Lirios Pediatrics started as a conversation between a pediatrician and a pediatric nurse in 2021. They both recognized a need within the community for a clinic to care for the children who fell through the cracks of the existing healthcare system. The solution: a new nonprofit to deliver free, high-quality medical care to uninsured children in Central Texas. We aim to improve the well-being of uninsured children by providing them with free, comprehensive, equitable, and high-quality healthcare.
Lirios, meaning “lilies” in Spanish, is named in honor and memory of Dr. Lily Sood, a beloved Austin pediatrician and a dear friend. Her legacy will live on in the attention and care provided to every patient at Lirios Pediatrics.
Meet the Team
Monica Simmons, MSN, RN-CPN
Monica’s early career experiences after graduating with a B.A. in Communications include working at UPS, working as a licensed insurance agent, and working at the University of Missouri School of Nursing Department of Research where she helped prepare NIH grants. Returning to school to pursue a career in nursing, Monica became a Registered Nurse with a Certification in Pediatric Nursing and then completed a Master’s Degree: Leadership in Health Care Systems. She has worked in health care for over 17 years, primarily in hospital settings such as Boston Childrens Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital, where she gained both pediatric clinical competency and leadership experience. When not at work Monica enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, their dog Henri, and her parents. Monica and Joe welcomed their first grandchildren this year, twin boys born to their daughter Emily and son-in-law Tommy.
Claire Hebner, M.D.
Medical Director, President
Dr. Hebner has been in pediatric practice for over twenty years. Her experience is varied, having practiced in a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center, a small neighborhood clinic, and multispecialty private medical organizations. She has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings. In parallel to her clinical work, she has worked in organizational healthcare operations.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hebner has been dedicated to advocacy for patients and healthcare workers. She has worked with both Dell Children’s Hospital and Austin Regional Clinic, establishing evidence-based guidelines for the Austin Medical Community.
Her passion for healthcare equity has led her to co-create Lirios Pediatrics and she feels grateful and privileged to devote her practice to serving children without insurance. She dreams of a future where all children have equal access to medical care.
Boris Gritzka, M.D.
Vice President, Board Member
Originally from Germany, Dr Gritzka came to Austin as a visitor for the first time in 1989 where he met his future wife Angelika, a true Texan.
He returned to Germany to start Medical School initially in his hometown of Kiel and later in Berlin where Angelika joined him. They were married in 1993.
After completing Medical School in Germany, Dr. Gritzka completed pediatric residency in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine. He then joined a pediatric practice in Austin in 2001 where he still works as a pediatrician.
He has been involved in practice improvement projects, medical student education, and has held positions as Department Chief for Pediatrics at St David’s North Austin Medical Center, Assistant Professor at University of Texas Medical Branch as well as Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Medical School.
He joined the Lirios Pediatrics Board in 2022.
Melissa Burnett, M.D.
Secretary, Board Member
Melissa Strogatz Burnett, MD is a board-certified pediatrician with over fifteen years of experience in primary care pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her pediatrics residency at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Burnett is thrilled to be able to serve as Secretary on Lirios's Board of Directors and use her skills to advocate for children's health here in Austin.
Michele Hauser, M.D.
Michele Hauser, MD is a Psychiatrist who is board certified in both General and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She graduated from University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, completed her General Psychiatry training at Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, and a fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Timberlawn in Dallas.
She has been practicing Psychiatry in Austin since 1991. Previous appointments have included being the medical director of St. David’s Child and Adolescent psychiatric unit and The Oaks Treatment Center Acute Adolescent Unit.
She has been a consultant for a number of facilities in Austin including the Texas School for the Deaf and People’s Community Clinic. She has volunteered her services at Volunteer Healthcare Clinic since 2013.
Treasurer, Advisory Board Member
Jessica arrived in Austin to attend college after living in a variety of countries as a child. The exposure to a myriad of cultures illustrated how education, diligence and financial prudence are universal values.
Starting out in investment bank services and transitioning through retail brokerages, Jessica learned to appreciate the difference a fiduciary role makes in achieving intended results. The team approach at Austin Asset is one reason that attracted her to work here. She believes that the teams learn from each other’s experience and objectivity, and the company grows exponentially in talent and capacity.
In her free time, when not volunteering in her community, Jessica can be found playing with her dogs, hiking, biking or otherwise preparing for a backcountry vacation.
Advisory Board Member
Joe Geraci is a partner at Husch Blackwell with 20 plus years of experience working with healthcare clients. He sorts through the intricacies of healthcare providers operations to help his clients make sense of the industry's complex regulations. Joe’s clients rely on him to help resolve payment and reimbursement disputes and answer their compliance questions. He has created models to integrate physicians into larger healthcare systems and has guided home health agencies, physicians organizations, hospitals and health systems through complex mergers and acquisitions. Board certified in healthcare law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Joe brings in-depth background to his legal and business solutions.
Advisory Board Member
As a dynamic leader and entrepreneur, Carlton is a gifted change agent with more than 20 years in the healthcare industry; his skill set is vast. He is recognized nationwide for his experience in the areas of operations management, project management, crucial conversations, performance improvement, facilitative leadership and financial analysis.
A Podcaster and Certified Professional Coach, Carlton’s mission is to help individuals effectively add value to their lives instead of being overwhelmed by it, so that they can lead and live with confidence and authenticity. It is Carlton’s perspective that life is meant to be experienced, and not let the “struggles of the day” interfere with our joy.
Lal Sood, MSEE, MBA
Advisory Board Member
Lal Sood has spent his career in high tech, both in India and the US. He holds a MSEE and MBA and is the recipient of 13 US patents in chip design. His experience has included software development, healthcare technology and electronic medical records while serving at Motorola, Vignette and as a consultant for AMD. He was a pioneer in chip design and software development in India for multi-national corporations and founded Medical Software Solutions in 2001, providing technologies for health care delivery. He is now enjoying retirement.
Lirios Pediatrics was named for and dedicated to Dr. Lily Sood, Lal’s wife of 43 years.
Your Child's Medical Home
Lirios Pediatrics provides free medical care to uninsured kids from 0-18. Just like any other pediatrics clinic, we follow growth and development with well checks, give vaccinations, treat injuries and illnesses, and manage chronic health conditions. There is no cost for these services. We do not see patients who have private insurance or Medicaid.
To make an appointment for your child call our clinic at 512-502-5205.