Published September 2, 2020
Cheryl Spulecki, clinical assistant professor and CRNA program director in the School of Nursing, was honored with the 2020 Kathleen O'Donnell, CRNA, PhD Excellence in Leadership Award.
Presented by the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NYSANA) awards committee and board of directors, along with New York State nurse anesthesia colleagues, this annual award recognizes NYSANA members’ leadership, clinical performance, mentorship and service to the profession.
Stephanie Grolemund, NYSANA president, says Spulecki’s “dedication to [the] profession is truly awe-inspiring” and “[her] skills as a professor, clinician and researcher are an example for all of us to follow.”
“It is an honor to be recognized as the 2020 Kathleen O’Connell CRNA PhD Excellence in Leadership Award recipient. The experience I have had as NYSANA board member, vice president and president has been life changing, providing me an opportunity to speak on behalf of the thousands of NYS Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Graduate Student Nurse Anesthetists through legislative agendas and New York State healthcare solutions," says Spulecki.
"Alongside of being the past clinical coordinator for Graduate Student Nurse Anesthetists at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, I’ve committed to a profession that has provided me with the privilege of mentoring the brightest and best nursing has to offer: advanced practice nurses specializing in anesthesia. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to administer thousands of anesthetics to patients as their advocate and voice at their most vulnerable time. It is truly a blessing."
Spulecki served as NYSANA president from 2017-2018 and vice president from 2016-2017 and continues to advocate for the profession on state and national levels. She instills these values in her students, encouraging them to develop leadership and advocacy skills through activities such as an annual trip to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ Mid-Year Assembly in Washington, DC. She is personally invested in the success of each of her students, and her passion has helped to solidify tight-knit personal and professional connections among many of UB SON’s nurse anesthetist program graduates.
"I am eager to continue to advocate and educate others of who we are: competent advanced practice nurse anesthesia providers supported by evidence and economics," Spulecki says. "Thank you to Dr. Kathleen O’Donnell for setting the bar high."
Spulecki earned her DNAP from Virginia Commonwealth University, her MS in nursing from UB, and her BSN from Niagara University.
An awards ceremony is scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 in Cooperstown, New York.