St. David’s HealthCare includes eight of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. The organization has been recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award — the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. St. David’s HealthCare is the fourth-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 10,600 colleagues across more than 160 sites of care.

St. David’s HealthCare is a unique partnership between hospital management company HCA Healthcare and two local non-profits — St. David’s Foundation and Georgetown Health Foundation. The proceeds from the operations of the hospitals fund the foundations, which, in turn, invest those dollars back into the community. Since the inception of St. David’s HealthCare in 1996, nearly $700 million has been given back to the community to improve the health and healthcare of Central Texans.

St. David's HealthCare offers a variety of classes, events and seminars. To learn more about topics like weight loss, joint replacement and childbirth or other health topics, sign up for a class or seminar. For more information on upcoming classes, view the classes and events or call: (888) 868-2104 or (512) 478-3627.

HCA Healthcare is a world leader in robotic surgical procedures, performing over 100,000 cases in the U.S. and United Kingdom each year. HCA Healthcare’s national Robotic Service Line includes over 135 hospitals and approximately 250 of the world’s most advanced robotic systems.

At St. David’s HealthCare, we offer access to the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery (TIRS), an innovative infrastructure helping hospitals and physicians deliver the most technologically advanced and safe robotic surgery experience. The Institute has accomplished this by developing and studying the largest robotic surgery database in the world, with data spanning every aspect from administration through robotic surgical technique.

Specifically, TIRS:

  • Creates real-time data analytics based on the world’s largest integrated database for robotic surgery, incorporating quality, training, performance, cost and reimbursement data
  • Provides information and proven robotic surgery strategies to its Network Hospitals
  • Trains affiliated surgeons and hospital team members using the most advanced robotic technology and best practices

Our precision, skill and comprehensive data join forces to benefit hospitals, surgeons and ultimately, robotic surgery patients.

Located in Austin, TIRS works hand in hand with our sister Texas hospitals in Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Denton, McAllen and Brownsville to assist in building robotic surgery strategies and programs to meet their goals while adhering to the safest and most innovative and efficient robotic surgery techniques and protocols.

Learn more about our robotic surgery services.

Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery leadership team

Thomas Payne, MD, FACOG</strong> — Executive Director headshot

Thomas Payne, MD, FACOG
— Executive Director 

Dr. Payne joined HCA Healthcare in 2011 as the executive director of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery. In January 2016, Dr. Payne was named HCA Healthcare’s National Medical Director for Robotics, while retaining his position as executive director. 

His work as a surgeon and educator has helped patients and surgeons worldwide in thousands of robotic gynecologic cases. His primary passions are to champion advancements in the surgical sciences and to perform, assist and teach complex robotic surgery. 


Luis E. Hernandez</strong> — Director of Operations headshot

Luis E. Hernandez
— Director of Operations

Luis E. Hernandez serves as the director of operations at the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery. He holds masters of business administration in Management and Healthcare Administration as well as a bachelor’s of science in Nursing. 

Beginning his career in the military, Luis developed a focus on robotic surgery, circulating as a registered nurse in hundreds of robotic cases and successfully producing predictability models for robotic inventory and operating room time management. 

Luis enjoys working alongside our nurses, surgical techs and surgeon to establish and maintain the gold standard for robot-assisted surgery in our operating rooms and give patients the absolute best care possible.