American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants
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Neurosurgical Procedures – AASPA 2022 Annual CME Meeting Workshop
Thursday, October 13, 2022, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT
Category: Events

AASPA 2022 Annual CME Meeting Workshop

Neurosurgical Procedures: Evaluation and Programming of Shunt Valves and Ommaya Reservoirs

Thursday, October 13th, 2–4pm CT

Cost: $150
Space Available: 20 Attendees

Register for the Workshop and Annual Meeting

Course Description

Many surgical PAs are frightened of Neurosurgery as a field because it is not something that we are exposed to frequently in school. That said, many PAs encounter patients with shunts daily in their careers in the EC, general surgery, and other surgical specialties. We feel that with exposure to basic procedures and hardware, we can provide an introduction into the intricate field of Neurosurgery and better educate surgical PA’s across all departments. This is not something that has been done at general PA conferences in the past and is an opportunity to enlighten PAs on Neurosurgery. All principles discussed and learned during this session would be applicable to both pediatrics and adults.


  1. Understand differences between non-programmable and programmable shunts
  2. Brief education on HCP and treatment with shunting/how to know when a procedure is indicated
  3. Better understand utility in ommaya reservoirs
  4. Learn to access shunt reservoirs/ommaya reservoirs through hands on training. Get to practice your newly taught skills
  5. Become familiar with programmable valves. Learn to reprogram different types of common programmable valves via hands on training.

Increase education on complex field of neurosurgery and basic procecdures/principles. Hopefully this education will aid in better understanding these complex patients when seen on other specialties and decrease fear of this challenging field.

This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid from 10/13/2022 to 10/13/2023 . PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. 


Lucia Ruggieri, MPAS, PA-C
Lucia Ruggieri is a physician assistant within the Division of Neurosurgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Lucia currently serves at the Clinical lead of Neurosurgery APPs. She has been a practicing PA in the department of Neurosurgery for almost 7 years. Previously she was the Clerkship Director for TCH PA Surgical Fellowship for 3 years prior to transitioning to role of Clinical lead. Lucia received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree at Skidmore College in Integrative Biology and Dance. Lucia went on to receive her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from University of Texas Medical Branch. Lucia is a recipient of the Dean’s Silver Anniversary scholarship as well as the Arthur V Simmang Endowed scholarship. She was the PA class of 2015 nominee for the School of Health Professions Student Honor Award. Lucia remains a member of the Alpha Eta Honor Society. In addition, she is currently a member of the Pediatric Section for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, AAPA, and TGCPAA. She has presented at multiple national AANS APP conferences including the AANS pediatric meeting in Houston in 2018 (where she also led a neurosurgical skill session teaching LPs), and the pediatric AANS section meeting in Salt Lake City in 2021. She has also been asked to present at the TCHAPP conference in April 2022. She also has had abstracts accepted for presentation at national conferences. Lucia was awarded the TCH Surgical APP of the Quarter award in January 2019. She also was recently awarded the prestigious Early Career Award for Excellence in Patient care through Baylor college of Medicine in 2022. Lucia has a special interest in hydrocephalus and pediatric brain tumors, however, finds all areas of pediatric neurosurgery intriguing. Lucia has been published >5 times in the Journal of Neurosurgery pediatric edition and has multiple projects ongoing with the department of Neurosurgery and department of NeuroOncology. Additionally, she is currently involved in 2 clinical trials for oncology patients with malignant brain tumors where she is responsible for neurosurgical procedures. Lastly, Lucia is currently very active in education. She remains involved in precepting physician assistant and nurse practitioner students. She was previously the clerkship director for Neurosurgery for the department of surgery PA fellowship. She continues to have an active role in pre-cepting these PA fellows throughout their Neurosurgery rotation.

Emily McClernon, MPAS, PA-C
Emily McClernon is a physician assistant within the Division of Neurosurgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. She has been a member of this team since receiving her master’s degree in 2018.Emily received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University in Biological Sciences. Emily went on to receive her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Emily was the recipient of the Arthur V. Simmang School of Health Professions scholarship.Emily is a member of the Pediatric Section for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. She recently presented at the AANS Pediatric Section APP Conference in Salt Lake City on a QI project created by her team. Emily has a special interest in research and has been working on projects involving Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Ependymomas. Emily also has a strong passion for medical mission work and completed 2 mission trips prior to starting her career as a physician assistant. She now serves as the Texas Children’s Hospital Main Campus Global Health Committee Lead and fully enjoys serving locally and for organizations overseas. Emily has a clinical interest in epilepsy, arachnoid cysts, and pediatric brain tumors but finds all part of pediatric neurosurgery fascinating. She also serves as the Education Coordination for the Neurosurgery team and thoroughly enjoys teaching physician assistant and nurse practitioner students.