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Advocate Health Selects New Southeast Region Nursing Leader

After an extensive nationwide search, Advocate Health is proud to announce it has selected Janice Walker as its Southeast Region chief nursing officer.

Walker will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for all nursing and other designated patient care functions and services for Atrium Health, which comprises the entirety of Advocate Health’s Southeast Region. Walker will lead more than 18,000 nurses at Atrium Health’s 40 hospitals and hundreds of care locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Well-known in the nursing field, Walker has 25 years of experience in health care and is a national speaker on topics including nursing retention and recruitment, workplace violence, transformational nursing leadership traits, service bundle care to increase patient satisfaction and driving quality through accreditation programs to promote care of patients who are part of at-risk populations. She has served in nurse leadership roles, including chief nursing officer and chief operating officer, in both for-profit and not-for profit health care organizations.

Walker’s first day will be Jan. 29, 2024. She will report to Advocate Health Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Mary Beth Kingston.

“Janice has a well demonstrated commitment to nursing excellence, which is something we pride ourselves on at Advocate Health,” said Kingston. “Our nurses are already nationally recognized for their innovations and how they are paving the road of the future of the nursing profession. With Janice’s decades of experience advancing clinical practice leading the way, we’re raising the bar yet again.”

Walker joins from Baylor Scott & White Health (BSW), where she has served as system executive vice president, system chief nursing executive and the executive lead of the BSW Healthcare System Nursing Institute. She also had responsibility for system pharmacy, radiology and lab. Under her leadership, all eligible BSW Healthcare System hospitals became “Magnet” recognized or “Pathway to Excellence” designated through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. National Magnet status is the highest national honor for professional nursing practice and Pathway to Excellence recognizes a health care organization's commitment to creating a positive practice environment that empowers and engages staff.

Walker was named to Becker’s 2023 list of “153 Hospital and Health System Chief Nursing Officers to Know” and was previously named to the “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” list by Modern Healthcare.

“I have long admired the work of nurses at Atrium Health, now part of Advocate Health, and I’m honored to become part of this transformative organization that is focused on providing highquality, equitable and safe care – for all,” Walker said. “Nursing plays a vital role in helping drive clinical outcomes and eliminate barriers and disparities in health care. We all deserve the best possible care for our families and I’m proud to join a health system committed to providing just that.”

During her 13 years at BSW, Walker served as chief nursing officer at several locations. Prior to that, she was vice president/chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian – Wilson N. Jones Medical Center, in Sherman, Texas. Janice also held nursing and operational leadership positions at Freeman Neosho Hospital, in Missouri, Slidell Memorial Hospital, in Louisiana, and at Tenet’s National Park Medical Center, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Walker has published thought leadership pieces on nursing recruitment and retention tactics, driving to zero patient harm, interdisciplinary team dialogue, driving service scores through programs such as open visitation, hard-wiring service and patient advocacy councils. A Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellow, Walker completed her doctorate degree in 2018 in health care administration with an emphasis on studying successful female leadership traits of executive health care leaders and holds a Master of Business Administration in healthcare management, in addition to a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

About Advocate Health

Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.