Community Changemaker: Deb Stamps

As Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Deborah Stamps, Ed.D, MBA, MS, RN, GNP, NE-BC, is working to build on and operationalize Rochester Regional's unequivocal commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.

May. 4, 2021 3   min read


This commitment was recently recognized at DiversityFirst’s 17th Annual National Diversity & Leadership Conference in April 2021. With a theme of “Be a Changemaker”, the four-day conference honored talented and diverse leaders from a wide range of industries who have exhibited exceptional leadership qualities.

In addition to Stamps, this year’s awardees included:

  • Alissa Lieppman, VP, Planning & Culture, National Football League
  • Danit Marquardt, VP, Global Corporate Communications, Mattel, Inc.
  • Fernando Glaussen, VP & General Manager, Taco Bell Ibero-America
  • Johann Laville, Chief Learning Officer, Merck & Co, Inc.
  • Judith Toland, VP, Head of Scaled Solutions & Global Business Marketing, Facebook

A distinguished career

Deborah’s career with what is now Rochester Regional Health spans three decades. She began as a licensed practical nurse at Rochester General Hospital and then became a registered nurse. From there her career moved from Nurse Manager and Director of Nursing to Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital and Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic.

Deborah earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Monroe Community College and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from SUNY College at Brockport. She earned a master’s degree in the Gerontological Nursing Practitioner program at Nazareth College in Pittsford, a master’s degree in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. She is nationally certified as a Nurse Executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

As Executive Vice President of Quality, Safety and Innovation at Rochester Regional Health, she worked with clinical leaders to continually improve the system’s overall performance and ensure patient safety. She also served as the chief nursing officer (CNO) council’s representative to the Executive Leadership Team. In addition, she built partnerships with local colleges to increase the number of students choosing nursing careers and supported the expansion and diversity of the Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing.

Deb’s impact on our diverse community

Beyond improving care and career opportunities within our Rochester, NY community, Deb has truly been a changemaker in ensuring that diverse voices are included, listened to and equally respected – leading the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office at Rochester Regional Health.

In this role, Deb has set a strong foundation focused on patients, our staff, our community and the role that data all have to play in ensuring equity and inclusion.

One example, is the creation of the “Community Conversations” initiative, virtual meetings developed to discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, educate the community and provide updates/new information. With special conversations aimed at communities like the deaf and hard of hearing, LGBTA+, veterans, disabled, Latinx and more, the meetings provide information to every community and allow them to ask questions of top experts from Rochester Regional Health.

Deb is currently a member of the Rochester Academy of Medicine board of directors and past board chair for the Rochester/Finger Lakes division of the March of Dimes. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders. She is on numerous advisory boards such as Premiere, Medical Quality Improvement Committee and Northstar Advisory Board. She is a trustee board member for Genesee Baptist church and she also leads the Health Ministry program. The immediate past Northeast Regional Director for Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., Deb has been published in the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Procedure Manual, in the Medsurg Nursing Journal, the Critical Care Journal, and Nurse Leader. She has conducted research on the topic of Horizontal Violence. Deb has also published on the innovative collaborative nurse leadership model, the Chief Nursing Officer Council.