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.

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.

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.

  • Shawn Tassone

    Dr. Tassone is in private group practice in Austin, Texas where he is committed to bringing minimally invasive procedures to women' healthcare. Dr. Tassone has invented the only procedure to safely remove Essure Coils via partial cornuectomy with the daVinci platform and has performed over 600 of these procedures. Dr. Tassone has personally performed or instructed hands-on in over 1,000 cases. He has been featured on local and national television for his work in robotic surgery and women's healthcare, including Netflix and 60-minute. In addition, Dr. Tassone is both a national and international speaker.