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image of Debora Simmons, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN

Debora Simmons, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN

Assistant Professor

Department of Clinical and Health Informatics

Contact | 713-500-3900

Debora Simmons, PhD, RN, CCNS is an advanced practice nurse in critical and acute care with an extensive background in technology and complex patient care systems. Her career has focused on healthcare quality and safety as an educator, leader, researcher and patient advocate.

Her leadership roles have included Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer of Catholic Health Initiatives St. Luke’s Health System and Executive Director of the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making at SBMI. Simmons was an investigator for the Institute of Healthcare Excellence at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the University Of Texas Center Of Excellence for Patient Safety Research and Practice funded by the Agency for Healthcare research and Quality. Currently her research focuses on environmental influences in safety and error analysis in electronic health records.

She serves on the Education and Disciplinary Advisory Committee for the Texas Board of Nursing. She is a subject matter expert for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Simmons is trustee of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and a board member of the National Healthcare Diversity Board.

Dr. Simmons is a Virginia Henderson Fellow of Sigma Theta Tau and a Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholar. She has an associate nursing degree from San Jacinto College and a bachelor of science in nursing from Texas Woman’s University. Simmons attended UTHealth’s Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing and earned her M.S. in Nursing in 1999 and in 2011, she was awarded her doctoral degree in nursing science from Texas Woman’s University.

“There has never been a more urgent call for healthcare to gain skills in informatics. The healthcare reform efforts, the financial drivers and the health of populations call for a deep understanding of informatics to solve the issues. Students at SBMI are uniquely poised to contribute to the health and well being of current and future patients by applying the skills they develop to real world solutions.”


  • PhD, Nursing Science, 2011, Texas Woman’s University
  • MS, Nursing, 1999, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing
  • BS, Nursing, 1990, Texas Woman’s University
  • Associate Degree in Nursing, 1987, San Jacinto College

Areas of Expertise

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Clinical Effectiveness
  • Regulation

Staff Support

Lisa Salazar | 956-452-1269