South Texas 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
Leo Garza, Chief Executive Officer
Leo takes pride in making sure his hospital’s patients receive top-quality care and works hard to build a world-class team of staff who share the same delight.
With 13 years of healthcare experience behind him, Leo brings both clinical and administrative experience to his ability to oversee the operations, nursing care, and patient satisfaction of the hospital. A licensed occupational therapist, Leo has long taken a special interest in treating patients with neurological conditions and has extensive training in stroke rehabilitation.
Leo earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare science and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Leo is a graduate of Leadership Brownsville class 30, and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Historic Brownsville.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, basketball, but most of all spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Dr. Christopher Wilson, Inpatient Medical Director
Dr. Wilson’s 17 years of experience and specialization in treating patients who need acute inpatient rehabilitation equips him with the compassion and skill to manage patient care.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English/writing through the Honors Program at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Wilson completed his medical degree at the Chicago Medical School in Chicago and did his residency training at Marian Joy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of Biochemistry Review for medical students published by McGraw-Hill.
Dr. Wilson is married with one daughter.
Dr. Jumar Apolinario, Outpatient Medical Director
Dr. Apolinario exudes passion for helping patients reach their fullest abilities. He specializes in the treatment of acute and chronic pain syndromes, musculoskeletal disorders, stroke, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
A board-certified physiatrist, Dr. Apolinario has more than 12 years of experience in the healing profession. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from West Visayas State University and a doctor of medicine degree (obtaining Dean’s List) at the College of Medicine at West Visayas State University, Iloilo City, Philippines.
Dr. Apolinario serves as a member of the International Spinal Injection Society and of the American Academy of Pain Management.
Art Gutierrez, Director of Plant Operations
Art brings more than 20 years of experience to his work in overseeing the hospital’s everyday maintenance to ensure the safety of the hospital’s physical building.
Art earned an associate’s degree in applied science at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen, Texas, and then proceeded to earn another associate’s degree in respiratory therapy at Independence University online.
Art is married and enjoys fishing.
Antonio Rodriguez, Director of Human Resources
Antonio brings more than ten years of experience to his role in human resources, helping to maintain and enhance our human resources services by planning, implementing, and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies, programs, and practices.
Antonio is a graduate of Lippert’s Court Reporting School in Plainview, Texas. He lives in the area with his three children and enjoys fishing, hunting, and golf.
Vanessa Ramirez, Director of Pharmacy
Vanessa leads the pharmacy department in providing the utmost pharmaceutical care and ensuring the patient is our number one priority.
Vanessa’s favorite aspect of pharmacy is talking with patients about their medications and improving their outcomes. Vanessa has over ten years of experience working in a pharmacy. She has both clinical and retail experience.
Vanessa graduated with her Doctors of Pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin/UTPA Co-Op program. She is married with one son and enjoys running, working out, and spending time with her family outdoors.
Dorina Martinez-Madrid, RN, Director of Patient Outcomes and Case Management
Dorina brings 20 years of nursing experience and continues to have the same compassionate commitment since the day she graduated. She is committed to the well-being and best outcome possible for her patients as she advocates for them. Dorina leads the case managers to have excellent communication skills to interview clients and collaborate with other healthcare sectors and community services.
Dorina graduated with an associate’s degree in Nursing from the University of Texas in Brownsville. Her love for nursing has brought her to enjoy working in different areas such as pediatrics, operating room, school nursing, newborn nursery, home health nursing, and rehabilitation nursing.
Dorina enjoys her career in nursing and has seen multiple miracle stories throughout career. She loves teaching her two children, Alex and Nico, the importance of being compassionate in this world we live in. She teaches them that “even the impossible is always possible with God by our side.”
Aaron B. Cepeda, RN, MSN, CRRN, Director of Compliance
Aaron’s healthcare views are that every patient’s healthcare experience should be at its highest quality and provided with compassion. He believes that everyone in healthcare deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
Aaron leads STRH as the Director of Compliance as of 2017, with over 24 years of experience in nursing. He graduated from the UT- Brownsville system with a master’s in nursing administration in 2015. Aaron is also certified as a Rehabilitation Registered Nurse and takes pride in all patient interactions and care provided.
His employment with STRH began in 2005. Aaron has worked in many different clinical/managerial positions within the hospital. He is our former Director of Nursing at STRH.
Aaron seeks that all staff members are focused on providing top-notch rehabilitation services using the system’s guiding principles as a basis for their care.
Aaron loves spending time with his family and friends as well as playing a round of golf and going out to the movies.
Alberto Loya, Director of Marketing and Business Development
Alberto has 30 years of medical experience, including 25 years as a respiratory therapist. In his medical experience, Alberto has worked in different departments/settings from neonate, pediatric, trauma, cardiac, and rehabilitation. He also has had different supervisory and director roles.
As DMBD, he is grateful for his team that consists of clinical liaisons, a business development liaison, an inpatient admissions coordinator, and an outpatient admissions coordinator. The team always advocates for our patients and has a good working relationship with the medical community. Alberto is also grateful for the team and multidisciplinary approach amongst all of the hospital’s departments and our physicians for great patient outcomes and patient care.
Alberto enjoys the outdoors such as boating, fishing, hunting and golfing. In addition, he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and their dog.
Violet Raynaldo, PT, Director of Therapy Operations
Violet brings 24 years of experience as a physical therapist to South Texas Rehab Hospital. She shares her passion for patient care with her staff in providing compassionate and quality patient care to achieve our patients’ greatest functional potential.
Violet earned her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Emilio Aguinaldo College in the Phillippines. She has been part of the Ernest Health team for more than ten years.
Along with her husband, Peter, Violet enjoys the outdoors and fishing.