Ep 172: Remembering the True Leadership of Patrick Downey

In November of 2021, the AANA lost a great man in Patrick Downey. This former president and patriarch of the Diamond Club served as a CRNA for more than 50 years and impacted many lives along the way. It’s fitting that this St. Patrick’s Day episode is a look back at his incredible life and the work he did for nurse anesthesia. 

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

On This Episode:

Many special people have been a part of the AANA through the years and Patrick Downey was one that had a big impact on the organization. Not only was he a former president, but he was a patriarch of the Diamond Club.

When he passed away in November of 2021, it was a big loss for our profession and for the AANA. He worked as a CRNA for more than 50 years and spent countless hours helping push the industry forward. Along the way, he touched so many lives and that’s something we wanted to celebrate on this episode of the podcast.

To help us with this, we’ve invited our show historians, Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, back to take us through his life and share the memories they have of Patrick. We also have a special montage tribute at the end of the show with voicemails from CRNAs around the country.

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

  • What the AANA Diamond Club is and why Patrick Downey played a key role.
  • The story of his birth in the middle of a May snowstorm.
  • His childhood and upbringing with many siblings.
  • His education and time in the Navy.
  • Why Patrick reminded Sandy of Bill Clinton.
  • Details on his time as AANA president and everything he was involved with.
  • His push for affordable and accessible healthcare.
  • The other goals and challenges he faced.
  • His push for a viable public relations program.
  • The message he had for organized anesthesiology

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.

3:47 – The loss of Patrick Downey in 2021

4:45 – The AANA Diamond Club

8:01 – Role Patrick played in the club 

9:45 – Patrick’s early life

11:50 – Education and marriage

13:56 – Anesthesia highlights 

16:35 – Time as AANA president 

22:23 – Goals and challenges

29:50 – Outreach away from operating room

32:29 – Viable public relations program

34:15 – The money in anesthesia

42:50 – His message to anesthesia

47:27 – His passing in 2021

52:08 – Patrick Downey Montage


“Certainly, he’s left a real void in our club and I don’t know that we’ll ever be the same again, and we may even go in different directions in terms of what we might do in the future.”

-Sandy Ouellette, CRNA





CRNA History

The Legacy of Florence McQuillen, the AANA’s First Executive Director

Our historical series continues today with a detailed look back on the life and career of Florence ‘Mack’ McQuillen, the first executive director of the AANA and someone who held the position for nearly a quarter century. We’re excited to have Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA to tell us about how she helped shape the association and why she was considered by some to be a ‘benevolent dictator.

CRNA Careers

Nurturing Knowledge with Thanks

As we celebrate another Thanksgiving, we want to show our appreciation for an organization that does so much for CRNAs. Many people don’t know about the AANA Foundation’s purpose and why it’s important to individual CRNAs working in the OR, but they play a critical role in supporting and growing the profession. Today we’ll spend time with Executive Director Nat Carmichael and Treasurer Mike Anderson, DNP, CRNA to learn more about the best kept secret in our profession.




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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.