Debra Gerardi, RN, MPH, JD

Debra Gerardi presents inspiring workshops and shares issues on difficult topics such as communication and collaboration with an uncommon clarity of understanding. I have seen her magic with audiences who may be reluctant to come to grips with challenging organizational, systems or interpersonal dynamics.

Deb always manages to tell a story or relate an anecdote that rings true from her own practice—- one that holds universal truth for all.
— Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean of the University of Virginia School of Nursing; Past President, American Association of Critical Care Nurses

I am a healthcare conflict engagement specialist and consultant providing coaching, mediation and facilitation services, conflict assessment and professional development programs to healthcare organizations internationally.

I am the Chief Creative Officer for EHCCO, where our focus is working to improve collaboration and conflict engagement among health professionals as a means of positively shifting the overall culture of healthcare.

Conflict Specialist & Professional Coach

As a conflict engagement specialist, I combine my professional coaching skills with a solid understanding of how to effectively help individuals and groups engage in ways that protect valuable work relationships while finding innovative solutions to difficult situations that may interrupt the work environment or undermine the quality of patient care. I actively integrate coaching techniques with my mediation and facilitation practice as a means of improving conflict competence.

As a certified professional coach, I partner with individuals, groups and teams to foster professional development and personal growth through the use of assessments, coaching plans, guided reflection and relational learning.

Health Professional

As a licensed registered nurse with over 25 years of experience working in and with healthcare organizations, I am familiar with the competing demands and increasing challenges that health professionals face. I believe that health professionals have a strong commitment to their desire to help others heal, and often the work of providing healthcare is not aligned with their deeper calling.  I see my work as an opportunity for helping health professionals reconnect to their greater purpose and engage in ways that are meaningful, productive and healthy. 

Attorney/ Mediator

As a licensed attorney and experienced mediator, I am familiar with the complex nature of the current healthcare marketplace and the constraints created by the legal and regulatory environments. I work diligently to create possibility in the midst of chaos. I enjoy helping senior leaders, physicians, nurses, and executives navigate these waters by working collaboratively to make sense of conflict, identify clear objectives, and develop action plans designed to achieve personal and organizational results in the midst of competing priorities, time constraints, ongoing conflict and dynamic organizational environments.

Educator/ Writer / Filmmaker

As an educator, I have provided interactive training and professional development programs for nearly 10,000 healthcare and legal professionals for more than twenty years. I have created online learning tools to help organizations promote professional conduct and improve interprofessional practice. I am happy to openly share learning resources with you to support your efforts to educate others.

I am an adjunct faculty member at the Hamline University School of Law Dispute Resolution and Health Law Institutes and a member of the clinical faculty at UCSF School of Nursing.  I was the primary contributor to the 2008 Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert addressing behaviors that undermine safe patient care.

As a writer and documentary film producer, I create content that highlights the need for collaborative approaches to complex issues. I have published numerous articles and book chapters focused on culture change, interprofessional collaboration and cultivating conflict engagement in healthcare. I work with experienced filmmakers and educators to create digital media, including documentaries and digital storyboards, that exemplify programs and people who are creating deep change through collaborative practices and community-based approaches.


I make use of applied improvisation as a key aspect of my work and I integrate improvisation techniques and principles into my coaching and consulting services. Trained at Second City and Bay Area Theater Sports, I embrace applied improvisation as a means of tapping into each person's capacity for engaging authentically and spontaneously releasing their creativity, insight, humor, and strengths. As a professional improviser, I have performed in nearly 300 shows at various venues including the Comedy Store, Upfront Theater and The Empty Stage in Los Angeles. I am a member of the Applied Improvisation Network and as always... I hope you think that I am funny!

Most importantly, I bring a spirit of fun, compassion and creativity to all of my work.

Certified Professional Coach 



I completed my coach training at the highly regarded Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara, CA and I have completed the PCC level of certification from the International Coaching Federation.


Coaching Philosophy

I am an integrative coach working to support professionals and senior leaders who seek creative approaches for adapting to the challenges and complexities found within the healthcare work environment. My philosophy of coaching emerges from a holistic frame that values the integration of body, mind, spirit, and society. 

As an integrative coach, I invite clients to consider all aspects of themselves and how they can combine their strengths and best qualities to make sustainable changes in their lives in order to better do the work they were called to do. 

As a Hudson Institute certified coach, I strive to promote the view that successful engagement in a dynamic and complex world requires that we work from the inside out by anchoring our efforts in our purpose, passion, strengths, and a commitment to ongoing change and lifelong learning.


I have provided professional services to over 100 leading healthcare organizations including: the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; The Joint Commission; the World Health Organization World Alliance for Patient Safety; the American Association of Critical Care Nurses; the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Medical Association, the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program and over 40 academic and community medical centers.

For a list of clients, please see the listing on our Clients page.

To quench your thirst for more information about where I have spent my time...

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Click here to access my full CV.