Meet the team at Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery

Thomas Payne, M.D., Medical Director

Thomas N. Payne, MD, FACOG

Executive Director

His pioneering work as a surgeon and educator in thousands of robotic gynecologic cases has helped patients and surgeons worldwide to shape the present and future of gynecologic surgery. Dr. Payne serves as Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery as well as National Medical Director for the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) Robotic Service Line. He is known nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of robotic assisted gynecologic surgery. His leadership began in 2005 with FDA approval of the da Vinci Surgical System and continues today. Dr. Payne serves as keynote speaker, panelist and faculty for conferences around the globe and has written and co-written numerous papers, text book chapters and journal articles regarding robotic surgery. Dr. Payne’s primary passions are to champion advancements in the surgical sciences and to perform, assist and teach complex robotic surgery.

Dr. Payne received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences Center. He enjoyed a successful career at the Ochsner Clinic in Louisiana for the first 15 years of his career. Dr. Payne joined Hospital Corporation of America in 2011 as the Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery located in Austin, Texas. He is a board certified gynecologist and a Fellow with the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

In January 2016, Dr. Payne was named HCA Corporation’s National Medical Director for Robotics, while still retaining his position as Executive Director of Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery.

Thomas Butz

Thomas A. Butz

Robotic Clinical Operations Manager

Thomas Butz serves in the role of Robotic Clinical Operations Manager for the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery (TIRS) and the Central West Texas Division of HCA. Thomas became the Surgical Robotic Coordinator at SDSAMC in January 2013 and was instrumental in growing the robotic service program into one of the most dynamic and successful robotic programs in HCA. His duties at TIRS include collaborative and educational support for fellow robotic coordinators across HCA and the nation.

Thomas received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with honors, from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently enrolled in their graduate nursing program. He utilizes his knowledge and experience within the robotic service line to create best practices for robotic team operations and quality patient care. Accordingly, Thomas was honored by his peers and awarded Caregiver of the Year for St. David’s South Austin Medical Center in 2014. Thomas’ desire to teach others and his fascination with technology continues to drive his passion towards advancing patient care and excellence in the field of robotic surgery.

marie williams

Marie A. Williams

Robotic Clinical Operations Manager

Marie Williams serves as Clinical Operations Manager for Robotics for the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery and the Central West Texas Division of HCA. Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Doctorate in Counseling. She began her surgical nursing career in 1991, and quickly advanced into leadership positions. Prior to her arrival in Austin, Marie served as Clinical Lead of Robotics at the University of Florida, Jacksonville and at Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, where she was responsible for improving patient care and providing operational support on all robotic platforms. Under Ms. Williams' leadership, Johnston-Willis was the first HCA facility to achieve national recognition as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery.

Marie has been responsible for the success of multiple robotic programs and consequently, now serves as a TIRS consultant to HCA robotics programs nationwide. As a consultant, Marie has established training processes designed to improve clinical competencies which have been instrumental in improving the efficiency of programs within HCA hospitals. Her knowledge of the robotic operating room, including policies and procedures, supply chain management and equipment acquisition, has made her a valuable asset to programs seeking her expertise.

Marie is also actively involved as a volunteer nurse in community health fairs. For the past 4 years, she has been a dedicated volunteer surgical nurse for the International Organization for Women and Development (IOWD), a non-profit organization providing free specialized surgical care to underserved women and children in low-income countries, most recently in Kigali, Rwanda.

Jamie West, Executive Administrative Assistant

Jamie C. West

Executive Administrative Assistant

Jamie West serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, carrying out administrative responsibilities for the organization. In addition, Ms. West coordinates On-Boarding and OR Efficiency Boot Camps, assisting attendees with enrollment and scheduling, and organizes the Institute’s special events, conferences, and other meetings.

Prior to joining the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, Ms. West served in executive administrative and managerial roles in both medical and hospitality settings. Ms. West is often referred to as the “glue” that holds the Institute together. She is usually the first personal contact one makes when calling or visiting the Institute, and is respected for her warmth, enthusiasm and professionalism.

  • daVinciRobot

    Technology Leaders
    On April 16, 2014 the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery became the first in the world to use the new da Vinci Xi Surgical System. This historic event took place at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, bringing the added benefits of the Xi to our patients.

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  • thiru-lakshman

    Dr. Thiru Lakshman, a TIRS Epicenter surgeon, is recognized nationally for teaching excellence. He has hosted Advanced Colorectal Surgery Courses since 2015.

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  • dr-devin-garza

    Devin Garza, M.D., a TIRS Epicenter surgeon, is a renowned surgeon, speaker and robotic instructor. His expertise is sought-after internationally and he travels extensively to lecture and teach robotics in other countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Australia to name a few. Dr. Garza was recently elected to serve as Vice Chair for the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL).

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  • lisaMJukes_thb

    Dr. Lisa Jukes, a TIRS-affiliated surgeon, is recognized nationally for teaching excellence and hosts surgeons from across the nation for hysterectomy single-site case observations.

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  • Matt Meigs, MD

    Dr. Matt Meigs, a TIRS-affiliated ENT surgeon, performed the first robotically-assisted trans-oral robotic surgeries in the region, including base of the tongue reduction procedures for sleep apnea and base of the tongue resections for cancer.

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  • Francis Buzad

    Dr. Francis Buzad, a TIRS Epicenter surgeon, is recognized nationally for teaching excellence. He has been hosting surgeons from across the nation for general surgery observations since 2013.

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  • dr-marquez

    Nancy Marquez, M.D., a TIRS-affiliated surgeon, has performed robotic surgeries in the Austin area since 2002. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the American Society of Breast Surgeons. In addition, Dr. Marquez is a clinical professor for Texas A&M University.