Ep 122: How Goldie Brangman, CRNA, Broke Barriers Throughout Her Life

Goldie Brangman, CRNA, might be known best for becoming the AANA’s first African-American president, but there’s so much more to know about her life and career. Today we wanted to celebrate everything she accomplished, including helping save Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life, and we do so with the help of Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA.

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

On This Episode:

When you think back over the years and look at the many barriers that have been broken down in our industry, you’ll surely come across the name Goldie Brangman.

Born in 1917, Brangman accomplished so much before she even became the AANA’s first African-American president in 1973. We’ll do our best to try and provide as much information and insight into her life and career today on the podcast. One hour certainly won’t do her justice, but we’ll highlight many of her achievements on the show.

To help us do this, we’ve brought in our resident historians, Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, who also served as AANA presidents. Their first-hand experience and perspective is always a joy to hear so we hope you enjoy this installment of our historical series.

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

  • Her education and work in Harlem, NY
  • The many barriers that she faced in anesthesia
  • How she established the Harlem Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program
  • The work she did with the NY ANA
  • The different positions she held with the AANA
  • A long list of accomplishments as president of the AANA
  • The incredible story of how she helped save Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life.
  • The list of awards and honors she earned
  • Life in retirement and how she continued to serve in Hawaii

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.

[1:21] – Talking about Goldie Brangman

[2:12] – Her education and early life

[5:52] – The barriers she faced

[8:23] – Her days as as student

[9:56] – Establishing Harlem Hospital School of Anesthesia

[14:00] – Male vs Female

[16:27] – Henry Kelly

1[8:32] – Service to state and national associations

[22:02] – Her accomplishments as president

[30:36] – Focus on communication

[35:01] – How she helped save Martin Luther King Jr’s life

[47:25] – How she spent retirement in Hawaii

[49:17] – Awards and honors


“I remember Goldie as being an extremely smart woman, but she also was one of the nicest people I think I’ve ever been around. She had a great business mind. She was highly, highly thought of.”

-Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA

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