SGCMH CRNA wins Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year Award


Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) is pleased to announce that Robert Walsh, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) was named March of Dimes Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year. Walsh was recognized November 19 at the organization’s 5th annual black-tie gala.

Hundreds of applications across nearly 20 categories ranging from Advanced Practice to Surgical Services are reviewed and scored by high-ranking nurse leaders. Through this competitive process, finalists from the bi-state region within each category are then determined. Walsh was chosen from 10 fellow nominees in the Advanced Practice category.

Chairman of the event, Catherine Koeln, BSN, RN, MA, NE-BC, said the special evening celebrated the nursing profession.
“No matter what area in which they practice, all nurses play an essential role in the communities in which they work and in the lives they touch. As chair of tonight’s event, I thank each and every one of you for the lives you care for every day.”
This was the first year that Walsh had been nominated, and he says it was quite unexpected. His work with the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists in helping to fight legislation intended to limit practice rights of nurse anesthetists in the state of Missouri may have helped him win the accolade.
“I’ve been working for the last six years on combatting limitations to nurse anesthesia practice that have come up over the years,” he explained. “I testified in both the Missouri House and Senate committees to defend nurse anesthesia practice. We were able to eliminate a piece of legislation that was put forth to limit our ability to do spinal injections, and other procedures.”
The role of nurse anesthetists in rural areas is critical, according to Walsh.
“It’s not an issue in larger cities where there are plenty of anesthesiologists, but in the rural areas we service the community by being able to perform these types of procedures and so we’re certainly needed. At SGCMH we’ve added additional procedures that weren’t being done before, like regional blocks and things of that nature. We’re doing twice the number of cases on a per month basis with the same head count, so we’ve become much more efficient. So I think all of those things differentiated me from the other very well-qualified advanced practice nurses that were chosen as finalists.”
In addition, Walsh is also on the faculty for graduate programs at the Goldfarb School of Nursing, teaching nurse anesthetists and critical care nurse practitioner students. He has also published a number of articles in prominent publications.
“Rob is so deserving of this award, and we are extremely proud of him for making a positive difference in our organization by delivering exceptional healthcare, and for his commitment to the training and development of other CRNAs,” said Tom Keim, Chief Executive Officer. “It is such an honor to have someone of his caliber working at SGCMH. His degree of professionalism is unmatched.”

The March of Dimes salutes outstanding nurses from across the bi-state region each year. These awards recognize the contribution that registered nurses make in the community and help fund the mission of the March of Dimes to improve the health of babies.

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