About Astronaut EHR
Meet the Astronaut Team
Ignacio H. Valdes, MD, MS | CEO/Managing Member
Board certified in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) in 2021. In 1987 Dr. Valdes attempted to computerize his Father’s surgical practice with primitive database technology. That first attempt resulted in a lifelong mission to improve patient care with computers. Dr. Valdes has had a distinguished career. He has worked for such companies as IBM both as a NASA contractor and private commercial contracting, Compaq, and other startup Health IT companies. He is an accomplished Bachelor of science computer science from Texas A&M, Master of science computer science from the University of Houston. He programs in most popular computer languages. He is a practicing physician, board-certified Psychiatrist and Brain Imaging Fellow. He feels privileged to have served Veterans at the Michael E Debakey Veterans Affairs hospital in Houston, Texas using the VistA EHR. He has had many notable firsts such as the Astronaut VistA Installer Suite, VistA technical standards, the first VistA EHR deployment in the cloud, as well as numerous innovations to the software. He successfully headed 14 VA federal government software development projects achieving them all on time and on budget with 97 percent customer satisfaction. He drove the entire Astronaut EHR ONC certification process resulting in a successful completion. He remains committed to serving patients effectively, efficiently, and safely through the use of software. He founded Astronaut, LLC in 2009.
Janet Blazek Valdes | President, Managing Member
Ms. Valdes has a distinguished career as a trusted executive, operations officer, and human resources director. She brings over twenty years of experience in the financial services and legal industries, where she excelled in mid to large sized firms and built/grew emerging growth companies from good to great. With this depth of knowledge and experience, Janet joins Astronaut, LLC in Houston, Texas.
Recently, Valdes was the Assistant Firm Administrator and Head of Human Resources of a premier, mid-sized litigation firm, Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslet and Moser in Dallas, Texas. Valdes was the Director of Operations and Director of Human Resources for Carter Advisory Services and Carter Financial Management: An Independent Registered Investment Advisor with $1.3 billion AUM.
Valdes was the Managing Director and Director of Human Resources for Integrated Financial Solutions Group where she and the CEO built the company from the ground up. As former Principal of Stonebridge Partners, Janet marketed funds for venture capital and global private equity firms. Janet was the Chief Operating Officer at Corbin & Company Capital Management.
Valdes began her career at Goldman Sachs in New York City as a financial analyst. She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
As a Board Member of The Catholic League for the Poor of Nigeria, Janet focuses on raising funds to build a hospital and mental health facility in Odepke Anambra State Nigeria. A Leadership Dallas/Fort Worth alumni, Janet is also a member of the Harvard Business School Club of Dallas and the Harvard Clubs of Dallas and Houston. She is the former founder of IvyPlus, an Ivy League networking group.
George Welch | Senior Software Engineer
Mr. Welch has a distinguished 25 year history with Veterans Affairs as well as numerous years in the private sector. He has worked on nearly every aspect of EHR software through the years including surgery, scheduling, billing, and more. Mr. Welch has worked with Astronaut since nearly its inception.
Edward Hagood | Software Engineer
Mr. Hagood is an extraordinarily versatile and gifted software engineer who has worked with Dr. Valdes and Astronaut, LLC since its inception.
Irmgard Wilcockson, PhD | Director of Training
Irmgard Willcockson (Irmi) earned her BS in Biology from UCLA and her PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Baylor College of Medicine. She is adjunct faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston’s School of Biomedical Informatics. Dr Willcockson has trained healthcare personnel for more than five years using Astronaut EHR software. She finds helping everyone work together for effective and efficient patient care rewarding.
Diversity & Inclusion
Our people are our greatest asset.
Astronaut strives to embrace diversity and inclusion in our business.
We create an environment of belonging where employees feel welcomed, supported, respected, and valued. We provide an environment that encourages them to contribute their best work.