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Debbie Sears Barnard

Debbie Sears Barnard



  • Over three decades in healthcare in a variety of practice settings (including acute care, home health, hospice, and an academic setting; and in organizations of varying degrees of complexity. 
  • Expertise in lean systems thinking, executive leadership development, quality and organization improvement, application of human factors in designing for patient safety, patient and family advisory councils, and organizational development & learning.
  • Former Ontario Hospital Association faculty for the Effective Governance for Quality & Patient Safety program.

Ms. Debbie Sears Barnard’s consulting expertise includes effective governance & leadership for quality & patient safety; strategic planning; use of quality as a core business strategy, lean systems thinking; quality/process improvement; change management; clinical risk management, accreditation and patient safety. 

Prior to joining Joint Commission International as a consultant, Ms. Barnard was a Joint Commission Home Care Surveyor. She has worked in and supported healthcare organizations internationally including the USA, Canada, Bahamas and UAE. 

Professional Experience

  • Director, Performance Improvement, Clinical Risk Management and Accreditation, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Vice-President Process Improvement, Quality & Patient, Academic Health Sciences Centre, Northern Ontario, Canada
  • Project Manager, Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s national Safer Healthcare Now! campaign (SHN), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Executive Director Clinical Quality Support, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Performance Improvement Director, Dekalb Regional Health System, Decatur, GA, USA

Professional Affiliations or Certifications

  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)
  • Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement EXTRA Fellow (2013)
  • National Association HealthCare Quality 
  • Advanced Health Leadership Program - Rotman School of Management (2016)
  • RPI® Certified Yellow Belt, The Joint Commission


  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management & Development, National-Louis University, Atlanta, GA USA
  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences, National-Louis University, Atlanta, GA USA
  • Certificate Advance Nursing Education (Honors), University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Diploma General Nursing (RN), Bahamas School of Nursing, Nassau, Bahamas