Ep 103: Courage to Lead – 2018-19 AANA President Garry Brydges, PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN

We don’t have to go very far back to find the guest on the latest installment in our Presidential Leadership Series. Garry Brydges PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN, in the AANA, served as the AANA president for the 2018-19 year so his experiences are still very fresh. Join us as we look back at the challenges of his term, the lessons learned, and why self-reflection has become part of his daily life.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Our Courage to Lead series has always been on of our favorites as we go back through this history of the AANA and meet the people that helped guide the organization through important periods of time.

For most of the episodes, we’ve gone back a number of years but today is going to be a little different. Garry Brydges PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, joins us on this show to talk about his term as the 2018-19 AANA president. A lot of the focuses from that year might still be top of mind for many CRNAs but you’d be surprised how much you can learn from going back just two years.

As you can see, Dr. Brydges has taken his education very seriously through the years. School has become a part of his life as he always seems to be working towards another degree or designation. And who knows what might have been if not for the AANA because he was preparing for law school when he was elected in 2018, and that changed his plans.

You will quickly learn that he’s a very thoughtful person and that’s introspection was a big part of his personal development during his time with the AANA. Working in the middle of the social media era taught him the important of having crucial conversations in person instead of through one of the many digital platforms.

Dr. Brydges is also a special guest for the show because he and Sharon have worked together quite a bit and spent many hours talking through the years. As you’ll hear on the show, they were both on the board together and Sharon explains why it was such a clear choice when it happened.

There’s quite a bit we’ll discuss over the course of the show and it’s always wonderful catching up with this former AANA president. So as you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why education has always been important to him.
  • Looking back on when the CPC program was rolled out.
  • Sharon and Garry’s time working together on the board.
  • Why AANA meetings have such a special opportunity
  • Establishing open conversation with the American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • The role of social media for the organization
  • Surprise billing
  • Why self-reflection has become more important to him
  • Crucial conversations

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[1:27] – Traveling during COVID

[3:19] – Welcome in Garry Brydges

[5:12] – Garry’s extensive educational background

[8:16] – Was going to law school when elected AANA president

[11:20] – Looking back on his presidency. Why did he decide to run?

[19:48] – Why Garry was the right person for a role the board.

[24:38] – Meetings are such a wonderful opportunity for presidents

[27:38] – Challenges Garry faced during his year

[36:26] – Leveraging social media

[42:08] – Advocacy issues during his presidency

[45:16] – The most valuable leadership lesson he learned

[50:56] – A message to the younger CRNAs

[52:40] – Garry’s athletic career


“It’s just a privilege to represent the profession in any way that you can, whether you’re a committee member, whether you’re a board member, whether you’re the president. It’s all volunteer services and that’s part of giving back.”

-Former AANA president Garry Brydges, PhD, DNP, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN

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