NH CRNA Spotlight of the Month

Do you know a CRNA who elevates your practice or impacts the patients they serve? How is your practice, your patients, or your world a bit better because of this person’s actions? Have you ever wanted to show your appreciation for someone who deserves special recognition for the work they do everyday to better our profession? With the CRNA Spotlight, you can do just that. Nominate your colleagues, staff, or someone you feel deserves a moment in the “Spotlight” for contributing to our profession. A different CRNA will be featured monthly on the NHANA website and social media.

Click here to complete a nomination form.

NH CRNA Spotlight of the Month

August 2020 Spotlight – Dr. Ann Kumbani CRNA, DNP

Dr. Ann Kumbani is a dedicated anesthesia provider who initially started her career path in the School of Business. Her tertiary education began in a rural town of Miami, OK where she graduated top of her class with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in HR Management. Thereafter she went on to Missouri Southern State University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in Human Resources Management and Total Quality Management. Barely a few years after working as an HR Consultant, she quickly realized that she was not cut out for the business world. After some soul searching, Dr. Kumbani answered her calling to be a healthcare provider. She made a tough decision to go back to school to pursue her life-long dream despite having a family with young children. Of course, there was no better place to jump-start her nursing program than Miami, OK where she graduated a few years prior. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Nursing within two years, and began her journey into the healthcare industry.

While working as a bedside nurse in the CVICU/CCU, Dr. Kumbani interacted with top surgeons and anesthesia providers who steered her to pursue a more challenging career path. With this in mind, she again went back to school and earned a BSN from American Public University. With much prayer, consideration, and hesitancy, Dr. Kumbani applied for anesthesia school in Jackson, TN. Not only was it the only school she applied to, she was the last applicant among hundreds of others, but she left it to a higher power and her application was accepted and her journey began. Although anesthesia school was no walkover, her determination, payers, and support from friends and family kept her going. It was in her second year at Union University when Dr. Kumbani realized the importance of mentoring and mentorship. Even with very limited time and on top of her own multitude of schools, she adopted a few students whom she mentored as they started their own journeys in the program.

After three years of hard work, which included sometimes getting-by with as little as an hour of sleep, she graduated with her Doctorate Degree in Anesthesia Practice and moved to New England to start her anesthesia practice. Dr. Kumbani has been indicted into several honor societies: Who’s Who Among Junior Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and The President’s List throughout her education. In the years after earning her doctoral degree and becoming an anesthesia provider as a CRNA, Dr. Kumbani has continued mentoring students in her Alma Mata (Union University) in TN and here in NH. She successfully advocated for SRNAs at her hospital, Parkland Medical Center in Derry. To date, the program has mentored students who have become CRNAs in their own right. Her passion to see students succeed goes beyond just in-hospital mentoring. In her spare time, Dr. Kumbani spends countless hours tutoring students on anesthesia principles and her greatest passion, Anatomy and Physiology.

What Her Colleagues Say About Her…

Ann Kumbani’s dedication and passion for her students is always on the forefront of her mind.  When you meet her, she quickly stumbles on topic of educating our future and “what can we do for them to make our profession remain one of the best there are to be in”.  Her heart for caring is evident the moment you meet her.  And there is never a time she isn’t willing to give her attention to a missed concept, clinical betterment, or principal understanding.  Ann worked tirelessly for a year to create the relationship between University of New England and Parkland Medical Center.  She had to jump through many hoops, and overcome significant obstacles within the culture at PMC to be able to host students at PMC. She knew that the educational experience that is PMC, with its independent practice model in a small community setting could help cultivate strong, independent SRNAs, who could take that ideology out into the workforce.  Under Ann’s direction and guidance, PMC has become one of UNE’s premier clinical rotations offering students some of their most enjoyable, memorable, and greatest experiences of their learning careers.  As a nurse anesthesia resident, you are always weary and hesitant to what awaits you at each different clinical site. Ann was by far one of the best things that happened to me during my training to become an independent CRNA. She taught me to be strong, confident, and to always remind myself that I knew what to do, “just do it Rach, you KNOW what to do!”. In a culture of nurses continuing to eat their young, Ann was a breath of fresh air with constant encouragement, support and patience. The way she cares for her patients and the constantly personalized changes she makes to her anesthetic plans showed me so much of what I wanted to be as a CRNA.

If Ann’s accolades stopped with her work of educating our learners it would be enough to garner her the honor of Spotlight of the Month, but not only is she a great educator, she is a dearly valued colleague.  Ann embodies the role of a “team player”.  Checking on others before leaving for the day, welcoming new staff as if they’ve always worked there, and pushing her colleagues to stay current on relevant issues.  She is a fierce advocate of independent practice at PMC and when the group transitioned from private to corporate, she was in the forefront of the negotiations to keep the CRNA friendly practice unchanged at PMC.  When you work with Ann, there is always a smile and a kind word to great you, a moment during the day that she checks to make sure you are doing well, and a fond farewell to see you out the door with a look forward to another great day tomorrow.

8 Quick Questions To Get To Know You Better

  1. Top 3 hobbies/Interest outside of work
  • Definitely hanging out with my husband and our two teenage kids. They are my biggest accomplishment in life
  • Shoe shopping – a girl cannot have enough shoes
  • Mentoring SRNAs especially in Anatomy and Physiology
  1. Favorite thing to do in NH
  • Enjoy all the amazing seafood in New England
  1. Mountains or Seacoast?
  • Mountains without a doubt. I love cold temperature
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • Without a doubt, Africa. I’m originally from East Africa and hope to go for mission trips every year to give back to my community.
  1. Hardest anesthesia concepts in school to figure out
  • When I first started clinical, the concept of 50/50  or 25/75 mix with air/Nitrous and O2 was rocket science!! Not sure why it made no sense (no judgement).
  1. Pedi or Adult
  • Definitely adults because they will compensate for your not very smart decisions you make with your anesthetic.  On the other hand, Pedis will put you to shame if you mess up. Also, I have two amazing healthy kids that I don’t deserve, therefore, I can’t handle a sick helpless child.
  1. CRNA you look up to and WHY?
  • Thats a hard question! I had such great mentors during my practice, but I remember till this day when I met the student coordinator at Jackson General Hospital, TN, one Willy Brown CRNA. I was terrified of him because he commanded respect in our profession and is one of the most intelligent CRNAs I have ever met. Willy precepted me for 2 weeks and I remember thinking to myself “I’m going to be kicked out of anesthesia school after he’s done with me”.  After a gruesome 2 weeks, he looked me in the eye and told me that I was going to make it!  Till today, that is the biggest compliment I’ve ever received.
  1. Top 3 bucket list items
  • Attend the olympics with my entire extended family
  • Go Bungee jumping with my best friend Tiffany
  • Provide anesthesia to patients in under developed countries

One piece of advise you’d like to impart to future CRNAs…

Humility is a virtue. Be kind to humanity and be the voice for the underserved.

Dr. Ann Kumbani