DES PLAINES, Ill., Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ENA is proud to announce the recent hiring of Richard Mereu, JD, MBA, who will serve as the chief government relations officer. Dr. Susan Hohenhaus, LPD, RN, CEN, FAEN, ENA's Executive Director, describes this new position as instrumental in overseeing federal and state advocacy efforts and government relations related to emergency nursing. "This is the perfect time for ENA to make advocacy for the profession of emergency nursing a priority," said Hohenhaus, "and Mr. Mereu is the perfect professional to begin this journey with us." Mereu has a JD from Albany Law School and an MBA from The Wharton School. He has worked on a variety of health care issues as chief of staff to Rep. Elton Gallegly (R – Cal.) and staff director for two subcommittees of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as serving as a professional staff member on the House Judiciary Committee. He believes his vast background is essential to helping ENA shape its new Advocacy Department. "Throughout my career I've had many roles and worked on many issues, from health care and budget issues to criminal law matters and immigration," he said. "I think my background is important because the issues that ENA is facing now are so diverse," Mereu added. "I know the legislative process very well from having worked in the House of Representatives for all of those years. That's important in terms of trying to get the initiatives that ENA cares about passed through Congress." ENA's mission to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice is one of the factors that attracted Mereu to the position. JoAnn Lazarus MSN, RN, CEN, ENA 2013 President says, "I look forward to working with and learning more from Mr. Mereu about legislative and regulatory issues and expanding ENA's influence."