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Now, more than ever, West Virginia residents recognize and appreciate access to health care where they live. During the past year, in the midst of the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, traveling across the state for care was not only an inconvenience, but it also presented potential health consequences to you and your family.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order that allowed Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists like me and the nearly 800 other active West Virginia CRNAs to practice to the full extent of their education, training and certification. The governor recognized the critical-care skills and airway and ventilatory support CRNAs bring in combating this crisis, and it helped increase the capacity of our delivery system, meeting the growing health care demand.

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Preston Woodburn-Camp is a CRNA and serves on the board or directors for the West Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

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