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NANA's Letter to Governor Ricketts

March 31, 2020

The Hon. Pete  Ricketts
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848

Dear Gov. Ricketts,

Thank you for your recent Executive Order 20-10 which addresses the need to bolster the healthcare workforce capacity in Nebraska.  In addition to the important steps reflected in that Executive Order, I would ask on behalf of our association for your support of testing Nebraska frontline providers IMMEDIATELY for immunity of COVID-19.

Anesthesiologists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are at great risk during Aerosolizing Generating Procedures (AGPs) such as intubation and extubation of emergent surgical patients, as well as caring for known or suspected COVID-19 patients.  The immunity test will be of great value to reduce the waste of PPE in Nebraska.  In our work, we are exposed to potential risk of COVID-19 from all patients, not just known carriers, so understanding which providers need to use a N-95 mask or PAPR (enclosed breathing) system will help conserve valuable resources.

Our association represents more than 500 CRNAs and nurse anesthetist students and our members are committed to addressing this pandemic. Your support of the opt-out provision that was passed in Nebraska 18 years ago allows us to work to the fullest extent of our education and national certification and enables us to help optimize the state's healthcare workforce. Immunity testing capabilities will help assure maximum availability of all of our frontline providers during this time of national crisis.

Thank you for your leadership and we stand ready to help address the needs of our state. Please contact me if you have any questions or require further information.

Kris Rohde, CRNA

Nebraska Association of Nurse Anesthetist