Posted on Nov 30, 2017

USF Nurse Anesthetist Wins Platinum Award and Leads State Group

USF Nurse Anesthetist Wins Platinum Award and Leads State Group

USF College of Nursing alumnus and assistant professor, Dr. Erik Rauch, CRNA, DNP, NSPM-C, was recently honored for his exemplary leadership skills as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Dr. Rauch, who is chief CRNA at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, received the Platinum Leadership Award from Envision Physician Services last month. The recognition is given to the top allied health provider within the heath care company.

 “I’m just thankful for the opportunity, and I feel like I never would have imagined that I’d be receiving this award, but I’m very honored,” said Dr. Rauch, who was selected from among 3,000 allied Envision health professionals.

In addition to the recognition for his professional leadership, Dr. Rauch has been named president of the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists (FANA). Dr. Rauch represents between 3,500 and 4,000 CRNAs in the state. Among his top goals in the one-year post is member engagement and improving clinical practice environments and opportunities.

 “We always want to try to increase our member numbers and get people to feel like it’s important to be a member of the state organization,” he said. “We are the voice for them in the state, in regards to interests related to their profession.”

As the chief CRNA at Bayfront, Dr. Rauch said he tries to make sure each day is enjoyable at work, because “it’s just a family away from their family at home.”

Dr. Rauch, who is the former director of the CRNA program in the College of Nursing, has been at Bayfront for the past 11 years. His ties to Bayfront started in his USF days when he met the then-chief CRNA at Bayfront who encouraged him to pursue the profession, ensuring Dr. Rauch there would be a spot for him at Bayfront upon graduation.

 “I knew when I was in my last year of my BSN program at the University of South Florida that I definitely wanted to get into anesthesia,” he said. “I didn’t really realize that that was a real opportunity for me.” 

 “You dedicate yourself and show the interest and drive – anything’s possible. I am always willing to go through an open door, at least to put a foot through,” he said.

His colleagues at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg say he’s definitely worthy of the accolades.

Dr. Heather Gensiejewski, CRNA, a nurse anesthetist at Bayfront, said Dr. Rauch goes above and beyond for the staff on a daily basis.

Dr. Rauch “multi-tasks like no other,” she said. “It’s amazing to see him juggle so many tasks at hand. He makes everything look so easy, and I can only imagine the time and effort he puts in on a daily basis to accomplish everything.”

Dr. Albert Kabemba, chief of the Department of Anesthesiology, said Dr. Rauch is excellent at what he does.

“You know, whenever you have these cartoons – you have the angels sitting on one side and you have the little devil sitting on the other side? Erik is kind of both sides.” Said Dr. Kabemba. “He gives you a balance. And then at the end of that, he kind of weighs in on which balance we should actually lean towards.”

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing