant

Maria Kozicz,