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Meet the Nominating Committee

Laura Gayton, MHCA, BSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM

Laura Gayton, MHCA, BSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM


Laura serves as the Associate Director of Standards Interpretation at The Joint Commission, Division of Healthcare Improvement located in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. In this role, Laura is responsible for working closely with accredited and certified organizations to interpret The Joint Commission standards, identify vulnerabilities, and improve their performance. Ms. Gayton reviews and determines the status of post-survey reports, clarifications, measures of success, and evidence of standards compliance submitted as part of the survey process. She provides leadership and guidance within the team in all aspects of the accreditation process through clinical expertise and customer relationship management, and she supports the field representative cadre and other customers through the provision of expert interpretation, guidance, and collaboration.

Laura received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois and her Master’s in Health Care Administration from St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. She has been a perioperative nurse for over 30 years, with roles ranging from staff nurse, educator, manager, and director of surgical services. Laura has been a nationally certified perioperative nurse for the past 25 years and certified in surgical services management for the last 3 years. She has spent her entire career in the hospital settings from critical access to academic medical centers. Laura has served as secretary (2008-2012) and is a past president of eChapter (2015-2016) and Nominating Committee (2017-2019), and the chair of the Leadership Specialty Assembly the past 3 years and is currently past chair. Laura has served on the national task force for patient engagement (2015) and the AORN awards committee (2018-2019). She was a mentor for AORN nursing scholarship winners in 2017-2018. Laura won AORN’s Volunteer Leadership Award in 2020.

Amy Brunson

Amy Brunson, MSN, RN, CNOR


Amy Brunson, MSN, RN, CNOR is an OR nurse manager at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical science and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Western Governors University. Amy is dedicated to patient safety and actively participates on multidisciplinary perioperative committees focused on patient safety in her facility. Amy has been an active member of the AORN of Central Texas chapter since 2012 and has served in leadership roles including board of directors, president-elect, and currently as president. She is a member of the Leadership Specialty Assembly and Clinical Nurse Educator Specialty Assembly and has served on the AORN National Clinical Nursing Practice Committee. She has received Excellence Awards from Baylor Scott & White Health and Western Governors University and was honored with the Baylor Scott & White Central Texas Region Top 25 Nurse Award in 2016. She is a member of the Psi Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Texas Organization for Nursing Leadership. She is currently serving as a member of the AORN Nominating Committee.

Jeffrey Keane

Jeffrey R. Keane, BSN, RN, CNOR


Jeffrey Keane, BSN, RN, CNOR is a Unit Based Educator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston Ma. Jeff has been a perioperative nurse for the 13 years and a member of AORN for 12 years. While practicing as a perioperative nurse Jeff’s specialty is in robotics, general surgery, GYN and urology. Over the past 4 years Jeff has been the primary facilitator for team based training in the simulation center. Jeff is also a member of the Emergency Management Committee at the hospital. He has been to training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness where they work with hospital teams to prepare for catastrophic events. Jeff has presented at AORN Expo on operating room preparedness for mass casualty events.

Jeff is a member of the AORN Mass Chapter 1 where he currently serves on the Board of Directors, prior to this he was the Treasurer for 4 years. He has also served on several national task force most recently on the Fellowship Level of Recognition. During the first year of this committee Jeff served as the Chair to determine the feasibility of this program to AORN. Over the last year he continued this work as a member of the committee to operationalize this new program for nurses who continually support and promote perioperative nursing.

When away from the operating room Jeff enjoys spending time with his family. They enjoy traveling to their favorite spots and taking cruises.

David Reinhart

David Reinhart DNP, MBA, RN, CNOR


David Reinhart DNP, MBA, RN, CNOR is the Specialty Director of Perioperative Services at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Georgia, Master in Nursing from University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois and his Master of Business Administration from University of Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

Reinhart has been a perioperative nurse for 33 years and a member of AORN for 32 years. His experience progression started with his role as a nurses’ aide, surgical tech, staff nurse, Supervisor of nursing, Manager of nursing, Director of nursing and then finally his present position of Specialty Director of Nursing of Perioperative Services. Reinhart is a member of AORN Northwest Georgia Chapter 1107 (2017 - present). He is a past President of AORN South Florida local chapter 1004 (2012 – 2013). He is a member of ANA, GNA, and Sigma Theta Tau. He was a member of the AORN Bylaws committee (2017 – 2018) and a member of the AORN Recruitment and Retention of Perioperative Nurses Task Force (2019 – 2020). He participates in the AORN Executive Roundtable meetings.

Reinhart was the Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Management award in 2019.

David L. Taylor,  MSN, RN, CNOR

David L. Taylor MSN, RN, CNOR


David L. Taylor, MSN, RN, CNOR is a nurse leader, consultant, educator, author and nationally recognized speaker who examines the challenges operating rooms and central sterile departments face as healthcare leaders manage their practice in the surgical services environment. In addition, David has been providing services to clients with various nursing, surgical services, ancillary service line, and business development needs across the United States for over 34 years. From rural to urban, community-based to large academic medical centers and ambulatory surgical centers, his areas of expertise are services that improve operational and clinical efficiencies, while helping organizations function more effectively to improve their market position.

David has assisted a variety of clients throughout the country improve clinical excellence, improve physician, staff, and patient/family satisfaction, all while placing an emphasis on safety and throughput which has resulted in streamlined processes’, increased surgical volumes, and enhanced best practices.

David’s particular area of specialty lies in the operational improvement of Surgical Services and Central Sterile/Sterile Processing Departments (CS/SPD). Using a focused approach of best practice assessment, inter-professional collaboration and team based solution development, David consistently assists in developing and executing on solutions that enhance an organizations capabilities and success. David is a member of the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). He maintains membership in the Business Industry Consulting (BIC) and Leadership Specialty Assemblies and is a long-time member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. He completed his Lean Healthcare Certification at Villanova University, is a nationally recognized speaker and has published in nationally recognized peer review journals on various perioperative and central sterile subjects.

Missi Merlino

Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM


Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM has been a perioperative nurse and member of AORN for 30 years. Her work experience includes OR staff, management, educator and informatics positions. She received her ADN from Central Texas College, Killeen, Texas, her BS in health care management, and MHA from Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska. She has served her local chapter in the offices of president, vice president, board of directors and Nominating Committee as well as on the Texas Council of Operating Room Nurses as secretary, board of directors and the Scholarship/Awards committee.

She is currently the Advisor to the Nominating Committee and immediate Past President of AORN. Her service to AORN includes:2018 elected President-elect, 2016 elected AORN Vice President 2014, elected to AORN Board of Directors, 2010 elected to the AORN Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, serving as Chair 2011-2012. Committee work includes AORN Governance Strategic Task Force, Bylaws Committee, Organizational Structure Task Force, and the Awards Committee, and is a member of the Leadership, Perioperative Nursing Informatics, and Clinical Nurse Educators Specialty Assemblies. Missi has served as the board liaison to the Bylaws Committee, Safe Surgery Task Force, Scholarship Committee, Continuing Education Approval Committee and the RNFA Specialty Assembly, Perioperative Nursing Informatics Specialty Assembly, Clinical Nurse Educators Specialty Assembly. Other professional association memberships include the American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, District 7, Tau Epsilon chapter of STTI, and the American Nursing Informatics Association. Missi is the 2010 recipient of the AORN award for Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship.