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Our Staff

Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Kellie Holland

Interim CEO

Kellie Holland has over 25 years of progressive experience in Psychiatric Services. Kellie worked as a charge nurse and nurse manager at the Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville for 4 years. She was a Nurse Manager and then Director of Nursing for ARH Psychiatric Hospital in Hazard, KY for 13 years. She worked as a Hospital Administrator for Eastern State Hospital, before joining The Ridge in June 2015, as a nurse. She quickly worked her way to Director of Performance Improvement and Staff Development, Associate Administrator, Chief Nursing Officer, and as Chief Operating Officer. Kellie joined the team at Austin Lakes Hospital as the Interim CEO in July, 2020.

Sara Kim

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Sara Kim joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2019 and currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the CEO. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University Chicago and her Juris Doctorate degree from The University of Texas School of Law. She has a diverse professional background in the government, non-profit and legal sectors with a focus on victim services and systems advocacy. Prior to joining Austin Lakes, Sara worked as a victim witness counselor specializing in intimate partner/family violence. She is active in our community and volunteers for various causes including social justice initiatives, Autism awareness/acceptance, disaster relief efforts, child abuse and domestic violence.

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.

Associate Medical Director

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.

Derrick Ouzts, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Derrick Ouzts joined Austin Lakes Hospital as Chief Financial Officer in 2019 after completing the CFO In Training program with UHS. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Financial Management from Clemson University and his Masters of Business Administration from The Citadel. He started working in the healthcare finance field in 2012, and has since worked in Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; and now Austin, Texas. His experience is in both financial analysis and accounting with physician practices, medical/surgical hospital accounting and behavioral health finance. In his free time, Derrick enjoys drumming, pulling for his Clemson Tigers and spending time with his family.

Paul Bruce

Chief Nursing Officer

Paul Bruce joined Austin Lakes in August 2020. Paul graduated from Arizona State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s of science in nursing. He was invited to and joined Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society for Nurses. He has had a leadership role in hospitals since 2001 and has held the CNO position at 2 other facilities. Paul has extensive experience in Elder care and patients with cognitive deficits.

Dan B. Smith, B.A.

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.

Julie Cooper, CCA

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.

Elizabeth "Liz" Babb, LCSW

Director Of Clinical Services

Liz earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Social Work from Texas State University San Marcos. She joined Austin Lakes in 2014 as a Therapist and succeeded into other roles as Lead Therapist, Interim DCS, and Assistant DCS. Prior to joining Austin Lakes, Liz worked as a Case Aide for the Children’s Shelter in San Marcos, TX and as a direct care provider to adolescents at San Marcos Treatment Center. While obtaining her Bachelors, she interned at San Antonio State Hospital and volunteered at Austin State Hospital after graduating with her Masters. Liz has extensive experience working with abnormal psychology, crisis intervention, acute psychiatric care, case management, 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, adolescents 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.

Sarah Edwards, LCSW

Director of Risk Management, QAPI & Compliance Officer

Sarah Edwards joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2018 as the Director of Outpatient Services and shortly after transitioned into the role of Intake Director. Prior to joining the team, Sarah worked in public mental health for nearly 10 years. In this capacity she managed the 24/7 operations of a psychiatric crisis clinic, the crisis hotline and associated grants and contracts. Sarah spent years as a mobile crisis responder in Travis County, has worked in a local emergency department and also volunteered as a member of a sexual assault response team; all of which highlights her passion for the crisis services continuum of care. Sarah enjoys teaching and was certified as an instructor for Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid. Sarah earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Texas State University and is licensed as a clinical social work supervisor.

Adam Ramirez

Adam Ramirez

Director of Plant Operations

Adam joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2020 as the Director of Plant Operations. Prior to joining Austin Lakes Hospital, Adam worked for Wellbridge Healthcare as Plant Operations and brings valuable knowledge of compliance and safe work practices in mental health to ALH. Adam started his career in facility management in 2005 with Mac-Gray, a commercial laundry company, and Travis County Sheriff’s Department which lead to his focus in the environment of care. Adam is a proud military veteran that served under two campaigns in the Middle East and has earned his Associates in Applied Science in Management from the Air Force University. Adam is currently working on completing his Bachelors of Arts and Applied Science degree from the University of North Texas (Go Mean Green!) Adam also incorporates his passion for golf as a member of the Pan American Golf Association which has allowed him to organize fundraisers for scholarships of graduating high school seniors since 2006!

Jerry Cypert II, LPC, LCDC

Director Of Outpatient Services

Jerry Cypert joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2018. Since entering the field in 2006, Jerry has accrued many experiences in the fields of psychotherapy, addiction recovery, psychiatric inpatient treatment, residential and intensive outpatient SUD treatment modalities. He has also facilitated 12-step programs with adult and adolescent populations. Jerry greatly enjoys helping people grow and heal. Professional development and education are also very important to him. Jerry has experience providing oversight of clinical counselors, team building, coaching, staff appraisals and performance measures, policy and procedure development, curriculum development and audit preparation. Jerry earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Counselor Education from Texas Tech University. Jerry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. In his free time Jerry is also a blacksmith and a carpenter.

Valerie Slutz, LCSW

Director of Admissions

Valerie joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2019 as an Intake Counselor before transitioning to the role of Director of Admissions. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences from Texas Tech University, her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Lubbock Christian University, and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to relocating to Austin, she worked as a Social Worker at an acute inpatient behavioral health hospital as well as an outpatient behavioral health clinic in Lubbock, TX. Valerie further developed her passion for crisis intervention counseling while expanding her experience and volunteering with the Lubbock Police Department Victim Services Team. After moving to Austin in 2015, Valerie began working for the local mental health authority throughout the crisis division where she worked in residential units, a psychiatric crisis clinic, and helped to pilot the first Emergency Observation Unit in Travis County. She also has experience providing training to local law enforcement agencies on responding to behavioral health crises. Valerie specializes in providing comprehensive care and crisis intervention to adults with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses.

Eric Balvantin, MBA

Director Of Business Development

Eric Balvantin joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2011. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Arlington 2009 and began his marketing and communications career early on with some direct marketing and business-to-business sales. He worked his way through many roles at Austin Lakes Hospital, beginning as a Driver for the Outpatient Services Department, Mental Health Technician, Patient Advocate for ALH, Outpatient Liaison, Community Liaison, and now the Director of Business Development. He acquired his MBA from Bellevue University in 2019. Over the last decade, Eric broadened his professional experience within the healthcare field in roles spanning from marketing and sales to operations management. Eric is a board member for the Greater Austin ROSC. In his free time, Eric enjoys working out through kickboxing and smoking Texas BBQ for friends and family.

Sally Twellman, RDN

Community Liaison

Sally Twellman joined Austin Lakes Hospital as a Community Liaison in 2018. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Texas at Austin and prior to working at Austin Lakes Hospital, she worked as the registered dietitian in the hospital and outpatient settings. As a Community liaison, Sally loves being able to promote the Austin Lakes mission of providing a comprehensive high level of mental health care and treatment to our clients and the opportunity to working with community partners to help increase mental health awareness in the Austin area. She spends her free time with her husband, three kids and enjoying the great outdoors.

Paige Tabor, MHA

Community Liaison

Paige Tabor joined Austin Lakes Hospital in 2020. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas State University in 2014 and began her career in the mental health industry. Paige has spent the last six years working within Behavioral Health, which highlights her passion for helping others. She spent many years providing case management in Guadalupe County as she acquired her Masters in Healthcare Administration in 2018 from LeTourneau University. In her free time, Paige plays sand volleyball and enjoys the outdoors with her Golden Retriever puppy.

We’re Here to Help

Talking with one of the mental health professionals at our treatment center could help answer your questions. Our team wants to identify how we may be able to help you or your loved one improve daily life with our mental health services. We offer no-cost, confidential assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 512-544-5253.

Our inpatient and outpatient programs can help individuals deal with mental illness or behavioral health issues whether they’re suffering from depression, anxiety or other disorders. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.