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Debra Burke, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, is senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has responsibility for advancing clinical practice, research, education and community service, and oversight for a staff of 5,600 nurses, health professionals and support personnel.
Since joining the staff at Mass General, Dr. Burke has assumed clinical, teaching and administrative roles within a variety of clinical services. She most recently served as associate chief nurse for Women and Children, Mental Health, Cancer Center and Community Health Nursing Practice at the hospital, where she was responsible for ensuring excellence in patient- and family-centered care and professional nursing practice. In this role, she provided leadership within several key initiatives, including the Autism Care Collaborative, a hospital-wide plan to ensure excellence in the care of adults with autism; and the creation of a Partners Nursing Agency, designed to improve patient care and reduce costs. As a member of the Executive Committee on Community Health, she helped create the strategic direction for the hospital’s community health initiatives to elevate care for the most vulnerable patients and families.
Her body of research focuses on leadership characteristics that support the professional practice environment and nurse satisfaction. She serves as an expert advisor to doctor of nursing practice students as an affiliate associate professor at Northeastern University. Dr. Burke is a member of the Board of Trustees of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. MGH Cancer Center honored her with their “one hundred” award in recognition of her personal efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Dr. Burke earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees from Northeastern University and her Master of Business Administration from Salem State University.