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CDNAP students provide education on Treatment-Resistant Depression

12.07.2020 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

Since graduating the first class of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Completion (cDNAP) Program, over twenty students have gone on to publish findings from their scholarly projects in peer-reviewed health care journals. Drs. Jennifer Lent and Albert Arredondo, both class of 2018, have set the record of conquering time and distance barriers to collaboration. 

Dr. Arredondo is a graduate of the U.S. Army Graduate Program of Anesthesia Nursing. After serving his county, Albert settled in Oklahoma. His practice includes administering anesthesia to all types of patients. He has a special interest in mental health and what he can bring to the table to help those most in need — adults with depression that is resistant to common treatments. 

Coincidently, Dr. Lent also graduated from the U.S. Army nurse anesthesiology program. Jennifer and her family settled in Fairbanks, Alaska after years of moving from duty station to duty station. She practices at a native Alaskan village on the Bering Sea. Flying to and from the village, Jennifer spends weeks at a time providing anesthesia care to the people residing in this remote location. She too has an interest in providing care optimal care for patients with mental health needs. 

These graduates, led by Paul Austin, Ph.D., CRNA, a faculty member in the cDNAP Program, and Marilyn Pugh, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Texas Wesleyan, teamed up and investigated what anesthesia providers can offer adults with Treatment-Resistant Depression. They found the anesthetic ketamine, given in very small doses by those trained in its administration, such as CRNAs, has found success in treating these patients. This team collaborated on a paper culminating in a journal course published in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal in 2019. This information is now available to over 55,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in our country. Their enthusiasm and hard work, along with our electronic resources, facilitated not only their collaboration across over 3,700 miles.

Dr. Arredondo now offers this treatment for adults in his practice with treatment-resistant depression and co-owns the Red River Ketamine Wellness Center in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Dr. Lent is planning on offering this treatment to her patients in remote Alaska. 

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.