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February 24, 2003

La Salle's Gina Lederhilger Selected as Student Trustee
of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Gina Lederhilger, a nurse anesthesia student at the Frank J. Tornetta School of Anesthesia at Montgomery Hospital at Montgomery Hospital, which is affiliated with La Salle University's School of Nursing, has been elected to serve as the student trustee to the Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA).

The Frank J. Tornetta School of Anesthesia, which is affiliated with La Salle University's School of Nursing, has been training nurses to become vigilant anesthetists for over 50 years.

As the only student trustee for the state of Pennsylvania, Lederhilger will attend the
board's eight meetings a year, where she hopes to be a voice for her fellow student anesthetists. "My goal is to provide information and assistance to all my fellow peers," said Lederhilger. "I will maintain this communication through my words in the student column in TIDINGS (the organization's publication) and also by personal contact with the student members of PANA."

Lederhilger, 27, applied for the position and was selected by the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She will serve one year in the capacity as a non-voting board member, attend all board meetings and serve on the Student Activities Committee and additional committees as requested by the President of PANA. "Gina is an exemplary student with outstanding grades," states Michael Kost, the Program Director for the anesthesia school.

She has primarily worked as a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit Nurse in Northern New Jersey since 1996. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Nurse Anesthesia at La Salle University. Since 2001 she has been a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, an International Honor Society of Nursing.

To complete the program in nurse anesthesia, students must first be a licensed registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, be in good academic standing and have worked at least one year of critical care nursing. They must study for 27 months and complete 48 graduate credits at La Salle. After completing these studies, Lederhilger will take the national certification examination provided by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. When she finishes her coursework, she will receive a Master of Science in Nursing degree from La Salle University through its partnership with the Frank J. Tornetta School of Anesthesia at Montgomery Hospital.

A native of New York, Lederhilger received her Associate in Applied Science in Nursing at Felician College in New Jersey in 1996 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Dominican College of Blauvelt in Orangeburg, NY in 1999. She began to pursue her master's degree at La Salle in September 2000.

She became interested in becoming a nurse at the early age of nine when she assisted her father in bandaging an injury he had received while working construction. She also knew at the age of fifteen when she had her tonsils removed that she wanted to be a nurse anesthetist. "Since those two specific moments in my life, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I know that caring for other people has always carried a special sense of satisfaction in my life," she said.

 
By Raysa Francis