Thomas 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. 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 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.

Nicole Shatto

Executive Administrative Assistant

Nicole Shatto serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, carrying out administrative responsibilities for the organization. In addition, Ms. Shatto is the Host for Robotic Case Observations, and organizes the Institute’s special events, conferences, and other meetings.

Prior to joining the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, Ms. Shatto served as an Executive Assistant at St. David’s Medical Center and Contract Manager for St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.