Debra A. Canales 

Executive vice president, chief people and experience officer

Debra A. Canales serves as executive vice president and chief people and experience officer for Providence Health & Services. Called to Providence in 2014, Canales is responsible for human resources, marketing, communications and community ministry and foundation boards. 

Prior to joining Providence, Canales served CHE Trinity Health for over 10 years, most recently as executive vice president and chief administrative officer. During her tenure, she guided the organization through significant change, creating synergy across a geographically and operationally diverse system in 21 states. 

Throughout her 25-year human resources career, Canales has worked in a range of global Fortune 500 organizations, including Hewlett Packard/Compaq Computer Corporation, Yum Brands/PepsiCo, R.H. Macy’s Inc. and Centura Health.

A nationally recognized leader, Canales was named a “Healthcare Executive to Watch” by Modern Healthcare in 2016. A champion of creating an exceptional employee experience, Canales sponsored a groundbreaking benefits program that provides free or reduced medical insurance to those employees most in need, resulting in Providence Health & Services receiving the Employee Assistance Trade Association’s (EASNA) Corporate Award of Excellence in 2016.

Canales continues her service to community and business as a member of the boards of directors for AMICA Mutual Insurance, The Breakaway Group-Healthcare Division of Xerox and the Inforum-Women’s Alliance Group. Canales is a certified executive coach with a reputation for helping executives develop transformational leadership styles. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and the American Society of Employers board. 

 A graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, Canales resides in Seattle, Washington.