5/19/05 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) Symposium Focuses on Partnering with Patients

May 19, 2005


Information: Janet D'Alesandro

(856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) Symposium Focuses on Partnering with Patients

ANNA celebrates one of the highest attended conferences in the association’s history.

PITMAN, NJ – The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) marked one of its most successful conferences to date April 18-21 when over 2,000 nephrology nurses and health care professionals convened in Las Vegas, NV, for the association’s 36th National Symposium.

Energized by the conference theme of “Partnering with Patients in Self-Management: A Winning Combination,” attendees learned how to optimize the powerful nurse-patient connection to achieve better health care outcomes. Education sessions included the latest information and techniques regarding patient self-management and also featured a diverse slate of nephrology-related topics.

At the symposium, which was held at the MGM Grand Hotel, the participants also earned continuing education credits, met with hundreds of exhibitors and industry representatives in the exhibit hall and enjoyed networking and social events.

 “The ANNA national symposium has always motivated and refreshed the nurses who attend,” said ANNA’s new President Suzann VanBuskirk, BSN, RN, CNN. ”However, this year there seemed to be a heightened sense of purpose and a renewed spirit of commitment to our specialty and our patients.”


Outgoing ANNA President Lesley Dinwiddie, MSN, RN, FNP, CNN, hosted the symposium’s Opening Ceremonies on Monday, April 18. Immediately after, Alvin Law, a famed professional speaker from Canada who was born without arms, delivered the opening General Session. In an inspiring presentation, Law described how his philosophy, “There’s No Such Word as Can’t,” helped him overcome adversity to become a successful musician, entrepreneur, and father. He received a standing ovation from the audience when he put his words into action by playing the piano and the drums with his feet.

On Tuesday, April 19, Rear Admiral Mary Patricia Couig, Chief Nurse Officer, U.S. Public Health Service, presented the Janel Parker Memorial Keynote Address. She discussed the role of the Public Health Service and described current government initiatives on bioterrorism preparedness, disease prevention and health care disparities.

New Officers

Incoming officers were inducted during the Nephrology Nurse Day Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, April 20. Ms. Dinwiddie presented the “Vision Crystal” to Ms. Van Buskirk, who will lead ANNA in the upcoming year. The crystal is an ANNA tradition that symbolizes the passing of presidential responsibilities and vision from one president to the next.

In addition to Ms. VanBuskirk and Ms. Dinwiddie, the other officers who will serve on the 2005-06 ANNA Board of Directors are President-Elect JoAnne Gilmore, BSN, RN, CNN; Secretary Glenda M. Payne, MS, RN, CNN; Treasurer Norma Gomez, MBA, RN, CNN, Northeast Vice President Debra Castner, MSN, RN, APNC, CNN; Southeast Vice President Sue Preuett Cary, MN, APRN, NP, CNN; North Central Vice President Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, CS, CNP, CNN; and Western Vice President Lynda K. Ball, BS, BSN, RN, CNN.

Awards and Honors

At the symposium, ANNA distributed more than $69,000 in scholarships, grants and awards. The “Outstanding Contribution to ANNA” award was presented to Kathleen Smith, BS, RN, CNN, vice president, government affairs, Fresenius Medical Care of North America; and the “Ron Brady Memorial Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership” award went to Mary Haras, MBA, RN, CNN, nurse clinician, Southwest Nephrology Associates, Chicago, IL. A full listing of all awards and scholarships is available at the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org (“Members,” click on Award/Scholarship/Grant Program - Most Recent Recipients).

Audio CDs

Audio CDs of the symposium are available through Digitell. To order, call 800-679-3646 or visit www.digitellinc.com.

2006 Symposium

Next year, ANNA’s 37th Annual National Symposium will be held April 2-5, 2006, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, TN. The theme will be “Nephrology Nursing and Evidence-Based Practice: In Harmony to Improve Patient Outcomes.”

Contact Information

If you would like more information about ANNA or the Annual Symposium, contact the ANNA National Office, East Holly Avenue Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056; phone 856-256-2320; fax 856-589-7463; e-mail anna@ajj.com, or visit www.annanurse.org.


ANNA is a professional nursing association with 11,900 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.