District 7 - Debra L. Robinson, M.D.

Debra Robinson, M.D., Vice ChairwomenDebra L. Robinson, M.D.
Term expires: November 2022
Phone: 561-434-7481
[email protected]



Dr. Debra L. Robinson was raised in Flint, Michigan, home of the community school concept. She graduated from Flint Central High School in 1974, and Michigan State University in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in biology, with honors. Additionally, she is a proud graduate of Howard University College of Medicine, Class of 1981. Dr. Robinson is married to Tay Gaines, M.D. They are the proud parents of three sons and have three grandchildren.

Dr. Robinson completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Hurley Medical Center and McLaren General Hospital in Flint. In return for her National Health Service Corps scholarship, she cared for the medically underserved in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Pompano Beach, Florida. 

Her medical practice has ranged from emergency medicine in Belle Glade and Okeechobee, HMO medicine, and private practice overlooking the intercoastal waterway. She previously cared for veterans at the West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Robinson has been an advocate for a high-quality education for three decades. Her school-centered advocacy has included serving on various Parent Teacher Associations and School Advisory Committees / Councils.

In 1991, Dr. Robinson formed the Progressive Association of Neighbors, Inc. an organization founded to provide programs for neighborhood children. She successfully lobbied the City of West Palm Beach for a new North Shore campus summer camp. 

The summer camp provided activities for children ages 5 – 13. She later worked with the City of West Palm Beach’s recreation department and the City library to include reading activities in the summer camp. Additionally, she created and supervised an afterschool program, Academic Sports, at the North Shore campus. The program ran for three years, and tied the desire to play basketball to the need to be academically successful.

For five years, she served as the Chair of the Education Committee of the West Palm Beach branch of the NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization. She also held the position as the branch's first Vice-President. She was a founding member of the Coalition for Black Student Achievement (CBSA) and served as the Chair from its inception in 1998 until her election to the School Board. 

Under her leadership, CBSA wrote a 57-step plan to close the academic achievement gap in Palm Beach County schools. The Palm Beach County School Board adopted the plan, Achievement Matters for All, in February 1999.

Early in 2000, Palm Beach County residents formed A Better County Political Action Committee to work for single-member districts for the election of School Board members. Dr. Robinson served as Vice-Treasurer of the organization. By a 70% margin, the voters of Palm Beach County enacted the new single-member form of governance for the Palm Beach County School District. 

The constituents of District 1 who now had the opportunity for a voice, called for Dr. Robinson's candidacy for the District 1 seat. In September 2000, Dr. Robinson defeated the incumbent with more than 70% of the district's vote. Since that time, the district lines have been redrawn and Dr. Robinson is now the School Board member for District 7. She has consistently been re-elected and continues to proudly serve the children of Palm Beach County.

As a school board member, Dr. Robinson leads the charge on addressing the social-emotional needs of students and staff, fairness in the application of disciplinary rules, and the use of disaggregated data to drive the District toward increased equity.

Additionally, Dr. Robinson is a past President of the Palm Beach County Caucus of Black Elected Officials, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She believes that respect for the community is necessary in order to assist the community. She continues to work for systemic change while focusing on the needs of the individual student.

The School District of Palm Beach County