Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN has more than 30 years of clinical and leadership experience in nursing and community-based health promotion programs. She began her career as a critical care nurse and progressed into leadership roles. A strong advocate of patient-centered care, Dr. Toney is a national and international speaker known for her passionate, enthusiastic and inspirational style and her ability to get to the heart of the matter.
Dr. Toney is the Director of Quality Management at Nevada’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, Nevada Health Centers, Inc. (NVHC) comprised of 18 health centers in urban, rural and frontier Nevada. As the Director, she is responsible for ensuring high quality and cost effective healthcare throughout NVHC’s integrated practice of medical, dental and behavioral health services. Dr. Toney has come full circle and believes she has landed in the perfect location to combine her professional life and community passion which allows her to provide ongoing contributions in advocating to eliminate health disparities and inequities throughout the neediest communities.
Dr. Toney has a long history of public and community service. She was appointed by the Governor of Nevada to serve as a member of the Office of Minority Health and served as its first chair, where she provided leadership and direction for the statewide office. Her advocacy effects have advanced the national health policy agenda through various experiences including testifying before the Committee on Appropriations on the need for adequate funding for nursing education. Dr. Toney is the founder of the Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association now celebrating their 20th year. She is proud to have served as the 10th President of the National Black Nurses Association. She is a graduate of the prestigious RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows program and as a result created the NBNA Founders Leadership Institute, the NBNA Summer Youth Enrichment Institute, Obesity Institute and NBNA under 40 Forum. Dr. Toney works diligently on behalf of the nursing and health professions and is a member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition where she serves as a project lead to increase the number of nurses on community and corporate boards. She is the secretary for the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations and a former board member of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Toney participates with the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nurses Campaign and is the Chair of the Nevada Action Coalition which she helped start and serves as Chair of the Diversity Task Force. Dr. Toney is passionate about creating the next generation of minority nurse leaders and serves and a mentor to student nurses and experienced nurses transitioning into leadership roles. She has held positions for several national organizations, including the NIH Office of Women’s Research, The Joint Commission, FDA Nominating Group and Coca Cola’s Health & Wellness Advisory Board.
Dr. Toney is a strong advocate for giving back to the community and serves as Chair of the Rainbow Dreams Educational Foundation, where she is dedicated to the well-being of high risk underserved youth. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Links Incorporated. In both her professional and volunteer roles, she has been devoted to delivering and improving health care in under-served communities. Dr. Toney has been recognized for her contributions to society by numerous organizations including being selected as a Torchbearer in the London Olympic Torch Relay.