The Veteran’s Affairs Anesthesiology Service provides perioperative patient care services for more than 10,000 procedures annually at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Nashville and the medical center at the Alvin C. York campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. These two facilities make up the core of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS), which also includes 11 community-based health clinics.
The division, led by Ann Walia, MBBS, is staffed by 27 anesthesiologists, 20 certified registered nurse anesthetists, 18 nurse practitioners, two residents, a critical care anesthesiology fellow, four health technicians, and three administrative staff members to provide anesthesia care for the full range of surgical procedures including cardiac and thoracic surgery, orthopedic procedures including joint replacements, major vascular, neurosurgical, ENT, ophthalmic, urologic, plastic, bone marrow, and transplant surgeries. In addition, sedation services are provided in several out-of-OR sites, including radiology and MRI suites, pulmonary, cardiac catheterization, and gastroenterology suites. The service also provides primary coverage for acute and chronic pain management, emergency airway management, cardioversion, and diagnostic transesophageal echocardiography.
In addition to patient care, education is a prime mission of the VA Anesthesiology Service. In addition to training senior anesthesiology residents and fellows, the service also educates critical care and emergency room physicians and other allied personnel in airway management skills outside the operating room. This excellence in teaching is demonstrated by the fact that each year from 2009 to 2013, a VA faculty member has received either a Golden Apple Award (given by Anesthesiology Department residents for superior teaching) or the Volker Striepe award (given by residents for superior teaching and mentorship). This year the division will Co-Direct the 1st AVAA-USSA combined Regional and Echocardiography workshop at the ASA.