Governor appoints SGCMH CRNA to state board
Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital’s chief nurse anesthetist, Rob Walsh, MBA, MS, Ph.D, CRNA, was recently appointed to the Missouri State Board of Nursing by Governor Mike Parson.
The Missouri Board of Nursing is comprised of professionals from all walks of nursing, but for the past four years, a representative from the field of nurse anesthesia was absent. Walsh and his counterparts with the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MoANA) had as one of its goals representation on this board.
“We’ve worked very hard to develop relationships with key state legislators and the governor to promote the practice of nurse anesthesia,” said Walsh. “I contacted Senator Gary Romine and notified him of my interest in serving on the board, and he in turn passed on my interest to the Governor’s office. When a position opened up, I was asked to fill out the appropriate forms and application and submit for review.”
One of the main reasons Walsh and MoANA wanted a seat at the table is because nurse anesthetists are invaluable in healthcare, especially to rural medicine.
“We’re the primary anesthesia provider in over 30 counties in the State of Missouri where there are no other anesthesia-type providers,” he explained. “In the bigger cities we have both nurse anesthetists and physician anesthesiologists that serve the public. But in the rural areas they are primarily served by the nurse anesthetists.”
Walsh’s appointment will run through 2021 but could be extended. His responsibilities will include four 3-day board meetings per year and monthly conference calls.
“I understand the mission of the state board is to protect the public and make sure the appropriate care is given to Missourians by nurses, so I’m looking forward to carrying out their mission and also to perhaps add my expertise in the field of nurse anesthesia to the organization,” Walsh said.
Tom Keim, SGCMH CEO, was excited over Walsh’s state appointment.
“What a great and most deserving honor for Rob,” said Keim. “We are very proud and honored to have Rob part of our SGCMH medical team. His commitment and dedication to excellence will be a great asset to the State Board of Nursing.”
Walsh said he was honored to accept the challenge of this appointment.
“I’m proud of this appointment for Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital which has given so much back to the community,” said Walsh. “I’m proud to represent the hospital on the board.”
Walsh obtained a doctor of philosophy from St. Louis University, a master of science in nurse anesthesia from Webster University, a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in business administration from Maryville University, and an associate’s degree in both nursing and respiratory therapy from St. Louis Community College.
Walsh serves on the faculty at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis teaching physiology, pathophysiology, chemistry and physics to masters level nurse anesthetist students.
He is also an active member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists; chair of the Advisory Board-Respiratory Care at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park; and has served on the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award Selection Committee since 2017. He was awarded the 2016 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year-Advanced Practice.