South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
Robert M. Walton | 210-617-5140
Mr. Robert M. Walton was appointed Director for South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) on November 16, 2015. With an FY18 budget for STVHCS of $755 million and 4000 employees, Mr. Walton oversees health care services for about 96,000 unique Veterans. In FY17, STVHCS provided 1.2 million outpatient visits to area Veterans.
From April 2012 to November 2015, Mr. Walton served as Director of the Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System in Harlingen, Texas. He also served as the Medical Center Director at the White River Junction VA Medical Center from October 2008 – April 2012. Before Mr. Walton’s tenure at White River Junction VA, he served as Associate Medical Center Director at James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, New York from May 2004 – October 2008.
Mr. Walton served as Acting Director at VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System from February-September 2008. Mr. Walton served as Chief, Engineering Service at Bronx VAMC from 1993-2004. He also served as Assistant Chief, Engineering Service at VA medical centers in Marlin, Texas, Montrose, New York, and Bronx, New York. Mr. Walton began his VA career in 1986 at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Walton has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration degree in Health Administration from Long Island University. He is a graduate of the VHA Executive Career Field Program and participated in the VA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. Mr. Walton is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The New York Federal Executive Board selected Mr. Walton as the recipient of the 2001 Distinguished Executive of the Year Award.
Lisa J. Simoneau | 210-617-5300
Lisa Simoneau is the Associate Director at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) in San Antonio. With an FY18 budget of $755 million, she is responsible for the daily operations for Medical Administration Service, Prosthetics, Logistics, Human Resources Management Service, and Fiscal. She has 29 years of VA experience. Prior to joining STVHCS, she served as the Assistant Director at the Miami VA Healthcare System. Her background includes healthcare administration, logistics, contracting, strategic and capital planning, budgeting, data center management, quality assurance, data analysis and management, and construction project management.
Ms. Simoneau completed a year-long Health Care Executive Fellowship at the CAPT James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, IL, an integrated Navy / VA medical facility serving Veterans, active duty members, and dependents. She also worked for the Office of Information & Technology (VA OI&T) for five years at its inception as the Associate Director of the Philadelphia Information Technology Center.
Ms. Simoneau is from Lewiston, Maine and attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA including a year abroad at the University of Reading, England. She has a Masters of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. She completed the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program in 2018. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and a graduate of Leadership VA 2006. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, needlework, walking, and exploring new places. She travels to Maine as often as possible to recharge.
Julianne Flynn, M.D. | 210-617-5140
Chief of Staff
Dr. Julianne Flynn is the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS), Chief of Staff. Dr. Flynn is currently serving our country as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves where she is Individual Medical Augmentee to the Deputy Director, Medical Operations and Research, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. Dr. Flynn is board certified in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychosomatics and on staff with University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Flynn received her Medical Degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine in 1996 and completed an Internal Medicine and Psychiatry residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2001. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Throughout her career, Dr. Flynn has held several positions in medicine and public service. While on active duty, she served as Chief of Psychiatric Consultation Liaison Service, Deputy Chief, Intensive Addictions Services, and Site Associate Residency Training Director for the National Capital Consortium Psychiatry Residency for Andrews AFB. In 2003 she deployed as a Critical Care Air Transport (CCAT) physician as part of the 447th EMEDS, and then assumed the role of Chief of the Emergency Services at 447th EMEDS, Baghdad, Iraq. In June 2004, she was selected as Deputy Residency Training Director for the UTHSCSA/SAUSHEC Psychiatry Residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center. In 2007, she left active duty and joined STVHCS where she has held positions as Substance Abuse Treatment Program Medical Director and Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health until she was selected as STVHCS Chief of Staff in August, 2010.
Valerie Rodriguez-Yu | (210) 617-5300
Associate Director for Patient Care Services (Nurse Executive)
Ms. Rodriguez-Yu is the Associate Director for Patient Care Services and Nurse Executive of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). She began her VA career in 2003 as a Registered Nurse at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego, California. As a military spouse and through travels across the nation, Ms. Rodriguez-Yu progressively served in numerous roles in the specialty area of rehabilitation nursing. In 2010, she was selected as the Associate Chief Nurse for Polytrauma/Spinal Cord at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas. In her role, she was responsible for all nursing staff and activities within the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program, Polytrauma Network Site, and Spinal Cord Injury Center which included a 30 bed inpatient unit, outpatient clinic, telehealth program and home health program.
Prior to becoming the Associate Director for Patient Care Services, she served as the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Deputy Nurse Executive serving as the Chief of Nursing Services with over 1,300 full-time employees on two geographically separate campuses.
Ms. Rodriguez-Yu earned her BSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She furthered her education by earning her MSN at the University of Phoenix in 2008. As part of her professional progression, Ms. Rodriguez-Yu earned several certifications that are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Association (ANCC): 2006 Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, 2007 Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse, and 2014 Nurse Executive-Advanced certification.
Calvin T Leuschen, M.D. | (210) 617-5177
Deputy Chief of Staff
Dr. Cal Leuschen received his Medical Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1993. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry. He served in the U.S. Navy until 1999. He completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) in 2003. He worked as an Assistant Professor of Radiology at UTHSCSA from 2003-2008, specializing in Thoracic Imaging. In 2008 he accepted the position of Chief of Imaging Service for South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). In 2012 he was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff for STVHCS.
Trisha M. Lodde | (210) 617-5140
Trisha M. Lodde is currently the Assistant Director at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). In this capacity, she is charged with the overall management responsibility for Engineering Service, Environmental Management Service, Police Service, Safety Service, Voluntary Service, Planning Performance and Development Service, Office of Information & Technology, and Veteran Canteen Services providing directional authority to over 450 employees.
Ms. Lodde began her VA career in September 1996 at STVHCS in Surgical Service as a Health Technician in the Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic. She held several positions in Medical Administration Service prior to joining the Office of the Director as a Patient Advocate followed by the Performance Measures Coordinator, and Veteran Centered Care Specialist. Ms. Lodde served as Executive Assistant to STVHCS Director overseeing the Office of Patient Advocate and Office of Public Affairs prior to becoming the Assistant Director.
Ms. Lodde is a graduate of the VISN 17 Leadership Development Institute (LDI) Program and serves as certified mentor to various VISN 17 and STVHCS LEAD candidates. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Lodde received a Bachelor of Science of Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio in 2001, and graduate degree in Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science at Houston in 2007.
Yolanda Ruiz-Isales | 210-617-5300 ext.14841
Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services
Ms. Ruiz-Isales is the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services and Deputy Nurse Executive (DADPCS/DNE) of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). She served in the United States Army Nurse Corps for 27 years and is a retired Colonel. She began her VA career in 2012 as a Nurse Manager in the Surgical and Specialty Clinics providing support in the following specialties: General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology, Vascular, Cardiothoracic, Neurosurgery, Gynecology, Gastroenterology (Endoscopy/Recovery), Pain Clinic, Bariatric, Dental/Oromaxillofacial Surgery, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Podiatry and Would Ostomy.
Prior to becoming the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services, she served as Chief Nurse for Primary Care and Specialty Care Clinics from 2016 to 2018 providing managerial oversight for six outpatient clinics and seven community based outpatient clinics. In 2017, she served as the Acting Chief Nurse for Community Living Center at the Kerrville Campus. In this capacity, she provided managerial oversight to the inpatient units, long term, dementia, short term, skilled nursing, and rehabilitative care.
In 2018, Ms. Ruiz-Isales was selected as Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Deputy Nurse Executive. In this capacity, she serves as the Chief of Nursing Services with over 1,300 full-time employees on two geographically separate campuses.
Ms. Ruiz-Isales earned her BSN from the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. She furthered her education by earning her MSN from Louisiana State University in New Orleans and Master of Science, National Resource Strategy at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. She is a certified lean six sigma black belt.