Meet the speakers at our Spring Disney Meeting.

Your speakers include both VCU Nurse Anesthesia faculty as well as experts from around the country. Meet them here.

VCU Faculty

Nicole Damico, Ph.D., CRNA, CHSE, FAANA

Herbert T. Watson Endowed Professor Chair and Associate Professor

VCU Nurse Anesthesia
Richmond, VA

Nicole Damico

Michael D. Fallacaro, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, FAANA

Professor Emeritus, Former Chair

VCU Nurse Anesthesia
Richmond, VA

Michael Fallacaro

Beverly George-Gay, DNP, MS, MSN, AGPCNP-BC

Associate Professor and Director of Distance Education

VCU Nurse Anesthesia
Richmond, VA

Beverly George-Gay

Rebekah Carmel, Ph.D., CRNA

Assistant Professor,
Director of Clinical Education

VCU Nurse Anesthesia
Richmond, VA

Carmel headshot

Crystal O’Guin, DNP, CRNA

Assistant Professor

VCU Nurse Anesthesia
Richmond, VA

Invited Speakers

Laura BonannoLaura Bonanno, PhD, DNP, CRNA

Program Director

LSU Health School of Nursing
New Orleans, LA

Laura S. Bonanno is the Program Director of the Louisiana State University School of Nursing – Nurse Anesthesia concentration.  She is currently serving on the AANA Faculty Stabilization Taskforce and is an onsite reviewer for the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).  She previously served as President and Vice-President of the COA, President and Vice-President of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, and as a member of numerous AANA/COA taskforces and special interest groups.   In addition, she previously served four years on the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist’s Practice Committee, two-terms as President of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Anesthetists (LANA) and has held numerous positions on the LANA Board of Directors.  Dr. Bonanno is a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists and the American Academy of Nursing.

She received her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1987, a Master of Science degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Charity Hospital/Xavier University School of Nurse Anesthesia in 1995, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Tennessee – Memphis in 2008, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration from the University of New Orleans in May 2019.

G Mantovanti Gay, MDG. Mantovanti Gay, MD

Medical Director

Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office
Chesterfield, VA

G. Mantovanti Gay is the Medical Director for the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office in Chesterfield, Virginia. He is an Internal Medicine physician who has been practicing Correctional Medicine for over 20 years.

Dr. Gay and his team have been awarded over 3 million dollars in grant funding to support substance use disorders and mental health programs since 2016; and in 2020, he was awarded a 1.2-million-dollar 5-year grant to start a Buprenorphine treatment program for the inmates at Chesterfield County Jail.

Dr. Gay is also known for his participation in implementing HARP, a Heroin Recovery Addiction Program, led by the Chesterfield County Sheriff, that has garnered local, national, and international attention. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, College of Medicine.

Cathy CooperCatherine Cooper, MD

Associate Professor, VCU Department of Anesthesiology
Medical Director, Stony Point Endoscopy Center
Co-Medical Director, Gateway 4 Endoscopy Center

Richmond, VA

Catherine Cooper has been an Anesthesiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) for 26 years. She is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at VCU. In addition, Cooper serves as the medical director with Stony Point Endoscopy Center and co-medical director of the Gateway 4 Endoscopy Center. Her experiences include wide-ranging anesthesia practice -  Cardiac, Transplant, Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic, Vascular, Obstetrics, Ambulatory and Trauma and Quality Assurance. 

In 2005 she founded the Preoperative Assessment, Communication and Education Center (PACE) preoperative clinic at VCU that provides access to perioperative services where medical staff evaluate and optimize patients for surgery. She is a Board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Anesthesiology and certified with the National Board of Medical Examiners. She is an active member of several committees including Endoscopy Leadership, Blood Utilization, Massive Transfusion Process Improvement, Medical Records, Forms, and Consents.

Dr. Cooper holds a MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of Virginia, a transitional internship at Greenville Memorial Hospital, and an executive fellowship in patient safety at the VCU Department of Health Administration. She has medical licenses in Virginia and North Carolina. Her outside interests include cats, North Carolina mountain music, and photography.

Hernando De SotoHernando De Soto, MD

Associate Professor and Director, Pediatric Anesthesia, University of Florida, Jacksonville

Chief, Anesthesia Services, Florida Proton Therapy Institute

Hernando De Soto is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Chief of Pediatric Anesthesia at UF Health Jacksonville, and Chair of Anesthesia Services at the UF Proton Radiation Services, Jacksonville, Florida.

He is the author of many publications and has given multiple presentations in the topic of pediatric anesthesia and other topics. De Soto completed his residency in Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. After his residency he completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesia and Intensive Care at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington D.C.