Our permanent staff consists of Certified Nurse-Midwives, Medical Assistants, administrative office staff, housekeepers, and a groundskeeper. We also have Nurse-Midwife fellows, Registered Nurses, and countless other volunteers that serve shorter terms, but we couldn't do any of this without them!


Sandra joined the Holy Family team in July of 2016. She runs a small family business with her husband and father in-law, but previously worked for the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services.  In her time with the county she helped to oversee 4 public health clinics that provided various services to the community. Her love for Holy Family stems from her personal experience with the birth center, as both of her children were born here. She brings a collection of work experiences, passion for women’s health,and love for her community to the HFS family. In her free time she enjoys traveling, listening to live music, and spending time with family and friends. 

Bachelor of Science - Psychology, Pennsylvania State University: 2005
Master of Arts - Global Development and Social Justice, St. John’s University: 2014

SIMONE PAYAN, MSN, APRN, CNM, Clinical Director

Simone Payan calls El Paso, Texas, home.  It was here that she graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, with a Bachelor's degree in the Science of Nursing in 2011.  She spent the next two years working as a labor and delivery nurse at a private hospital.  During this time, her passion for maternity and newborn care grew and she decided to expand her role as a provider.  In 2014, she applied to the nurse midwifery program at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, and in 2016 she graduated with a Master's degree in Nursing.  She was originally called to the Rio Grande Valley after applying for a 6 month fellowship at Holy Family Birth Center.  During this time, she developed a love for the people, culture, and surrounding area.  After her fellowship ended, she was granted the opportunity to remain in the area and work at a local private practice and in the hospital setting.  After three years, she has made the decision to return to her first calling in the Valley and carry out the role of clinical director.  After witnessing numerous women and families grow during their prenatal care, labor, and delivery, and experiencing it herself firsthand, Simone is dedicated to upholding the holistic, respectful, safe, and evidence-based care that Holy Family provides. 

Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, University of Texas at El Paso, 2011
Master's of Science in Nursing, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, 2016

Shawn grew up Ohio and worked as a pediatric nurse for several years in the Operating Room and PICU before attending midwifery school. She also spent a year in Central America where she volunteered at a rural clinic and small community hospital in Belize, and attended Spanish language school in Guatemala. Shawn first came to Holy Family as an AmeriCorps nurse from 2011-2012 and returned as a Nurse-Midwife in 2013.  After a year as a CNM Fellow and AmeriCorps volunteer, she worked at Holy Family part-time, gave birth to her first son here in 2015, and has now worked here full-time since 2016 as a senior midwife and mentor for our CNM Fellowship Program. She loves the relationships she has formed with so many patients here over the years and enjoys watching their families grow each time they return.

Associate of Science in Nursing, Kettering College: 2008

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Kettering College: 2011

MSN Nurse-Midwifery, Frontier Nursing University: 2013

Amy grew up in El Campo, Texas. She worked as a labor/delivery and maternal/child nurse for many years before returning to school to become a certified nurse-midwife.  She has done volunteer mission work along the Texas border, in Mexico and in Guatemala for many years. She fell in love with Holy Family in 2016 when she first came here as a CNM Fellow.  Because of her love for the Valley and Holy Family she continued to volunteer as a CNM periodically since 2016 and served as Interim Clinical Director for a year in 2019. She now works part-time here as a senior midwife, commuting back and forth to Fredericksburg, Texas where she has her own private practice and resides with her husband.  She has a wonderful, supportive husband and family who understands her passion for Holy Family and is grateful to continue her work here in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Diploma in Professional Nursing, Baptist School of Nursing, 1997

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Texas Tech University, 2009

MSN Nurse-Midwifery, Frontier Nursing University, 2014

Annie Leone, MSN, APRN, CNM, Staff Midwife 

Annie discovered midwifery while studying Spanish and Public Health in college at Ohio State University. Once she learned about midwives, she was drawn to the profession because of its focus on providing woman-centered, empowering, holistic care and building trusting, meaningful relationships with patients and their families. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio she moved on to study Nurse Midwifery in Seattle, WA where she first heard about Holy Family through the midwife grapevine, and thought it sounded like such a special place. She then worked for 3 years as a midwife in a hospital in the Bronx, NYC before coming to Holy Family as a CNM Fellow in Feb 2018. She now splits her time as a staff midwife at Holy Family and the Catholic Charities Respite Center in McAllen, Texas where she provides newborn and women's health care to migrant families in need. Annie feels honored to serve families at HFS and to live in the beautiful RGV! In her free time she enjoys community engagement, connecting with family and friends, spending time in nature, doing Zumba, reading, traveling, and being a Cleveland sports fan.

MSN Nurse-Midwifery, Seattle University: 2014


Elizabeth Reta, Billing Specialist

Elizabeth is originally from Donna Texas, has been happily married for 21 years and has three children. She moved to Wisconsin  when married in 1998 and while living there decided that it is never too late for education. She achieved her certification as a Medical billing and Coding Specialist in 2013 and is still working towards her associate degree in applied science for her HIT. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, drawing, listening to music and has been pastoring alongside her husband a small congregation since 2014.

Marylu Romero, RMA, Receptionist

Marylu started at Holy Family as a medical assistant student and was hired immediately after graduating in 2011. She has been a welcoming, cheerful face in the front office ever since! Our families love Marylu- she has even provided personal labor support and encouragement to several of our families during labor. She is a mother of four and in her spare time she loves going to movies, baseball games, and church with her kids.


Jessica Rojo, RMA, Administrative Assistant

Jessica also completed her Medical Assistant clinicals here as a student. After graduating in 2012, she began working here as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the front office. She was hired on as full-time staff two years later and has been with us ever since! Jessica has an excellent sense of humor and a positive attitude. She has six daughters. She enjoys spending time with them outdoors and taking walks on the beach with her husband.


Brittany Pena, Outreach Coordinator

Brittany started here as a general volunteer in 2016 and stayed as a full-time employee in 2017 as a billing assistant. Brittany has been coming to Holy Family with her aunt since she was eight years old and has grown to love it. She dedicated many of her summer breaks here, helping out as much as she could. She is very energetic with a great sense of humor. She enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, shopping, watching movies,  and has a love for animals, especially her dog, Bambino.  

Maria Pena, Facilities Specialist, Housekeeping

Maria has been with Holy Family since its early years.  She began doing housekeeping and facility maintenance in 1984. She has seen Holy Family transform and continues to graciously welcome the countless volunteers that make their way to experience the birth center and its community.  She has three adult children and enjoys her involvement with her church. In her spare time, she loves watching movies.

Damiana Becerra, Housekeeping

Dami began working at Holy Family in 2001 doing housekeeping work.  Her kindness and sense of humor is much loved by the rest of the staff.  Outside of work, she loves spending time with her family and going to church. 

Mr. Garcia, Groundskeeper

Mr. Garcia has been maintaining the grounds for Holy Family for almost two decades.  He grows beautiful flowers, keeps the plants freshly pruned, and always shares the papayas and Valley Lemons he picks off the trees with volunteers.