The medical team at Pediatric Rheumatology Consultants is dedicated to providing expert care for children with rheumatic diseases and other autoimmune conditions. Our providers are especially skilled at helping young patients and their families. We invite you to discover more about our skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate team members below.
Ruy Carrasco, MD
Board-Certified Pediatric Rheumatologist
Dr. Carrasco includes the whole family in each step of a patient’s care – from initial evaluation through treatment and beyond. It is an approach he learned while training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which has one of the country’s leading pediatric rheumatology programs in the world. Dr. Carrasco feels that when it comes to treating young patients with chronic diseases, it is important that his patients feel they have some control over their treatment plan.
Pro tip: “I often call mom and dad ‘the pilots.’ While my young patient gets to make a lot of decisions, he or she still has to check in with the pilot to make sure their care is going in the right direction.”
When not working: Dr. Carrasco says he still feels like a kid at heart. He loves watching movies and reading graphic novels. One of his favorite comic book heroes is Wolverine.
Quote: "Every one of my patients is a superhero. I love helping my patients and I learn so much from them."
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
- American Board of Pediatrics: Pediatric Rheumatology
- Undergraduate: Baylor University, 1995
- Medical Education: University of New Mexico School of Medicine, 1999
- Internship & Residency: Pediatrics, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, 2002
- Fellowship: Pediatric Rheumatology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), 2005
Shelby Brooks, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Shelby Brooks is a pediatric nurse practitioner for Pediatric Rheumatology Consultants. She is passionate about her patients and aims to instill resilience and confidence in every child she meets. Shelby received her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and advanced nursing degree from Vanderbilt University. Other certifications include Pediatric Primary Care and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Pro tip: "As a past rheumatology patient since the age of two, I have a unique understanding of what my patients go through. I am always here to be a listening ear and a supportive voice during my patient’s journeys! I want to see them succeed in anything they dream and for them to know there is nothing they can’t do."
When not working: Outside of work, I enjoy learning new things, reading, walking around Austin, eating Tex-Mex food, and spending time with friends and family!
Quote: "We set no limitations on what your body can do but advocate that you learn and listen to your body’s cues to keep yourself strong and healthy. You are capable of more than you can ever imagine, and there is no limit to the impact you can make on the world! We are rooting for you every step of the way and are excited to see the big things you do.”
Mary Harrison, BSN, RN
Mary has been a pediatric nurse since 2014 and an infusion nurse since 2017. She loves working with children and is often amazed by their resilience and powerfully positive attitude. Mary puts a smile on the face of everyone she comes in contact with in the pediatric infusion center: patients, parents, and fellow staff.
Pro tip: “Getting an IV can be scary. I have learned that if I can slow things down for the patient, explain everything as I go, and also give the kiddos some control in the process, it will be a lot easier for everyone.”
When not working: Mary loves to travel, hike, ski, and basically participate in any new adventure that comes her way. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree to become a family nurse practitioner.
Quote: “There is not a day that goes by that my young patients don't make me laugh!”
Amanda Ortiz, LVN
Helping others has long been a passion for Amanda, instilled at a young age by her mother and grandmothers. This passion is what set the stage for her to become a nurse. Amanda first started working in healthcare in 2008 in an administrative support role. She loved helping families and decided to grow her professional career in pediatrics. Amanda was a certified medical assistant in pediatric neurology for several years before completing her nursing degree to become a pediatric rheumatology nurse.
Pro tip: “Nursing requires not only a love for all people but a commitment and dedication to provide the best care to everyone around me, every single day.”
When not working: Amanda enjoys spending time outside, reading and writing poetry.
Quote: “I am beyond blessed to be a part of so many children’s lives, and I am forever grateful for the relationships that I have built through nursing.”
Keiko Schroader, BSN, RN
Being a nurse "has never felt like a job," says Keiko. She loves what she does, advocating for the well-being of her patients and their families. As an infusion nurse, she enjoys getting to know her patients and their families. Keiko received her nursing degree in 2013, working in the emergency department at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin before becoming an infusion nurse. She has a diverse background, having co-founded a startup tech business before she entered the healthcare field.
Pro tip: Keiko is a big believer in meeting patients where they are. That could mean getting down on her knees to give a high-five to a patient or exchanging her latest finds on awesome books for kids.
When not working: Keiko loves traveling and visiting all the many wondrous, unique corners of the world. She also enjoys reading, hiking (but not in the Texas heat!), swimming, skiing, and generally spending time with family and friends whom she affectionately calls "framily."
Quote: "Creating a personal connection and talking to patients at their level is so important to building trust. I like to joke that, in addition to expressing compassion and interest in each patient, it also helps that I can more easily see them at eye level – since I’m only 5 feet tall."
Schedule your appointment with the medical team at Pediatric Rheumatology Consultants today by calling (512) 494-4000. You can also book an appointment now. We look forward to seeing you at one of our four locations in central Texas: central Austin (coming soon!), south Austin, Cedar Park, and San Antonio