The COA is pleased to announce that the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) presented COA CEO Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, 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.
Prior to assuming his current role as CEO of the COA, Gerbasi provided leadership for the nurse anesthesia profession on the local, state, and national levels, including the establishment of a new graduate level nurse anesthesia program at Hurley Medical Center/University of Michigan-Flint in 1991.
Gerbasi earned his doctorate, Master of Science, and bachelor’s degrees from Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit. Gerbasi served as president of the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists from 1996-1997 and was a member of the AANA Foundation Board, where he also served as treasurer. He was named the AANA Foundation Researcher of the Year in 2002.
As CEO of the COA, Gerbasi has led the Council through many critical developments, most notably the transition of programs to award doctoral degrees for entry into practice. “We are the only nursing specialty to actually accomplish the move to the doctoral level,” cited his nomination. “Dr. Gerbasi deserves great praise for his role in making the transition happen as his leadership was paramount.”
His nomination further states, “Frank is a transformative and visionary leader whose passion for quality educational excellence is mirrored by his dedicated staff. A true transformational leader rallies his staff with effective teamwork. Frank’s ability to maintain and motivate his staff over many years speaks to the unrelenting support of his staff, the council, and nurse anesthesia programs. He serves as a role model to the COA staff and COA Board as his work ethic and attention to detail are amazing.”
“I am honored to receive the Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment. There are many others who deserve to share in being recognized for these accomplishments. This includes the program administrators, their faculties, the AANA, NBCRNA, and the COA Boards and staff whose dedication helped make the transition to doctoral education a reality,” Gerbasi said. “I also want to thank my wife, Debi, and family for their love and support.”
The COA Board of Directors and staff congratulate Dr. Gerbasi. The Agatha Hodgins Award is the highest award bestowed by the AANA.