New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital is led by a team of highly experienced healthcare professionals who are passionate about providing the highest level of care available to the hospital’s patients.
We invite you to learn more about us below:
Meet Our Leaders
Jessie Smedley, Chief Executive Officer
With an ongoing desire to help others achieve their goals, hospital management is a natural fit for Jessie, who brings more than 20 years of extensive experience in strategic development and implementation to her leadership role at the hospital.
“Working in the inpatient rehabilitation environment is truly a rewarding opportunity because we can directly assist patients and families in their recovery,” she says. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our patients receive the care they need to achieve the highest level of recovery possible.”
Jessie has worked in both public and private sectors, holding positions responsible for strategic planning, operational management, acquisitions, marketing and development. She is serving as the CEO at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, which is part of Ernest Health, after holding several roles within Ernest Health. She was part of the organization’s start-up team in 2005and served as chief executive officer for eight years at one of its first rehabilitation hospitals in Brownsville, Texas. She moved into development and most recently led national marketing efforts for Ernest Health, a role she will continue to maintain.
Jessie earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Texas in San Antonio. A Texas native, she currently resides in Garden Ridge and is involved in numerous community organizations. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
Tim Zipp, Chief Financial Officer
With over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles, Tim has the expertise to lead the financial planning, management, analysis, and reporting initiatives for the hospital.
Tim has succeeded in achieving increased revenue and profit for several companies in the past and has proven himself to be a leader focused on strategic planning, development, growth, and implementation.
Tim earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Texas where he double majored in Finance and International Business.
Born and raised in New Braunfels, Tim is passionate about serving the community through his involvement in Wurstfest Association, New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Rotary and many other local committees and associations.
In his free time Tim enjoys going to University of Texas sporting events, especially football games. Family is very important to him to so he frequently spends time with his wife and twins. Tim is also quite involved in organizations throughout the community of New Braunfels. This year he dedicated countless hours of his time as the president of Wurstfest, the town’s German heritage festival.
Dr. Maria R. Lomba, Medical Director
Dr. Maria Lomba has led our medical services since we opened in 2011. She is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and she is passionate about providing the most effective treatment options for her patients so they can return home with as much independence as possible.
Dr. Lomba earned a bachelor’s degree in both biology and Spanish from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She attended medical school at the Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where she earned her medical degree. She completed her residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.
With more than 20 years of medical experience, Dr. Lomba is a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is also active in many professional and community organizations.
Lizbeth Chapa, Director of Marketing & Business Development
Lizbeth has known since she was a young girl that she wanted to work in healthcare. Armed with this long-time passion, she earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Lizbeth now has more than seven years of healthcare experience. Before coming to the hospital, she played an integral role in opening a non-profit organization that provides free medical and dental care to uninsured residents of Comal County. She served as the clinic’s director, helping to recruit, retain, and manage volunteer physicians, specialists, and dentists to treat the uninsured patients who were in need of care. In 2011, Lizbeth began working for New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, where she worked in case management and admissions before accepting her role in marketing and business development. Lizbeth has enjoyed learning the many facets of hospital operations.
Originally from McAllen, Texas, Lizbeth has lived in the Central Texas area for more than 10 years and resides in New Braunfels. She is an active member of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and a recent graduate of Leadership New Braunfels. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, running, spending time with family, friends, and her Peekapoo puppy Pancakes.
Susie (Myung-Sook) Coulson, Director of Pharmacy Operations
With years of pharmacy experience under her belt, Susie is passionate about helping our patients learn how to become healthier while using less medication.
Her background is diverse. Susie has served as an acute hospital intensive care unit pharmacist and nursing home consultant, as well as a director who provided oversight to project and research initiatives.
Susie earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in Korea and a master’s degree in public health from University of Illinois in Chicago. She then earned a doctorate in pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmacology from Texas Southern University in Houston.
A health-conscious eater, Susie enjoys tending to her garden, which includes numerous vegetables along with plums, figs, pomegranates, and peaches. She also likes listening to jazz and classical music.
Peggy Lee Schmits, Director of Nursing Operations
Peggy has been a registered nurse for 37 years and she has spent more than 17 years in rehabilitation nursing as it is her passion. Peggy was certified as a rehabilitation nurse in 1997, but she has a variety of career experience which includes emergency trauma flight nurse, open heart recovery, and home health.
Peggy is originally from Augusta, Georgia, but moved to Texas in 2014. She is a graduate of Georgia Regents University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Her passion for learning continues as she is completing her Master’s degree in Nursing Education from Chamberlain University in Cleveland, Ohio.
A medical emergency in her family sparked Peggy’s decision to enter the healthcare field, so that she could make a difference in the lives of others. This passion for patient care has afforded Peggy the opportunity to share her philosophy with the many nurses that she manages and makes a positive impact on quality of care at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Family is important to Peggy and in her free time she enjoys visiting with her children and grandchildren.
Kara Adams, Director of Patient Outcomes
Kara has eight years of experience within the Ernest Health system where she has held different roles from Director of Therapy to Director of Patient Outcomes. She truly has a love for all the patients she has been able to serve and throughout the years, Kara has been especially drawn to helping those patients who have suffered a stroke or brain injury. She believes that an inpatient rehabilitation environment is the ideal place to facilitate and enhance the most recovery following these events.
She says that “everyone deserves that chance at rehab, especially those who have suffered a stroke or brain injury.” The caliber of inpatient rehabilitation care is unmatched and Kara is known to be an avid proponent of its benefits.
Kara is originally from Indiana and moved to St. Louis for completion of her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and master’s degree in in Physical Therapy. From there, she has lived everywhere from New Mexico to South Carolina to Wyoming working for other Ernest Health facilities. Kara has worked at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital for nearly 5 years now, and lives in town with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys traveling and being outdoors in her free time.
Barry is a proud U.S. Army veteran who earned his doctorate in physical therapy from the US Army-Baylor University Program. With more than 25 years of experience, Barry has served as a physical therapist in a wide variety of settings including orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, acute care, home health, skilled nursing and emergency care. He holds a specialization in vestibular management & rehabilitation and LSVT BIG, which helps patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Barry is a member of various physical therapy organizations including: The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, The American Physical Therapy Association and Texas Physical Therapy Association where he regularly volunteers. He also serves as a Final Reviewer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and is a clinician member for the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
In his spare time, Barry enjoys traveling and spending time with his daughter.
Carol Stoltzfus, Director of Compliance
Carol’s passion for rehabilitative care began early in her career.
Carol served as a nurse’s aide during high school before obtaining her vocational nursing license and then a registered nursing degree. She started her career in orthopedics/neurology, but soon began working in a rehabilitation hospital with brain injury, spinal cord, and stroke patients. She has served in various capacities including case management and administration, bringing more than 30 years of experience to our hospital. She now oversees quality and regulatory compliance at the hospital, ensuring high quality care for our patients.
Carol earned her Licensed Practical Nurse(LPN) in Ann Arbor, Michigan and she earned a degree in nursing at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In her spare time, Carol loves to bake. She’s often known to make pies and cakes for special events and birthdays for the hospital staff.
Carlos Robledo, Director of Plant Operations
Carlos brings more than 17 years of experience in the maintenance and operations industry to the hospital, providing an efficient, clean and safe facility for our employees, patients, and their families.
Having worked in power plant operations to hospital facilities, Carlos’ experience provides him with the knowledge of proper reporting and documentation to ensure compliance with healthcare industry guidelines. In prior roles, Carlos has been a key player in helping hospitals become accredited through The Joint Commission. He also has expertise in building automation systems that allow a facility to run as efficiently as possible.
A life-long resident of New Braunfels, Carlos enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He also enjoys playing golf and barbecuing with friends and family.
Cheryl Smith, HR Manager
Cheryl’s passion for the hospital’s staff is evident through her role of supporting employee relations, compensation, benefits, performance and staffing. She brings more than 25 years of experience to the hospital, having served in various human resources roles.
Cheryl earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. Originally from Clearwater, Fla., she has called New Braunfels home now for nearly 30 years.
Cheryl’s passion for nurturing and helping people carries over into her personal life. She runs a food pantry through her church and also is actively involved in her church choir.