2021 Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award

This year at the 84th Annual Meeting TANA’s 2021 Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award was awarded to LCDR Hope Ferguson, DNP, CRNA, APRN.

This award is voted on annually by the TANA Board and given to a TANA member in good standing who has made a significant contribution to the profession of nurse anesthesia in Tennessee. The purpose of this award is to “recognize excellence in anesthesia practice as a clinician, educator and/or researcher.” The winner of this award is announced and recognized each year at TANA’s Annual Meeting.

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This year we honor our 2021 Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year, LCDR Hope Ferguson, DNP, CRNA, APN.  Our award recipient joined the Memphis VA Medical Center as a staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in 2015. According to LaShanda Ivy, who nominated our award winner, “From that moment, her professional goal was to serve veterans at the Memphis VAMC. She has fulfilled that goal and continues to this day making the Memphis VAMC the best place for veterans. “

In 2012, our recipient was accepted and enrolled in the DNP Nurse Anesthesia at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Since graduating in 2015, she has continued to be a trailblazer in her profession. She is currently employed at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Memphis, Tennessee. This job requires her to take part in a wide range of surgical cases. The cases may require her to perform monitored anesthesia or even be present in a cardiovascular surgery lasting six

to eight hours. She attests that the ability to be flexible  is a way of life. Serving as a valuable member of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare team, not only does she work directly with the patients, but she also serves as   an educator in the hospital. One of her greatest passions is to give back to others.

For the past four years, Dr. Ferguson has been an adjunct faculty member for the United States Army Program in Anesthesia Nursing (USAGPAN) students at the Department of Veteran Affairs Hospital. She is currently, the VAMC SRNA Clinical Site Coordinator for Arkansas State University and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is excited to teach and encourage the future of the profession.

She has  been a board member of the MSNAF (Memphis Student Nurses Foundation) since 2017. The foundation honored Dr. Ferguson with the Higdon West Award in 2017, recognizing her as a student mentor, generous benefactor, and outspoken advocate.

Our award winner is an advocate for the nurse anesthesia profession. She is active in the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA) and has served in a variety of roles. She was most recently elected to the TANA Board of Directors as the District I Director.  In this role, she serves to inform the west Tennessee anesthesia community of updates and to coordinates quarterly district meetings.

Hope served as the Chair of the TANA PAC  Committee from 2016-2019. In that position, she was responsible for obtaining funds from donors and members of the organization. She insists that she must remain current on the bills and laws  passed that may jeopardize her profession. She describes TANA PAC as, “a way to get a seat at the table.” She also served as the Chair of the Nominating Committee from 2017 – 2019. In this role, sheencouraged members to run for elected positions and coordinated the yearly election forthe TANA Board.

In addition to Dr. Ferguson’s service to the VA and TANA, she is also a United States Navy Reservist.  During her time of commission, she served as a critical care nurse. She currently serves in the Navy Reserve as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. She has won numerous medals such as the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corp Commendation MedalHumanitarian Award, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Mobilized), and the National Defense Service Medal. During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Dr. Ferguson was mobilized with the USNS Mercy as a CRNA. She was featured by the AANA with an article  titled, “Navy CRNA serving aboard USNS Mercy fulfills calling to care for others.”

Dr. Ferguson has continued to dedicate herself to the public realm. Whether by providing direct care to patients in the operating room or defending our country, she has never faltered in caring for the public. Dr. Ferguson serves as testimony to work hard and accomplish goals no matter the circumstances.

Please help us congratulate, Dr. Hope Ferguson on winning the Patty Cornwell Practitioner of the Year Award for 2021!

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