UAB’s Deborah Grimes named to Savoy Magazine 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America list

Cover of the Savoy Magazine summer of 2019 edition. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Savoy Magazine, one of the nation’s leading African American lifestyle publications, has named Deborah Grimes, the chief diversity officer for the UAB Health System, one of the most influential women in corporate America for 2019.

Dr. Deborah Grimes, JD (Chief Diversity Officer, Health System Office of Diversity; Equity Leadersnip Council, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), 2019. Photo courtesy of UAB

Released this summer, Savoy’s  2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America list of African American women achievers impacting corporate America can be viewed online at

According to a UAB news release, Grimes, who originally trained as a nurse, has held several leadership positions at UAB Hospital, including vice president of Quality/Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer, before assuming the role of chief diversity officer for the health system in 2017.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from UAB’s School of Nursing, a master’s degree from the UAB School of Health Professions and a Juris Doctor degree from the Birmingham School of Law.

“A 33-year veteran of UAB Medicine, Deborah has served in many roles as nurse, attorney and administrator,” stated Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System in the UAB release. “We salute the diversity of experiences she brings to the job each day, and congratulate her on this most deserving recognition.”

Article in Savoy Magazine featuring UAB’s Deborah Grimes. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Along with her work at UAB, Grimes serves as a board member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation and is a member of the Black Nurses Association, Society of Human Resource, Birmingham Society of Human Resources, Healthcare Compliance Association and the National Association of Health Services Executives.

A prestigious honor, Savoy Magazine selects their Most Influential Women in Corporate America by screening information received from more than 500 prospective candidates in diverse fields. The selection committee includes the Savoy editorial board and community leaders with representatives from the academic and business arenas.

The committee reviewed information on executives in human resources, information, real estate, finance, investment banking, diversity, foundations, procurement, business development, marketing, sales, health care, manufacturing and law. After the committee reviewed all of the profiles, the field of candidates was narrowed to the 2019 Most Influential Women listing based upon their exemplary record of accomplishments and influence while working to better their community and inspire others.

The Savoy Most Influential Women in Corporate America edition can be found at the local Barnes & Noble bookstores.


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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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