[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 107 (Tuesday, July 20, 2010)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1374-E1375]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. PETE OLSON

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, July 20, 2010

  Mr. OLSON. Madam Speaker, today I pay tribute to James R. Walker, 
CRNA, DNP, of Pearland, Texas, in my congressional district. Dr. Walker 
will soon complete his year as national president of the American 
Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). I am very pleased that a 
fellow Texan was elected by his colleagues as the 2009-2010 President 
of this prestigious national organization.
  Founded in 1931 and celebrating its 79th anniversary, the AANA is the 
professional organization that represents more than 40,000 practicing 
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and nurse anesthesia 
students nationwide. As you may know, CRNAs are advanced practice 
nurses who administer more than 32 million anesthetics in the United 
States each year. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia 
is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical 
delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; 
the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic 
surgeons; in the U.S. military, Public Health Service, and in 
Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. CRNAs also 
specialize in the management of pain. CRNAs provide anesthesia for all 
types of surgical cases and in some States are the sole anesthesia 
providers in the vast majority of rural hospitals, affording these 
medical facilities obstetrical, surgical and trauma stabilization 
  Dr. Walker was educated in the art and science of Nurse Anesthesia, 
at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He earned his 
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of 
Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 
addition, Dr. Walker holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from 
Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and he is currently 
working on a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing at the Texas Women's 
University in Houston, Texas. Currently, he is the Director of the 
Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia at the Baylor College of Medicine, 
where he also serves as an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology.
  Dr. Walker has held numerous leadership positions in the AANA as 
Regional Director and President-elect before becoming the National 
President of the AANA in August 2009. In addition, he has served terms 
as President, President-Elect, Vice-President, and Federal Political 
Director, for the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA).
  While at the Baylor College of Medicine, he was awarded the J. David 
Holcomb Achievement Award for Allied Health Sciences Education, 
Research, Faculty Development, and

[[Page E1375]]

Scholarship; the Fulbright & Jaworski Faculty Excellence Award for 
Educational Leadership; and has been named Outstanding Academic 
Instructor numerous times. In 2004, the American Association of Nurse 
Anesthetists named him Program Director of the Year. Dr. Walker has 
been a Member of the Texas Nurses Association; a Member of the American 
Nurses Association; a Member of the American Academy of Pain Management 
(AAPM), and served as an On-site Team Reviewer for the Council on 
Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Adding to his 
professional accomplishments, Dr. Walker has been recognized for 
speaking on anesthesia- and sleep apnea-related topics over the years.
  During his AANA Presidency, Dr. Walker advocated for CRNAs and 
patients before the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the 
Health Resources Services Administration, and other federal agencies. 
In addition, Dr. Walker represented the AANA before the House 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs 
and Related Agencies, testifying about the contributions of CRNAs in 
the Veterans Affairs and military health systems. Finally, Dr. Walker 
has been an invaluable advocate for the value of CRNAs in the 
environment of health reform, as the attention of the Nation and this 
Congress has been upon making high quality healthcare more accessible 
and less costly to patients, households, employers and our country. In 
particular, he has demonstrated leadership in promoting provider 
nondiscrimination, supporting equity in anesthesia payment in 
educational settings, advancing patient access to rural CRNA services, 
and in reversing Medicare Part B cuts for anesthesia and physician 
services. Through his leadership, a landmark study on the cost 
effectiveness and quality of anesthesia professionals was published 
this summer in the journal Nursing Economics, showing specifically how 
CRNA services contribute to cost-effective and well-managed healthcare 
delivery in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.
  Madam Speaker, I rise to ask my colleagues to join me today in 
recognizing the outgoing President of the American Association of Nurse 
Anesthetists, Dr. James R. Walker, CRNA, DNP, for his notable career 
and outstanding achievements.