Ep 108: Honoring the Legacy of John Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN

When you think back on the history of the AANA, few people left a legacy like John Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN. A former President, Education Director, and Executive Director, Garde played a critical role in the growth and prominence of the organization and he made a positive impact on so many CRNAs. Today we honor his legacy and share our memories of this gift to our profession, and we’ll have the help of Nancy Bruton-Maree and Sandy Ouellette to do it. Plus, we’ll have a special montage at the end of the episode that you won’t want to miss.

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

On This Episode:

It’s been more than a decade since John Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN, passed away, but his memories remain strong in the minds of many nurse anesthetists. A healthcare leader and nursing icon, Garde directly impacted so many of his peers during his lifetime.

Today we want to honor this incredible man with a special Christmas Eve edition of the podcast. It seems fitting on this special day to remember Garde as the gift he was to so many people. To help us do that, we’ve asked Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, to join us to look back over his life and accomplishments.

For those that aren’t as familiar with Garde, his career spanned more than 50 in healthcare and the highlights include first male president of the AANA in 1972, Education Director of the AANA, and Executive Director of the AANA from 1983 through 2001. Throughout that time he served as the face of the organization and helped propel its growth and significance in the community.

The best way to learn about Garde is to listen to Sharon, Nancy, and Sandy share stories and memories of this great leader, but also to let his peers do the same. So we’ll close out this episode with a special montage filled with memories from past presidents and other AANA members.

So as you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Sharon’s first memory of John
  • John’s childhood and early life
  • How he became a nurse anesthetist
  • His major contributions to the profession
  • The different roles he held at the AANA
  • How he helped guide the growth and rise of prominence of the AANA
  • His leadership style as executive director
  • What his peers said about him

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

[1:57] – Honoring John Garde on today’s show

[3:07] – He remembered everyone

[4:51] – John’s early life

[8:18] – How he became a nurse anesthetist  

[9:50] – Some of his major contributions to the profession and AANA

[12:20] – A lot happening with the AANA in the early 1980s  

[14:24] – The other organizations he served  

[16:14] – John’s leadership style at the AANA

[21:56] – The awards he received

[23:18] – Quotes about John

[26:36] – Work hard, play hard

[28:40] – The t-shirt he got at retirement

[30:32] – Closing thoughts on John

[37:37] – Special montage to honor and remember John


“When you were with John, he had a way of putting his hand on the small of your back and pushing you forward to answer the question or discuss whatever it was with the person. He was always right there with you, but you were the president. You were the face at that time of the AANA.”

Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA

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