About Deb

My story

Like each of my clients, my background is unique. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, working full time through high school to finance my education. I experienced the tragic loss of a parent at a young age, became a ballet prodigy in my teens, advanced my career from administrative assistant to executive, survived cancer and persevered through post-treatment “chemo brain”. I’ve reinvented my career and my way of living in mid-life. 

Compelled in the aftermath of cancer treatment to transform my professional and personal life, I have a particular interest in working with leaders whose executive functions, professional, and personal identity have been impacted by injury, illness, or chemo brain.

My passion is to help my clients use their unique life experiences to adapt, achieve and flourish both at work and in life.    

 My “happy place” is in my kitchen cooking for family.  I love hiking and enjoying other outdoor activities with my husband and our dog at home in Rhode Island, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the US National Parks.  I feed my appetite for continuous learning through reading, yoga and adventure travel. My mantra is “when was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Professional Experience

As a Regional Vice President for Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), Debra was responsible for directing strategy and business planning, administration, operations, and finances for SCA’s ambulatory surgery centers in New England, and for the company’s regional growth through partnerships with physicians, health systems, and health plans, developing new facilities and facilitating mergers and acquisitions.  

Prior to joining SCA, Debra was the Executive Director for the Department of Surgery, the Transplant Center, and the Digestive Healthcare Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGH/MGPO). In 16 years in this role, she directed all strategic, administrative, operational, educational, research, financial and strategic and business planning aspects of the Department of Surgery and its eleven divisions, including physician group practices, educational programs, research laboratories, and clinical programs. Deb was instrumental in establishing the Department’s 110+ physician practice, creating strategic partnerships with community hospitals, launching new education and research programs, and establishing multidisciplinary centers of excellence, resulting in an increase in the Department’s clinical and research revenues by nearly 140% over five years.  She was also an instructor in the MGH/MGPO Business Planning and Development course for physician leadership. 

Deb began her career in the M. Judah Folkman, M.D. Surgical Research Laboratories at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. A real-life Working Girl, she was promoted from administrative assistant to manager of the 100-person department in six months.  Subsequently, she was an Associate for Health Management Associates, Inc., where she provided practice management services and project-based consulting to physician groups.  Debra then joined Massachusetts General Hospital where she served as Administrative Director for Pediatric Surgical Services and the Knight Surgical Research Laboratory for two years during which she was also Project Manager for the Operating Room Services process improvement program, before being promoted to lead the Department of Surgery.

Education

Debra completed her coach certification at the Gestalt International Study Center in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and achieved the Associate Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Finance from Boston College.

Affiliations

Deb is the Executive Coach for the Boston College Masters of Healthcare Administration program, whose students are working full-time in a variety of health care settings and roles.  As the Executive Coach, she supports students enrolled in the program in crafting and implementing plans for their professional development and career success.

Debra is a member of the International Coach Federation, Institute of Coaching,  American College of Healthcare Executives, and AWE (Advancing Women's and Workplace Excellence).


HOW I'M Challenging myself

  • Completing a seven-month intensive program in Conversational Intelligence® 

  • Applying to a doctoral program 

  • Returning to the ballet studio after 35 years! 

  • Writing a blog 

  • Climbed Mount Washington (twice!) 

  • Practicing meditation and yoga 

  • Following The Artist's Way

Books THAT InSPIRED AND HELPED ME GROW

  • The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin 

  • The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown 

  • The Grace Trail by Anne Barry Jolles 

  • Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance 

  • Presence by Amy Cuddy 

  • Manage Your Day-to-Day edited by Jocelyn K. Glei 

  • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey 

  • Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott 

  • Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander 

  • Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play by Mahan Khalsa 

  • The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 

  • The Art of Extraordinary Confidence by Aziz Gazipura

HOW I GIVE BACK

  • Volunteer coach and consultant for Empower Success Corps (ESC) New England, a not-for-profit consulting firm dedicated to enhancing the impact of nonprofit organizations 

  • Mentor for the ACHE Mentorship Program 

  • Participated in a medical mission at the Holy Family Surgery Center located on Rancho Santa Fe in Honduras 

  • Sponsoring a child from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPS), the orphanage located on Rancho Santa Fe