Board of Directors


President

Peter Kallio DNP, CRNA, MSN, APNP

-Milwaukee, WI VA Medical Center

Peter Kallio has been a CRNA 27 years. He has been a VA CRNA at the Zablocki VAMC in Milwaukee for 12 years.  He received his BSN from Marquette University; he graduated from the Milwaukee County School of Nurse Anesthesia in 1989, received his MSN from Samuel Merritt College in 2007, and received a DNP from Marquette University in 2013. He spent 10 years in the US Navy reserves as a CRNA. Last year he was appointed and currently sits on the Wisconsin Board of Nursing.

His work experience as a CRNA has included a level 1 trauma center, own LLC working for a private anesthesia group  in a midsized community hospital, to presently employed at  the Zablocki VA  Regional Medical Center.  He is currently the clinical director of the Pre-Anesthesia Clinic and is the Anesthesia Educator.

Peter is an Assistant Professor and clinical coordinator of CRNA students from Rosalind Franklin University. SRNA students from RFU rotate through the VA hospital in Milwaukee. He works with the CRNA students in both the operating room and the Pre Anesthesia clinic. He has published several research papers related to preoperative evaluation and is presently working on 2 others related to OSA and frailty.


President-Elect

Rishelle Zhou, MSN, LLB, CRNA

-Portland, OR VA Medical Center

Rishelle earned a law degree from Shanghai University, China. Which gave her the opportunity to work for DNV-GL; an international accredited certification and classification society. In 2002, she moved to Honolulu and started her nursing education at the University of Hawaii. She completed her BSN at Oregon Health and Science University in 2008 and her master’s degree at Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia/California State University Fullerton in 2012. Rishelle has been a Staff CRNA and Clinical Instructor at the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, OR, since 2014. She has a passion for providing clinical expertise and delivering safe anesthesia care to our veterans.


Treasurer

Michael Accordino, CRNA

-Tampa VA

Michael Accordino began working for the James A. Haley VAMC in Tampa after receiving his BSN from the University of South Florida in 1999. After 10 years of working in the SICU, he returned to the University of South Florida to earn a Masters of Science in Nursing. After graduating in 2012 as a CRNA, Michael began his anesthesia career at a level 1 trauma center.  He was recruited to return to the Tampa VA in 2013 as a staff CRNA. His work experience as a CRNA includes locum tenens assignments throughout the Tampa Bay community and the formation of his own LLC. Michael has been a member of AANA, FANA, and is a current member of AVANA.

Michael has a passion for teaching and frequently precepts nurse anesthesia students from various programs from around the state of Florida. His professional interests include regional anesthesia, multimodal analgesia, and opioid reducing/non-opioid techniques. He believes that we truly have an impact on our veterans by providing them with the highest quality anesthesia care available in today’s health care system.


Secretary

Justin Scott Fulkerson, MSN, DNP, ACNP-BC, CRNA

-Minneapolis VA

Justin Fulkerson was born and raised in South Carolina.  He double majored in Tuba performance and Nursing at the University of South Carolina.  Taking a position at the VA shortly after, he moved to Chicago.  Being at the VA there, he decided to join the Navy Reserves and concurrently went back to obtain his MSN as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC).  After several years of practice, he returned to receive his DNP through the United States Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing (the Army/VA program), graduating with several awards for his time in the program.  During his years as an  advanced practice registered nurse, he has been active with national committees within the Emergency Nurses Association, participating in several local groups, and now AVANA as secretary.


 Director at Large

Patrick McElhone, CRNA

-Chicago, IL VA Medical Center


Central Regional Director

States of Responsbility: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Rebecca Feldmann, CRNA

Dr. Feldmann is a BSN graduate from Saint Louis University and a 2017 MSNA graduate from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.  In June 2018, she completed her DNP coursework, also at RFU.  She started her CRNA career at the St. Louis VA Medical Center in April 2018, where she serves as an assistant clinical coordinator for SRNA students from Webster University.  In addition to her work at the St. Louis VA Medical Center, she has volunteered for two surgical mission trips through Esperanca.


Eastern Regional Director

States of Responsbility: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Johnny Gayden, CRNA

-VA Health Care System

Current Employment:
• VA Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, 2015-present: Staff Nurse Anesthetist
• Anesthesia Solutions Staffing 2016-Present: Staff Nurse Anesthetist

Education:
• Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages: Spanish, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, LA, 1998
• Associate of Science in Nursing: El Centro Community College, Dallas, Texas, 2006;
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing: University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, 2010
• Master of Science in Nursing: University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, 2014.
• Doctorate of Nursing Practice Candidate: Wilmington University, New Castle, DE, 2021
Professional Activities:
• AANA Member since 2012
• State Offices: Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA) President Elect 2018-2019; District Director I, 2017-2018; Treasurer/Secretary, 2015-2017; Student Representative to the Board of Directors, 2013-14.
• State Committees: MANA Education Committee Co-chair 2018-2019; Finance Committee Chair, 2016; Finance Committee 2015-present; Education Committee: 2016-2017; Education Committee Co-chair, 2015-16.
Volunteer and Leadership Activities:
• Sigma Theta Tau; Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program, 2012; Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Airway Workshop, 2012; Project Search Volunteer, 2013; Student Policy Summit Ambassador, 2011 and 2013. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.: Vice President 2012, Treasurer and Vice President, 2014-15; Executive Director 2018; St. Johns Lodge #5 PHA Treasurer, 2017-2018


Southern Regional Director

States of Responsbility: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas

Paul Tull, CRNA

-JL McClellan CAVHS

Paul W. Tull graduated from nursing school in 1990 and worked as an RN and unit manager for 12 years before heading off to anesthesia school. During his pre-anesthesia days, the Emergency Department was his home for several years, along with a stint in CCU before getting interested in management. He earned a MA in Health Services Management while working as a shift supervisor on a Med-Surg floor. Soon, he settled into a unit manager job of an Out Patient Services Department.

When he realized management was not all it’s cracked up to be and not for him, he decided it was time to seek out a new career as a Nurse Anesthetist, one he had been encouraged to explore for many years by friends who were CRNAs. After completing the CRNA Program at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL in 2002, he worked in private practice as a staff CRNA for a physician owned group for 9 years.

When the opportunity to start his own private practice presented itself, Paul moved to a rural setting providing anesthesia services for the local hospital. After several years as a solo practitioner, a career move to Little Rock, AR was the right call to make. He has worked at the Little Rock McClellan VA Hospital since January of 2014, where he was named CRNA of the Year in 2017.

Paul is a lifelong resident of Arkansas, with the exception of attending his anesthesia program in FL, a state he dearly loves and misses. He is married (Stephany) with four kids and now, grandkids keeping him busy. He also enjoys writing songs and performing with his band, or as a solo act


Western Regional Director

States of Responsbility: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Philippines, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Nancy Christiano, DNAP, CRNA

– Long Beach VA


Executive Director

Diane Boettger MHS, APRN, CRNA

-Pittsburgh, PA VA Health Care System

Diane’s education began with receiving a Diploma nursing degree at Robert Packer Hospital School of Nursing in Sayre, PA. followed by a BSN from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated in 1985 as a CRNA and with a Master in Health Sciences from Medical University of South Carolina.

Diane Boettger has spent most of her anesthesia career in the private sector in group practices- in Charleston, SC and Evanston, Illinois. For 23 years she has worked in and around Pittsburgh, Pa in a variety of group practices and locums opportunities. Diane has been adjunct faculty and a Clinical Coordinator for student anesthetists from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as Clinical Coordinator for SRNA’s from Allegheny Valley Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia. Diane came to the Pittsburgh VA as a staff CRNA in 2008 and TRULY ENJOYS caring for the unique population of veterans we serve. She has often said she falls in love with a new hero every day and feels blessed to be able to meet such heroes daily -to be able to care for them to the best of her ability and still go home smiling!

Diane has been a member of AANA for 30 years and served on numerous committees in both regional or state associations and now AVANA. She serves on The Professional Practice Committee and APRN Council at the Pittsburgh VA. She belives the networking and work of AVANA is an invaluable asset for every CRNA in the VA system. It’s a real gem and has encouraged other VA CRNA’s to join this fantastic organization as a way to have your voice heard and to learn from others experiences.