West Texas VA Health Care System

Mental Health

Administrative Staff for MHS


  • Jesse Burgard, Psy.D, Chief
  • Julia Atkins Administrative Officer


Mental Health Service provides our Veterans with a wide range of programs that include:


Big Spring Campus Location


Outpatient Mental Health


  • Anthony Martinez, MD, Psychiatrist
  • Douglas Vaughan, PhD, Psychologist
  • Lalitha Rao, MD Psychiatrist
  • Thomas Dawson, PhD, Psychologist
  • Jeremiah Riggins, PhD, Psychologist
  • Marie Weil, PhD, Psychologist
  • Mark Sundy, RN-NP, Psychiatry Service
  • Dealy Blackshear, Suicide Prevention Coordinator
  • Tony Barrera, RN
  • Kristy Brooks, RN
  • Cassandra Shifflett, MH Clinic Lead Scheduler
  • Vacant, Local Recovery Coordinator



Veteran Healing Center - 40 bed domiciliary


  • R. Scott Scampini, Domiciliary Chif
  • Donald Rose, Program Assistant
  • Martha Simmering, RN
  • Codie Miller, LVN
  • Christina Carl, LVN
  • Brandon Greathouse, LVN
  • Margie Garcia, Health Technician
  • Tony Marquez, LCDC, Health Technician
  • Rhonda Grimmett, Social Worker
  • Nickie Starkey, Social Worker
  • Scott Willis, Recreation Therapist


Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP)


  • Arthur Palomino, LCDC, Coordinator
  • Vacant, Addiction Therapist
  • Jeremiah Riggins, PhD, Psychologist


Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)


  • Dave Viall, MS, Vocational Rehab Specialist, Coordinator
  • Jaime Nieves, Program Service Assistant
  • Steven Alcala, Supportive Employment
  • Dave Barry, Supportive Employment


Mental Health – Primary Care Team (MHPC Team)


  • Thomas Dawson, PhD, Psychologist
  • Martha Prieto, RN, BSBA


In addition to the Big Spring Location, services are also offered at the following Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs): Abilene, Hobbs, Odessa and San Angelo


  • Mike Davis, PA, Abilene
  • Lina Hall, PhD, Psychologist
  • Jackson Achilles, MD, Psychiatrist, Odessa
  • Willem Bok, MD, Psychiatrist, San Angelo
  • Connie Ponce, PsyD, Psychologist Hobbs/Odessa
  • Sara Panter, LCSW, Social Worker, Odessa
  • Jan Lentz, LCSW, Social Worker, San Angelo
  • Maria Carmen-Rivera, LCSW, Social Worker, Abilene
  • Kimberly Smith, RN, Nurse, Abilene
  • Lucy Jochum,RN, Nurse, San Angelo


Contact Information


(432) 263-7361 or (800) 472-1365

   Ext. 7301 – Scheduling

   Ext. 7320 – MH Secretary


Extended Care and Rehabilitation 
Primary Care 
Social Work
Specialty Care
Women's Health