Walter Banks Begins Expanded Role as Chief Diversity Officer

Walter Banks, chief human resources officer for market operations for Tennessee and Mississippi entities, is assuming an expanded role at Baptist to fill the newly created position of chief diversity officer. He has served Baptist for 31 years and is excited about the opportunity to lead this effort to support diversity and a culture of respect throughout our organization.

Walter will oversee initiatives and programs to uphold our value of diversity by creating a welcoming culture where God’s love abounds and everyone is respected, honored and has a sense of belonging.

Diversity is one of our values within our “Respect for Every Person” Baptist CARES Principle, and promoting diversity throughout our organization is an important focus. In 2021, Baptist conducted an extensive, organization-wide survey that identified ways to put these commitments into action. Elevating Walter into this role is one step, and another is creating our System Health Equity Advisory Council to promote health equity across the communities we serve.

In addition to continuing to work closely with Nancy Averwater, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Walter will collaborate with Hampton Hopkins, EdD, president of the Baptist Health Sciences University, to provide support and guidance for faculty and students.

Walter has held a number of leadership roles at Baptist, including human resources director for Baptist Trinity Home Care and Hospice and Baptist Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as director of Employment Services/Talent Acquisition for Baptist. Before being promoted into his current role in 2018, he spent 16 years as human resources director at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.