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Board of Directors
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Tracy Castleman MS, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
President

Tracy Castleman, MS, APN/A, CRNA received her BSN from Niagara University in 1986 and her MS is anesthesia from Albany Medical College in 1991. Her career includes many years working trauma at Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany NY as well as teaching students both didactically and clinically. Practicing in NJ since 1999, she worked at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick where she also started an SRNA clinical rotation for then UMDNJ Newark University Nurse Anesthesia program.  Currently she is a member of the CRNA staff at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch NJ working for NAPA and coordinates the SRNA clinical rotation for Thomas Jefferson University Nurse Anesthesia Program at MMC. Active in the AANA, she has held multiple positions on a variety of committees and councils including the Council on Accreditation, PR, Practice and is currently the Chair of the State Organizational Development Committee and helped to create the Student Mentoring Program for students across the country which is still going strong today. Within the NJANA she has been actively involved for many years holding the role of Director and for 3 years on the executive committee as secretary.

 
Maureen McCartney DNP, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
President-Elect

Ms. McCartney received her BSN from Georgetown University in 2003 and then started her career in the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  In 2010 she received her Master's Degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Rutger's University and continued her career at Jersey Shore University Medical Center as a CRNA.  She competed her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at Rutgers University in May of 2014 and has since started as full time faculty in the Rutgers Nurse Anesthesia Program while maintaining clinical practice as a CRNA at JSUMC..

She has served on the NJANA Board of Directors since 2013 and became Secretary on the Executive Committee in 2015.  Her work with the NJANA has been focused on the writing and development of the NJANA website and social media presence as well as member engagement

   
Karen Chmielewski CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
Treasurer

Karen Chmielewski graduated from Nazareth Hospital School for Nurse Anesthesia in 1982 and has worked as a staff nurse anesthetist for the past 31 years. She is currently on the staff at Deborah Heart and Lung Center and Virtua Mt. Holly. Karen has held leadership roles in many local organizations and has experience running a family restaurant business which she co owned with her husband George. Married for 33 years, Karen lives in Burlington Twp.

 
Jonathan Katz, MSN, CRNA, APN-A
Secretary

Jonathan Katz received his Associates degree in nursing from Trinitas School of Nursing, Union County College in 2009 with high honors. After obtaining his RN license, he worked as a Critical Care registered nurse at Trinitas Regional Medical Center until 2013. During this time, Jonathan completed his Bachelors of Science in Nursing from College of St. Elizabeth with high honors, and achieved his CCRN certification. As a registered nurse, Jonathan was recognized with multiple awards including the Daisy Award for his exemplary care as a Critical Care registered nurse, and the Academic Student Leader in Nursing Award from the College of St. Elizabeth.

Jonathan graduated as the valedictorian from Our Lady of Lourdes Nurse Anesthesia Program and was recognized with the Outstanding Student Award from Drexel University. Currently, Jonathan works full-time as a CRNA within the tri-state area. Jonathan has been an active participant with NJANA since November 2013 and enjoys everything the nursing anesthesia profession has to offer.

   
Bruno Beja-Umukoro, MS, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
Director

Bruno received his Associates of Science in Nursing from Hostos Community College, Bronx, New York in 2002.  He went on to achieve his BSN from the College of New Rochelle New York in 2005.  From there he worked in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. In 2010, Bruno received his Master's in Nurse Anesthesia from Rutgers University.  He continues his career as both a CRNA and Clinical Coordinator for nurse anesthesia students at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  Bruno is also a regular volunteer for international surgical missions with non-profit organizations such as International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI)

 
Orlando Gopez, DNAP, APN/CRNA
Director

Orlando received his Associates Degree in Nursing from Raritan Valley Community College in 1998 after pursuing Biology at Temple University in Philadelphia.  While working in both a Cardiothoracic SICU, at Newark Beth Israel, and Trauma, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, he graduated with his BSN from Kean University in 2001.  His Master’s of Science in Nurse Anesthesia was earned from New York’s Columbia University in 2005.  In 2014, Orlando completed his Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice at Virginia Commonwealth University where his major interests were in anesthesia simulation, patient safety and completion education programs for nurse anesthetists.

Orlando has been a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for 11 years and, since 2011, served as the Chief Nurse Anesthetist at Rutgers Medical School.  While at Rutgers, he, along with an anesthesiologist, created an Anesthesia Technician lecture series where they are the primary lecturers.  This program completed the didactic requirements for certification in Anesthesia technology, and eligibility for examination.   Orlando is actively involved in SRNA education at Rutgers as a clinical instructor, where his primary interests are in Cardiac and Regional anesthetics.  As a result of didactic, clinical, and professional efforts in Nursing and Anesthesia, Orlando was awarded the 2012 UMDNJ Award for Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice.  In 2013, he became the first non-physician to be presented the RWJ Medical School’s Department of Anesthesia Service Award.

   
Bob Mirynowski MS, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
Director

Bob received his BS from Rutgers Nursing School and completed Nazareth School of Nurse Anesthesia in 1986. He worked at Nazareth as a clinical instructor and completed his masters at St. Joseph's University. Bob worked at Centra State Medical Center in Freehold and is currently at a surgery center in Monmouth County and also provides office anesthesia. This is his fourth term serving NJANA.

 
Jeffrey Murray, MS, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
Director

Jeffrey Murray was a medical corpsman in the Navy from 1987 to 1991. He attended Community College in Philadelphia and received his Associate degree in science in 1994 and his BSN from Thomas Jefferson in 1997. In 2008, Jeff graduated LaSalle University/Montgomery school of Anesthesia with an MSN. Jeffrey has worked for the Red Cross, Jefferson Hospital, Hamilton Anesthesia Group and is currently at West Jersey Anesthesia Associates/ Virtua Health System. Jeff is also the new Federal Director FPD for NJANA. He is working closely with Nick Blanck and Kate Fry of the AANA addressing our professional interests and concerns with legislators on the federal and state levels

 

Lori Winner MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia
Director

Mrs. Winner received her BSN from Villanova University in 1996 and upon graduation practiced as a bedside nurse in the Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. During that time, she also worked as a research coordinator in the Pulmonary/Critical Care division.

Mrs. Winner received her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Temple University and a certificate in Nurse Anesthesia from the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia in 2004. She has also completed a post master’s certificate from the Teacher Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. She is now enrolled in the PhD program in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Winner has been engaged in teaching the Nurse Anesthesia profession since 2006 both clinically and didactically and serves as the Associate Director of the Nurse Anesthesia program at Penn. She serves as a preceptor to Penn’s Nurse Anesthesia students at Pennsylvania Hospital. She has continued her clinical teaching globally in the Honduras missions with Penn’s Nurse Anesthesia students.

 

Catie Russell, BSN, RN
Student Representative

Catherine, a native New Yorker, is currently a junior at Our Lady of Lourdes Nurse Anesthesia Program in Camden, New Jersey.  Catherine's love for science was clear before embarking on her nursing journey.  She practiced conservation biology in New York and taught pre-nursing and pre-medical courses at Hofstra University before deciding to go back to school for a nursing degree.  She graduated summa cum laude with her BSN from Stony Brook University and worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Long Island Jewis Medical Center, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, in Queens, NY after graduation.

Catherine cherished her time as a MICU nurse, but knew the field of anesthesia was where she belonged.  Catherine prides herself in providing empathetic and professional care, while honoring the humanity and diversity of vulnerable patient populations.  She was humbled and  honored to join the NJANA Board of Directors in 2014, representing and advocating for CRNA students across the State of New Jersey.

 

Michael Wendell
Student Representative