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Charles George VA Medical Center - Asheville, NC


Duke Honors Medical Center

story photo

Christopher M. Repsa (left) and Jeremiah M. Emerich (right), second year Duke University Nurse Anesthesia students, talk with Dr. James J. Presswood, during a break from their clinical training duties at the Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville. Duke Nurse Anesthesia students recently named the Asheville Medical Center the “Best Clinical Site" and Doctor Presswood as the “Anesthesiologist of the Year.”

By Public Affairs Officer Dennis Merhing
Friday, June 17, 2011

     The Charles George VAMC in Asheville, NC recently received two significant awards from the Duke University Nurse Anesthesia Program Class of 2011; "Best Clinical Site" and “Anesthesiologist of the Year”.
     Duke University Nursing School has been sending nurse anesthesia students to the Charles George VAMC for more than 10 years. The VAMC anesthesia staff was pleased to be recognized as the best clinical site. Dr. James J. Presswood, a contract anesthesiologist at the Charles George VAMC, was named the “Anesthesiologist of the Year”. According to Jeffrey Dudley certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), this is the first time the VAMC received these two awards. In the previous 10 years, three Asheville CRNAs have been awarded "Preceptor of the Year".
     The Duke University program rotates their nurse anesthesia students through 19 hospitals throughout North Carolina and Virginia, completing a four to five week rotation at each clinical site.  During the school year about 25 total students rotate through the teaching program staying for four weeks at a time.  Averages of two to three students are in the program at any one time.  Some students ask to stay for a second rotation and stay for eight weeks.  "To be recognized as Duke’s premier training facility from a group of 19 institutions is quite noteworthy", said Dudley. 
     Doctor  Presswood said that he and the members of the Anesthesia Department are delighted and humbled by these honors.  Susan Bazemore, chief CRNA for the Charles George VAMC, said, “The entire surgical services team should be recognized for creating a unique environment for learning while providing the best care possible for our patients.  The teamwork that is displayed daily in the surgical care of our patients is a hallmark of a department that fosters the best for both patients and trainees.  Thanks to all those whose dedication made these awards possible".
     Jamie Emerich, a Duke student nurse anesthetist currently rotating at our facility, was asked what makes this rotation special. He stated, "The Veteran patients' complex medical history provides a unique learning environment not typically seen at other facilities and the patients are pleasant and accepting of Duke students."  Emerich also said that "The anesthesiologists and CRNAs are excellent teachers and challenge us to always perform at a high level. This has been my most rewarding clinical site".


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