AORN Sa's goal is to recruit all of the periOperative nurses in San Antonio, TX and to help them become engaged in their professional organization and community.  AORN SA's purpose is to help enhance the professional and educational growth of nurses, to offer endless learning experiences and to help nurse's find purpose in their careers.

Being a part of AORN SA offers a sense of community as well as personal and professional benefit.  AORN SA also aims to inspire the young minds of tomorrow,  encourages, and offers educational events for young students that might be interested in a career in periOperative nursing.


AORN SA organizes educational events for periOperative nurses as well as young students in the local San Antonio area.  The AORN SA annual symposium is the largest event AORN SA organizes.  


The annual symposium offers attendees educational experiences including guest speakers discussing relevant and current topics in the periOperative field as well as networking activities.  AORN SA also engages in community services throughout the San Antonio.  


Andrea A Pruitt BSN, RN, CNOR

President of AORN San Antonio Chapter 4409

Andrea began her professional nursing career as a Perioperative nurse learning by the standards of AORN Periop 101 curriculum, 19 years ago when she became a member.

Andrea has served in various roles within the Perioperative services. Currently, Andrea serves as President. Andrea has been an RN for 19 years and has held many leadership roles. 

Andrea’s leadership positions include Clinical Educator, Case Manager, Adjunct Faculty at Alamo Colleges and Unit Supervisor.  Andrea will utilize all of her experiences rich with leadership and management to serve 


“Foundation is so important when I look back at my Perioperative career. The foundation laid by AORN, implemented by the hospital, directed by my perioperative educator and OR Staff has served me well to this very day. This foundation has helped me to have an extraordinary OR life.  Being a part of a team that can change the trajectory of someone’s life is truly an honor. AORN is important to me because it has helped and continues to set the benchmark for patient safety as well as the Standards that we apply to every patient every time as they enter our OR’s.”

Vanessa Lewis MSN, RN, CNOR

President Elect

"My is name Vanessa Lewis I began my professional career as a medical-surgical nurse at University Hospital on the trauma unit and Wilford Hall in the Orthopedic Unit over twenty years ago. In 2001, I transitioned into the preoperative services at Methodist Hospital by having had a choice of being a nurse in the operating room or outpatient surgery. My first choice was becoming a nurse in the Operating Room upon starting I was placed in the AORN Perioperative 101 course. While at Methodist I was the Service Line Coordinator for Othropedic Spine surgeries, as my interest in leadership and management grew I became the Weekend Charge Nurse. This position allowed to go to school to complete my MSN in Administration, with a minor in Nursing Education and Nursing Informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. My nursing journey led me to the Veteran Administration Hospital where I was a Service nurse for podiatry, oral maxillary facial surgery, and GYN. I utilized my experience to serve others as the perioperative educator for the hospital always using the Preoperative Standards as my guide. Next, I transitioned over to the Nurse Manager Position, my units included Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Outpatient Surgery, and Interventional Radiology. My current role is with the Surgical Processes Services (SPS), where I am the Clinical QA Manager. This role allows me to keep the standards of AORN and Federal regulations by working closely with the operating room and keeping our veterans safe while they undergo procedures. I am currently pursuing my Doctorate in  Nursing.  

My service to AORN San Antonio includes being a Board Member, Secretary, Vice President and currently I serve as the President-Elect.  I look forward to the benefit of serving the AORN San Antonio Chapter."

Carol Ann Hancock BSN, BA, RN.

Vice President

"I have been in Nursing for over 40 years of which over 30 were in the peri-operative setting. I joined AORN in 1983. My mother was in Nursing, so It has played a big part of my life. When I started school in the 60’s, not getting in the school of my choice, I went into education getting a BA degree. 

Later I became an LPN , then AAS degree in Nursing and a BSN. Working in different areas of Nursing , the Operating Room was where I wanted to be. I had to wait 2 years to get in as there was little turn over of staff. Early on I discovered I liked being a patient advocate and working with a team where there is collaboration to obtain the goals set for our patients. My last 3 years were in Central Sterilization, an area attached to the OR where sterile instruments were easy to get to. Without this department, there can be no Surgery. As an periOperative Nurse it’s important to attend our yearly Expo which is held in different cities throughout the US, to network, see new products on the market and get education benefits. Although  retired, I try to attend , and alway see products / equipment I didn’t have when I was active in the OR. 

I now teach hand washing to first graders in an elementary school twice a month. I also teach at my church. I also do other volunteering at our Military Hospital. All of this is rewarding as a retired Nurse."

Kumi Sarles BSN, RN, CNOR


"I am a Staff Nurse at University Health System.  I earned my bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Texas health Science Center at San Antonio.  I have been a perioperative nurse for 18 years, certified as a CNOR for 15 years, and a member of AORN for 16 years.  I love to be a perioperative nurse as well as being an active member of AORN.  AORN provides me the tool and resources I need to keep my OR safe and our chapter gives me immediate support and opportunity to grow professionally and personally.  My past experiences in our chapter are Board of Directors, Treasurer, the Symposium Planning Committee, Education Program Committee, and volunteering for the various chapter activities.  

My vision for the future of our chapter belongs to the next generation.  My goal is to focus on recruitment and retention of younger memberships and make our chapter meeting to energized and attractive."

Lori L. Minor BSN, RN


Lori has been a member of AORN since 2015, when she began her career in perioperative services. She is currently a circulating nurse at Brooke Army Medical Center on Fort Sam Houston.


“The most important advice I received as a new OR nurse was to immerse myself in all things related to the perioperative field. My hospital educators suggested I become a member of AORN. Becoming a member has given me learning opportunities to gain more knowledge about the perioperative field, rather it be through continuing education or vendor demonstrations on products and equipment being used in my operating room. The ability to network and participate in open discussions with nurses from around the world about patient care in our constantly changing profession has been greatly rewarding.  The members of my local chapter have been the cornerstone and a tremendous support to my continued knowledge growth. It is my goal through mentorships to offer the same opportunities afforded me to other nurses, novice and expert."

David Taylor MSN, RN, CNOR

Ex Officio

David has been a member of AORN since 1996 and has served in a variety of roles supporting AORN Nationally as well as with the San Antonio AORN Chapter 4409 and AORN's eChapter.  David has held various roles, currently as a National Nominating Committee member, as well as holding positions locally as  San Antonio Chapter 4409 President, President Ex-Officio, Vice President, Board of Directors and  several years as the Chair for numerous committees.


A graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, David has nearly 35 years of experience working in Operating Room environment.  He has held a variety of leadership roles in surgical services throughout his career, including Regional Director, Senior Nurse Consultant, Administrative Director of Surgical Services, Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University in Chicago, NCLEX Instructor, and Nurse Educator. David is the owner of Resolute Advisory Group, LLC, providing Surgical Services Consulting throughout the country.  

"I believe that perioperative nurses have the ability to impact the lives of their patients and their family members at some of the most vulnerable times in their life. For many, a surgical intervention can be a significant life event and every aspect of that medical care can have a profound impact.  In some case this can affect them for a lifetime.  Because our profession and the perioperative nursing specialty is continuously evolving it  requires nurses to seek up-to-date information and continually educate themselves with relevant information in order to provide the very best to their patients.  That is why AORN is so important to me.  It has always been at the forefront of bringing its members recommended practice standards, evidence-based practices, new trends and treatments in surgical care through a variety of venues. I feel fortunate, organizations like the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) diligently works to collect and disseminate the latest innovations and best practices in perioperative nursing so we can be the best at what we do.”

Criselda Sanders BSN, RN, CNOR

Board Member

Criselda has been an OR nurse for 27 years all of which have been with the Baptist Health System.  Prior to that she worked in the Med/Surg floor for 4 years in Harlingen and San Angelo. The majority of her OR years have been as a heart nurse, but she works in all services.  She has been an AORN member since 2013, and has also served as the treasurer for the Tx Chapter of the Society for Vascular Nurses.  She says:

“I love working in the OR and seeing the many changes that have taken place during my career. An example that comes to mind is endoscopic vein harvest, prior to that the patients would have a long incision that would take so long to heal, also the Davinci robot helps our prostates go home the next day and make the recovery so much quicker."

Mari Groebner MSN, RN, CNOR

Board Member


Wiley Smith RN

Board Member

"I have been a member since 1991 and joined Chapter 4490 in 1995.  I have served our Chapter in several capacities, including President, President Elect, and Board Member.  I have also worked on the Winter Symposium Committee, and represented our Chapter at such functions as Under the Bridge and Elf Louise.  I have helped at the national level by working on the Silent Auction Committee.

I have been an RN since 1991 and retired in 2010.  I served in the Military for 32 years."

AORN provides us with leadership and represents us at the state and local level."

Herb Laing MSN, RN

Board Member

"I have been a member of AORN from 1983-2005 and rejoined as a life member in 2016.  I have been a member of Chapter 4409 from 1995-2005 and rejoined in 2016 to present.  I have served our chapter in several capacities including, President, President-Elect, and Board Member, and on the Winter Symposium Committee.  I have worked with the National Silent Auction Committee for the past 6 years.

I have been an RN 35 years, having served in the Army for 15 years, retiring in 1997, and worked for Santa Rosa and CTRC after that.  I have worked in many capacities as an RN from staff member to leadership positions, having learned a great deal from every experience.

AORN is a great organization which serves us in many ways, from education, providing representation at the state and national level, support for education through scholarships and grants, just to name a few."

Aileen Palomero MSN, RN, CNOR, CNL, OR Nurse Educator

Board Member

Aileen Joy Palomero has been a registered nurse for thirty- five years. She worked for twenty- seven years as an operating and recovery room nurse at the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital in the Philippines; at Delano Regional Medical Center in Delano, California, St Luke’s Baptist Hospital, Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital and Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. She served as a clinical and classroom instructor at the Adventist University of the Philippines School of Nursing for five years; a newborn, intermediate care and special care nurse for three years at Fort Duncan Medical Center, Eagle Pass, Texas and Christus Santa Rosa Health Care in San Antonio, Texas. Currently she is the OR Nurse Educator for Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio. A member of the AORN Chapter #4409 since 1996, she is looking forwardto be more involved in the planning and implementation of the various activities of the AORN Chapter this year.

Ellen Ott MA, BSN, RV-RN, CNOR(E)

Board Member

"I began my nursing career in 1968 when I graduated from a diploma program. During that timed I joined the Army student nurse program.  After graduating I worked in an all RN operating room and never had a job outside the OR for the next 48 years.  During my 20 year Army career I worked all OR positions and earned my BSN at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio in 1979 the same year I received CNOR.  After the military I worked contract for  28 years at BAMC retiring in 2016.   


 It is imperative our professional organization stay strong to fight the many battles that have and can face us again like keeping the RN in the OR, keeping a RN circulator, enforcing standards of practice, putting forward best practices for positive patient outcomes plus many other issues.  This responsibility belongs to each of us."