Our Team

We're CRNAs who care about CRNAs.

Daniel Frasca DNAP, CRNA

Co-Founder

Daniel has been a practicing CRNA for 26 years. He received his MSNA from VCU in 1992 and his DNAP in 2010. As a student, he was awarded the Agatha Hodgins award for academic excellence.

Daniel worked with students in the clinical area for 25 years as preceptor and student coordinator. He is the proud recipient of the Herbert T. Watson award and Outstanding Alumnus award for his continued support to the VCU school of nurse anesthesia. He continues to serve as adjunct faculty at VCU.

As co-founder of APEX, Daniel’s primary responsibilities include customer relations, administration, and content development. He is proud APEX is making a difference in so many lives and strives to hold true to the APEX brand professionally and personally.

An avid drummer, Daniel is always looking to play in a decent band. So many drummers, so little time.

 

Kevin R. Baker MSNA, CRNA

Co-Founder

Kevin has a strong vision that has shaped the landscape of CRNA education. With a love of anesthesia and unyielding enthusiasm for online learning, Kevin spends his days creating anesthesia content that is both engaging and effective. His other focuses include strategic business development, instructional design, and marketing.

In 2005, Kevin earned his Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated at the top of his class. Additionally, Kevin scored in the 100th percentile on the National Certification Exam. He had written extensively for APEX Anesthesia review, published in the AANA Journal, and delivered a variety of invited presentations in anesthesia as well as instructional design. Before transitioning to APEX fulltime, Kevin greatly enjoyed precepting students. He was named VCU Clinical Instructor of the Year in 2013.

In 2005, Kevin earned his Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated at the top of his class. Additionally, Kevin scored in the 100th percentile on the National Certification Exam. He is published in the AANA Journal and has delivered a variety of invited presentations in anesthesia and instructional design. Before transitioning to APEX fulltime, Kevin greatly enjoyed precepting students. He was named VCU Clinical Instructor of the Year in 2013 and continues his service as adjunct faculty at VCU. Kevin enjoys spending his free time with family as well as refining his appreciation of food, wine, and music.

 

Taylor Simpson MS

Medical Illustrator & Animator

Taylor earned her B.A. in Biological and Pre-Medical Illustration at Iowa State University as well as an M.S. in Medical Illustration from Augusta University. Taylor has been a practicing professional medical illustrator since 2016. Taylor finds meaning in her work by combining her passion for science and art to help others learn and understand scientific and medical concepts. Aside from work, she enjoys traveling, nature photography, volleyball, and spoiling her cat, Tonnie. She’s excited to be working for a company which places such high value on education and continued learning.

 

Christian Falyar DNAP, CRNA

Contributing Author

Christian is an assistant professor in the Nurse Anesthesia program at Duke University. He also serves as adjunct faculty for the University of Iowa Department of Nurse Anesthesia program and the Middle Tennessee School Nurse Anesthesia Acute Pain Fellowship.

For the past five years, Christian has coordinated the open ultrasound scanning labs at the AANA Annual Congress. He lectures locally, regionally and nationally, and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the AANA Journal, the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound, and the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. In August of 2018, Christian will start a new chapter in his anesthesia career as an Assistant Professor at Duke University, in Durham, NC. In his spare time, Christian likes to listen to Dylan and ride his Triumph.

 

Penelope Z. Strauss PhD, CRNA

Contributing Author

Penelope has been a CRNA since 1996. Prior to nurse anesthesia, she had a career in respiratory care (RRT 1982) in both clinical practice and management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science, a BSN, an MSN-Nurse Anesthesia, and a PhD with a dissertation based on original research in respiratory physiology and obesity.

Penelope brings to APEX extensive experience with 8 years of service on the CCNE Exam Committee and as the National Certification Exam Editor from 2008-2011. She has over 10 years of experience in nurse anesthesia education at the MSN and DNP level teaching primarily advanced anatomy, physiology, and other sciences. Along with many previous honors and awards, she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016 from UTHSC School of Nursing. She particularly enjoys the challenge of connecting the basic sciences to clinical practice, and believes that her skill set is a great match for the programs provided by APEX.

Penelope has been published broadly in anesthesia, respiratory and critical care journals, including both invited and peer-reviewed articles. She is a regular reviewer for journals such as JoPAN, BMJ Case Reports, and Respiratory Care among others.

Penelope lives in New Mexico, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and enjoys the clean air, four seasons, art, and music of the southwest.

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