Robert Lerma, MS – CEO
Robert Lerma, MS – CEO
Robert joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2013 as the Director of Business Development. Prior to coming to Austin Lakes, Robert worked in Schizophrenia/Bipolar research, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. He has a Bachelor’s from California State University and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University. Prior to relocating to Austin, he worked as a law enforcement officer and with a residential treatment center for youth in California. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, Texas Psychological Association, Capital Area Psychological Association and Capital of Texas Counseling Association. He is also a member of the Austin/Travis County Crisis Services Implementation Committee, Austin/Travis County Mental Health Court, Williamson County Crisis Intervention Committee, Williamson County Mental Health Task Force, Hill Country Crisis Intervention Committee, Highland Lakes Suicide Prevention Committee and Burnet County Crisis Intervention Committee
Shiva K. Lam, M.D.
Executive Medical Director & Clinical Director for Adult Services
Dr. Shiva Lam graduated from Gandhi Medical College in Hydeabad, India with his Medical Degree. He completed his residency and fellowship at Austin State Hospital. Dr. Lam was awarded the Capital Area Mental Health Center Award for his outstanding service to the Austin Mental Health community. He has supervised Psychiatry Residents from the Austin Psychiatry Residence program since 1999 and also provides psychiatric services to a wide range of individuals.
Dr. Lam is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Board Certified in Psychiatry and has been an Attending Psychiatrist with St. David's Pavilion since 1998. Dr. Lam is now the Executive Medical Director of Austin Lakes Hospital.
Vanajakshi Paturu, M.D.
Medical Director of Psychiatric General Services
Dr. Vanajakshi Paturu began her career as a practitioner in general medicine and an instructor in the Dept of Pharmacology at Siddhartha Medical College University of Health Sciences & Research Institute in India. While earning her medical degree, Dr. Paturu also received a distinctive National Merit Scholarship. Her outstanding achievements have been noted in both her academic and professional endeavors working with adult and geriatric populations.
After moving to the United States, she performed research for Beth Israel Medical Center in NJ. Dr. Paturu then completed her residency in psychiatry at Bergen Regional Medical Center in NJ, and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in NY. Dr. Paturu is Board Certified. Dr. Paturu joins Austin Lakes Hospital after being in private practice since 2001 and working in various health care settings.
Gregory Wysocki – Controller
Greg Wysocki – Controller
Greg is a graduate of the University of Texas-Austin with a degree in Accounting and is a CPA licensed in Texas. He has over 15 years of healthcare finance and accounting experience. In addition to his finance and accounting background, Greg’s healthcare experience includes oversight of dietary, housekeeping and plant operations/maintenance.
Director of Admissions
Justin Ward joined our team April 2015, having transferred from UHS sister facility Timberlawn Mental Health System in Dallas, TX. Justin obtained his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Arkansas State University and Master’s in Healthcare Administration. Justin has been with UHS since 2010, having worked in a number of professional capacities, which include direct patient care, crisis intervention trainer, business development and admissions counselor. Prior to coming to UHS Justin worked as a Teacher at a Therapeutic Day Treatment School in Arkansas.
Dan B. Smith, B.A. – Human Resources Director
Dan Smith – Human Resources Director
Dan has worked in behavioral health since the 1970s, initially as a Mental Health Worker and Center Supervisor. He received his degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1976. In 1983 he began his career in Human Resources and has served with various behavioral health facilities and corporations at the director level since 1985. In 2007, after a 14-month Human Resources/Management Consultant adventure working with a Department of Defense contractor in multiple locations in Iraq, he returned to behavioral health, participating in the opening of Austin Lakes Hospital.
Heather Hill – Director of Risk Management/PI
Heather Hill – Director of Risk Management/PI
Heather joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2009 and currently serves as the Performance Improvement and Risk Management Director. She earned her Bachelor’s from Texas State University in Recreation Administration her Master’s in Business Administration, with emphasis on Organizational Development, from Concordia University. She most recent volunteer work has included working as a Business Consultant for Alerosoft, LLC; as well as working for The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development as a website analyst.
Julie Cooper, CCA – Director of Medical Records
Julie Cooper – Director of Medical Records
Julie joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of Medical Records. Prior to coming to Austin Lakes, Julie worked for a multi-physician private practice managing medical records and for a durable medical equipment company handling Medicare appeals. She has 11 years experience in the medical field and completed her Certificate of Medical Coding at Austin Community College in 2006. Julie is a Certified Coding Associate through the American Health Information Management Association since 2007. She began her career with Austin Lakes Hospital as a medical coder before becoming the Director in 2013.
Andrea Marquez, LCSW
Director of Clinical Services
Ms. Marquez is a bilingual/bicultural Licensed Clinical Social Worker who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with her Master’s of Science in Social Work in 2007. She comes to her position with experience working in Dialectical Behavior Therapy both as an individual therapist, group skills trainer. Ms. Marquez is also a Licensed Clinical Supervisor and Independent Field instructor and has been supervising interns for over 7 years in the clinical setting and offering training and consultation to colleagues and liaisons in the community since receiving her Clinical license in 2010.
Rocio Avila, LMSW
Director of Outpatient Services
Rocio joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2014 and currently serves as Director of Outpatient Services. Rocio earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Texas State University- San Marcos, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Prior to joining Austin Lakes Rocio worked as a medical social worker in the acute inpatient medical setting for 5 years. She previously worked for Lakeway Regional Medical Center and South Austin Medical Center. While at Lakeway Regional Medical Center she assisted with community education about mental health and mental health services. While at South Austin Medical Center she was a member of the bioethics committee. She has experience in case management, dealing with grief and loss, crisis intervention, end of life, mother/ baby, and acute psychiatric intervention and discharge planning.
Miriam “Mimi” Nelson, RN, BSN
Director of Utilization Review
Mimi joined Austin Lakes Hospital in January 2013. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston, Texas. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse in multiple Texas and California facilities, ranging from a methadone clinic, chemical dependency units, intensive care units and inpatient psychiatric units with children, adolescent and adults. Additionally, she has worked as a charge nurse, house supervisor, nursing manager and Director of Nursing. Mimi’s current role involves oversight over clinical care coordination of patients, ensuring medical necessity criteria is met.