Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate.
As System Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Ochsner Health, Deborah Grimes plays a leading role in the organization’s workforce and employee strategy. She is responsible for developing policies and practices that promote focused attention to diversity and inclusion matters including recruitment, retention, workforce planning and career development. Grimes also works within and across the communities Ochsner serves to emphasize the need to reduce disparate health outcomes and improve healthcare equity for all Ochsner patients.
Since joining the Ochsner team in 2020, Grimes has driven the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts forward by building regional teams and developing global and local opportunities to connect with the diverse communities it serves. She is also the leader of Ochsner’s Employee Resource Groups which celebrate differences and cultivate a spirit of inclusion within and outside of the organization.
Prior to her role at Ochsner, Grimes served as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System’s first chief diversity officer. She brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience in diversity and inclusion, quality and compliance from her more than 33-year career at UAB. Originally trained as a nurse followed by serving as a risk management healthcare attorney, Grimes also has held several executive leadership positions at UAB Hospital, including director of Joint Commission/Quality Resources, Vice President of Quality/Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer before being appointed to Chief Diversity Officer.
Grimes is a member and leader of several professional groups, including Black Nurses Association, Society of Human Resources, Birmingham Society of Human Resources, Healthcare Compliance Association and the National Association Society of Healthcare Executives. She was also named one of the 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine.