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David Callender is new president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health

He succeeds Chuck Stokes, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Following a nationwide search, Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas, has announced the appointment of Dr. David L. Callender as its next president and CEO, effective Sept. 1.

He succeeds current president and CEO, Charles "Chuck" D. Stokes, who has led the organization since June 2017. Stokes worked for nearly a decade as the system's chief operating officer.

Officially retiring at the end of the year, Stokes will work with Callender over the coming months to effectively transition his role. 

Callender is an accomplished physician executive with significant experience leading academic health systems, the health system said. He has deep roots in the Houston community, serving since 2007 as president of the University of Texas Medical Branch, UTMB Health.

After Hurricane Ike caused more than $1 billion in damage to the university's Galveston campus in 2008,  Callender led UTMB's reconstruction and revitalization effort which resulted in building a more resilient infrastructure.
Under Callender's leadership, UTMB Health also developed new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat illness through world-class research and improved access to quality, evidence-based healthcare.

A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Callender trained in Houston, receiving his medical degree from, and completing, his residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed an oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and an MBA at the University of Houston, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Before assuming the presidency of UTMB Health, Callender served as associate vice chancellor and chief executive officer for UCLA Health from 2004 to 2007. He previously served in several leadership roles over more than 20 years with MD Anderson, culminating in his position as executive vice president and chief operating officer.


"Memorial Hermann, together with its physician partners, is doing great work to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible for the residents of Greater Houston," Callender said. "I have been inspired by Memorial Hermann's efforts to bring value-based, more personalized care to our communities, and I'm excited and honored to now help lead the way as we work to extend those efforts by delivering exceptional patient experiences and improving outcomes for all."

"Dr. Callender is a natural choice for this role given his exceptional track record in the Greater Houston region expanding access to care and advancing groundbreaking research to help people get healthy and stay healthy," said Memorial Hermann Board Chair Deborah M. Cannon.

"It's been such a privilege to serve Memorial Hermann and this community for more than a decade," Stokes said. "As I near retirement, I'm pleased to hand over the reins to Dr. Callender, a trusted and experienced healthcare leader with a passion for creating healthier communities. I believe Dr. Callender is the right person to help guide Memorial Hermann into the future."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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