Executive Bios

Meet Our Leadership Team

Deborah L. Ryle, FACHE - Chief Executive Officer

Deborah L. Ryle

Chief Executive Officer

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

Deborah Ryle, FACHE, has served as Chief Executive Officer for St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center since 1996, and has been affiliated with St. David’s HealthCare since 1984. Prior to joining the leadership team in Round Rock, Ms. Ryle served as Senior Vice President for St. David’s Rehabilitation Center and St. David’s Pavilion in Austin.

In establishing St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center as a comprehensive health care provider for Williamson County and adjacent areas, Ms. Ryle directed capital improvement projects in excess of $100 million and spearheaded the growth of the medical staff to over 950 physicians representing virtually every medical specialty. An active fundraiser, Ms. Ryle has developed programs to support community nonprofit and governmental agencies. Her efforts within St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center have propelled the hospital to a patient satisfaction ranking within the top 2 percent of all HCA facilities.

Ms. Ryle is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Trinity University.

Michelle Hays

Michelle Hays

Chief Financial Officer

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

Michelle Hays is chief financial officer of both St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Prior to assuming this role, Hays served for seven years as chief financial officer of Heart Hospital of Austin, during which time she helped lead the hospital through the acquisition by St. David’s HealthCare.

Hays has more than 20 years of combined hospital financial management and public accounting experience. Prior to joining Heart Hospital of Austin, she served as chief financial officer for Louisiana Heart Hospital and also as a regional chief financial officer for a long-term acute care hospital company in the Shreveport and Austin markets. Before entering the healthcare industry, Hays spent five years in public accounting as an auditor.

Hays is actively involved with the American Heart Association. She is a member of the Circle of Red and has served for several years on the executive leadership team for the Heart Ball.

Nikki Sikes - Chief Operating Officer

Nikki Sikes

Chief Operating Officer

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

Nikki Sikes was named chief operating officer of St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in June 2015. Before joining St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, Sikes served as vice president of operations at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, a 315-bed tertiary care medical center, also within St. David’s HealthCare. In this role, she was responsible for leading a variety of programs and service lines, including laboratory, oncology and the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, environmental services and risk management, among others. While there, Sikes also helped bring the Bone Marrow Transplant Program to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center—the first program of its kind in Austin.

Prior to her work with St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, Sikes served as director at Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Group (A&M), a global restructuring firm that assists healthcare companies in crisis. At A&M, Sikes was instrumental in developing plans for long-term viability, restructuring and strategic assessment of a number of hospitals across the United States. Sikes also served as the vice president of professional services at OpenQ, Inc., an entrepreneurial technology company focused on providing solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, where she led business efforts in the company’s first year of operation.

Sikes held numerous managerial roles at other companies, including Ariba, Inc. and Free Markets, Inc. During that time she provided strategic consulting services, marketing and product management, among other responsibilities. Sikes previously served as an associate at Boston Consulting Group in Dallas, where she designed business strategies for customers in healthcare, consumer goods, telecommunications and manufacturing.

Sikes earned a Master of Health Finance and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Cynthia Nicholas - Chief Nursing Officer

Cindy Nicholas

Chief Nursing Officer

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

With more than 20 years of healthcare experience, Cindy Nicholas was named chief nursing officer of St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in June 2015. Before joining St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, Nicholas served as chief nursing officer at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Her responsibilities included line authority for all nursing and clinical operations, with supervision of director-level personnel across 13 in-house departments, including the facility’s medical and surgical units, intensive care unit, women’s services, emergency department, operating room, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, among others. During her tenure, Nicholas provided clinical oversight and led performance initiatives in sepsis, blood utilization and hip fracture surgery.

Prior to her role as chief nursing officer at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, Nicholas served as director of acute care services for the facility. She has had other executive and managerial roles at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville; the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas; Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia; Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida; International Air Ambulance in Florida; Broward Community Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.

Nicholas earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Florida International University in Miami. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of Miami. Nicholas is a TeamStepps master trainer, as well as a trainer of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (regular and healthcare versions). She also holds a nurse executive advanced board certification (NEA-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


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