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
Nick Nilest, Chief Executive Officer
Nick is originally from Louisville, Ky., where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and a Minor in Biology from Bellarmine University. He continued on to also receive a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Nick is also Neuro-IFRAH certified to treat and manage adults who have suffered a brain injury or stroke.
Nick started with Ernest Health in 2009 at Laredo Specialty Hospital as the Director of Therapy Operations. In 2014, Nick relocated to Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital as the Chief Operating Officer and in 2015 transitioned to Chief Executive Officer. In 2019, Nick relocated to New Braunfels where he moved to Market CEO over New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital and Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital.
Nick enjoys traveling, reading, sports, and spending time with family, friends, and his two Great Danes.
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.
Devra Jean Barfield, Chief Nursing Officer
Devra is from the New Caney area where, after many years working in the business sector, she decided to pursue her registered nursing degree from the Lone Star College system. In 2011, she graduated Phi Theta Kappa with her RN certification and an Associate of Applied Science degree and is currently working on her master’s degree.
Upon graduation, she moved to the New Braunfels area and became employed with New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, where she’s worked for the last 11 years. This degree, along with her business experience, made her uniquely qualified to handle the needs of both her patients and their families in navigating the recovery process. She went on to receive her Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse certification and has enjoyed many wonderful and fulfilling years serving this community.
When Devra is not at work, providing exceptional care to all her patients, you can find her spending time with her husband and family. She loves antiquing, crocheting, sewing or just relaxing in her back-yard reading or watching her gardens grow.
Lizbeth Pence, 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 fifteen 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 almost twenty 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, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
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.
Shane Haas, Director of Therapy Operations
Shane Haas has 20+ years of experience caring for patients and particularly enjoys the area of balance rehabilitation and fall prevention. Shane is a 1996 graduate of the Physical Therapy program at the University of Florida. He also obtained his Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 2002) from Texas Tech University where he received board certification as a Professional Ergonomist from the B.C.P.E.
In addition to patient care, Shane has created numerous rehabilitation products and educational materials. He began his Ernest career in 2015 as an inpatient therapist in Lubbock, TX at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital. In 2018, Shane transferred to New Braunfels, TX to become an outpatient therapist where he developed and implemented the Fall Prevention Program at the facility. He was then promoted to the role of Director of Therapy Operations in 2021.
He currently resides in Bulverde, TX with his wife and youngest daughter. He enjoys living near his kids in Austin and Houston. His hobbies include jogging, bicycling, and hiking.
Erika Gabler, Director of Patient Outcomes
Erika feels that a therapist can make the biggest impact with patient care in a rehabilitative setting, consequently seeing the most progress. She feels it’s rewarding to get to know patients and their families and to follow them daily throughout their journeys toward recovery and returning home.
A licensed physical therapist for nearly 18 years, Erika joined New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in 2016. She says she was excited for the opportunity because of the hospital’s excellent reputation among her colleagues for patient care.
Erika earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in physical therapy from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She has specialized training in manual therapy techniques, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and total joint replacement rehabilitation. She has worked in rehabilitation, hospital-based and privately owned outpatient clinics, and in home health settings.
Erika has lived in New Braunfels for more than 23 years. When she’s not working, she can be found running, walking her dogs, practicing yoga, or reading. She enjoys spending time with her three children and parents, often taking weekend trips together.
Leslie Schubert, Director of Compliance
Leslie is a native Texan and has been a registered nurse for 23 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and completed her Master of Science degree in nursing leadership and management from the University of Texas at Arlington. Leslie spent 18 years as a critical care nurse specializing in cardiac medicine and surgery. The most recent five years she has worked in nursing management utilizing authentic and servant leadership styles.
Leslie started with Ernest Health in 2020 with a goal to focus on quality, patient-centered care in the post-acute setting.
In her spare time, Leslie enjoys hiking, kayaking, fishing, cooking, and spending time with her family.
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 Director
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.