Photo of Debbie Hemker

Debbie Hemker

Chief Operating Officer, Kaiser Permanente

Debbie Hemker is a Chief Operating Officer delivering high-level operations expertise to one of the largest integrated managed care consortiums in the United States, Kaiser Permanente. Debbie provides operational excellence, strategic initiatives to improve productivity and control costs, and a culture of change that moves from apathetic and reactive engagement to proactive management. Her game-changing processes have resulted in the lowest injury rate for all of Kaiser Permanente.
While leading various medical facilities, Debbie trimmed costs while reducing regulatory fines and penalties, improved claim’s costs, and eliminated operating room backlog by creating oversight committees to author new standards and innovative solutions. Her financial turnaround strategies resulted in the one of the lowest per member per month costs in Northern California.

Debbie led Hayward Medical Center to improved patient care service scores, a CAL NOC (the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes) award, and a Leapfrog Group rating of ‘A’ for patient safety (3 years running).

It’s been a thrilling year for Debbie, she opened a new $600M state of the art hospital in San Leandro 16 weeks before the proposed opening date.

Healthcare is a mission and Debbie is creating change in the lives of her staff and patients. She believes that caregivers should be protected, respected, and supported. In doing so they will be less likely to make errors, and more likely to follow safe practices. This leadership approach has built strong teams capable of accomplishing seemingly impossible results.

In 2013, Debbie attended the Kaiser Permanente Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University in Boston, MA.

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