Jonathan Katz, MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, 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 Bachelor of Science Degree 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.
Mrs. Winner, MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, 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 for the Nurse Anesthesia program at Penn. She is a section editor for the International Student Journal of Nurse Anesthesia and an item writer for the NBCRNA Continued Professional Certification Program.
Heather M Borbely, MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, has been active in the AANA and the New Jersey State Association throughout her Nurse Anesthesia career. Starting as a student representative to the Federal Political Director for the New Jersey Association for Nurse Anesthetists (NJANA) and she continued on to take over this role as the Federal Political Director (FPD) once she was a certified practitioner and continues in this role today. She is also now serving in the role of Secretary on the NJANA Board of Directors and serves on the State and Government Public relations Committee. Heather has also participated in the AANA Student Mentorship program at the annual Mid- Year Assembly, as a student and also now as an active member, mentoring our current students to why it is important to be an active participant in our state and national organization.
Heather is presently a staff Anesthetist at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ. She earned her BA is Psychology at Fort Lewis College prior to continuing on to a career in Nursing. She earned her AS in Nursing at San Diego State College in San Diego, CA. During this time she was a Corpsman in the United States Navy Reserves from March 2000-March 2008. She then went on to receive her BSN at Felician College in Lodi, NJ. During this time she was deployed oversees to Landstuhl Regional Medical center in Landstuhl, Germany, from October 2006-October 2007. Heather then earned her MSN in Nurse Anesthesia from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Heather also remains an active member in the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Karen Chmielewski, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, 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.
Nicholas A. Blanck, MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, currently serving as the Executive Director of Legislative Affairs; Active member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of their Government Relations and Political Action Committees. Tirelessly advancing legislation aimed at removing restrictive barriers to nursing practice. Nicholas’s educational background began at Rutgers University’s School of Nursing; where he became a distinguished baccalaureate graduate and was awarded entrance into their Atheneum Honors Society, Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing, and their Alumni Association.
At Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Nurse Anesthesia, He served as student-body president; and representative to the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists; graduating with an MSN, and national board certification in the practice of Nurse Anesthesia. He later served two terms as President of the New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists in 2015 & 2016, and was honored with their Trident Award for advocacy, academics, and clinical excellence as a cardio-thoracic nurse anesthetist and their Gavel Award for association leadership. He also is a founding member of The NJANA- Charity And Relief Expenditures fund, a first of its kind charity; proceeds from which are now being distributed to support local Children’s’ Dyslexia Centers.
As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Nicholas is the self-employed owner of UltraCare Anesthesia Partners, an anesthesia management company comprised of CRNA’s and anesthesiologists, contracted to provide anesthesia services for every type of healthcare facility in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. He currently sits as their Chairman of Board, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Nicholas is an adjunct professor of Nurse Anesthesia at Rutgers University’s School of Nursing in Newark, and holds memberships with the NJ State Nurses Association, Shriners Hospital for Children; and the Health Care Financial Management Association.
Task Force Assignments:
Dr. McCartney, DNP, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, 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.
Caitlin Jean Karcich DNP, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, is a CRNA and has been a member of NJANA since 2015. She is currently serves on the NJANA Board and is actively involved in the association’s lobbying and communications efforts. Caitlin lives in Morris Plains, along with her husband, Anthony and their son, Dominick.
She loves being a CRNA and says, “Taking care of patients during some of the most stressful, overwhelming times in their lives is what matters most to me. I am honored to serve on the board and to represent so many phenomenal CRNA (APN-A) providers.”
In addition to patient care, Karcich has a passion for lobbying that developed while she was a student and noted that a grant from NJANA enabled her to participate in the 2018 Mid-Year Assembly in Washington, D.C. “I lobbied alongside these fearless leaders, to educate legislators about who we are and what we bring to the ever-changing health care table in our country.”
Professionally, she currently provides outstanding anesthesia care for patients at Newark Beth Israel, Saint Barnabas, and Morristown Medical Centers in the areas of general, neuro, obstetrics and pediatrics. She is certified in BLS/ACLS/PALS and as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN).
As an SRNA she worked in major hospitals in New Jersey and New York. As an RN she worked at Morristown Medical Center in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit (Neurosurgical/Trauma/Medical) and Orthopedic Trauma/Orthopedic Spine unit.
Karcich earned a Doctor of Nursing Practices (DNP) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers University. She was extremely active as an SRNA serving as a DNP Cohort 1 – Class Representative, Co-Coordinator of the Student-Driven Mentorship Program, and Assistant in the Simulation Lab. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
In addition, she is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists serving as an assistant to the Federal Political Director for the State of New Jersey since 2018 and as a student lobbyist and mentor program participant while an SRNA.
Bruno Beja-Umukoro, MSN, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, received his Associates Degree 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 the International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI).
Bruno has a great interest in global health and systems development for anesthesia care delivery in developing countries. He often travels to volunteer and educate anesthesia providers in low and middle-income countries. Other areas of interest also include opioid sparing techniques in anesthesia and mentoring of Resident Nurse Anesthetists. Bruno is also an avid cyclist.
Mamdoh Michael, MS, CRNA, is a practicing CRNA within the state of New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1998, and received a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Drexel University with Certificate of Anesthesia from the Lady of Lourdes Anesthesia program in 2009.
Mamdoh also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt. He has practiced at a variety of hospitals throughout central and northern NJ. Serving his community is central to his role as a CRNA and contributes to annual medical mission trips to his native country of Egypt as well as being a deacon at St. Anianus Coptic Orthodox Church. He has been married for over 27 years and has two children. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, cooking, and entertaining friends.
Dr. Pallaria DNP, CRNA, APN-Anesthesia, is a 2013 graduate of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Rutgers University (formerly UMDNJ). In addition to his DNP from Rutgers, Dr. Pallaria earned a master’s in anesthesia at Columbia University in 2000, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1995, and a bachelor of science degree (with a dual major in business and psychology) from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989.
Dr. Pallaria was co-founder of the UMDNJ Nurse Anesthesia Program in 2004; he served there until the merger with Rutgers, and now serves as the Program Director and Assistant Professor.
Dr. Pallaria has extensive clinical experience and a record of clinical innovation as well as valuable hospital partnerships. He became the Chief CRNA at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in 2011 and then introduced CRNA practice 4 years later at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. He has most recently taken on the role of Regional Chief CRNA for his private practice group, managing CRNA practice at 3 major medical centers.
As a lecturer for the RWJ Barnabas Perioperative Health Division, Dr. Pallaria delivers bimonthly lectures to the perioperative nursing staff and the OB/GYN residents. He has published on a yearly basis, and was the recipient of the 2016 NJANA Trident award for excellence in academics, clinical practice and professional advocacy.
Sonja M. Schwartzbach, BSN, RN, CCRN is a second year doctoral in the Rutgers University Nurse Anesthesia Program. She received her BSN from Rutgers University in 2012, and her BA in English Language and Literature in 2008.