Professional Achievement Award 2016
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, '84
MSN Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health, '90
A transformative leader, advocate and researcher with 40 years of experience in health care, Dr. Karen Bankston currently is the associate dean for clinical practice, partnership and community engagement at the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati. In this role, Bankston develops and maintains partnerships and collaborations with nursing and other disciplines by facilitating experiences that support an inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff.
She is also the president and CEO of KDB and Associates Consulting Service. Previously, Bankston served as the CEO of Drake Center, Inc., of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. Additionally she held various health care and nursing executive positions in Cincinnati; preceded by nursing and nurse manager roles at former Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, Ohio.
Currently, she is on the Executive Committee of the Board of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Boards of Interact for Health, the Legal Aid Society, the Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, the LiveWell Collaborative and the Children’s Home. She is the former chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Agenda 360, Diversity and Inclusion Team. Additionally, she helped change legislation for medication distribution to form the Charitable Pharmacy established by St. Vincent DePaul, and was a member of its founding board. She is founding Board Chair of the Center for Closing the Health Gap in Cincinnati.
Bankston was appointed by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to the Board of Trustees of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, elected to the governing council of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Long -Term Care and Rehabilitation and participated as a member of a national task force to assist the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services with identifying criteria for admission to post-acute care services.
Bankston has received numerous awards and honors for her research, advocacy and leadership, including the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Joseph A. Hall Diversity Leadership Award, United Way of Greater Cincinnati 100th Year Gathering of Heroes Recognition, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing 125th Year Legacy Award and National Diversity Council Ohio’s Most Powerful and Influential Women Award.
She has taken a leadership role in the transformation of the delivery of health care services to vulnerable populations by mentoring young nurses and African American young careerists.