Memorial Hermann names David Callender new president, CEO

David L. Callender was named the new president and CEO of Texas-based Memorial Hermann Health System. (Memorial Hermann)
David L. Callender (Memorial Hermann)

Memorial Hermann Health System — one of the largest health systems in Texas — named David L. Callender, M.D., its next president and CEO, officials announced on Thursday.

Callender will take on the role on Sept. 1, succeeding president and CEO Charles "Chuck" D. Stokes, who had been at the helm since June 2017 after serving as the chief operating officer for nearly a decade. Callender formerly served as president of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health.)  

“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 in a statement.

Memorial Hermann is a $6.5 billion non-profit hospital system with 15 hospitals including 11 acute care hospitals and more than 3,800 licensed inpatient beds. It has more than 24,000 employees and 5,500 medical staff members, and is also affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) Medical School.

RELATED: Merger called off between Baylor Scott & White and Memorial Hermann

Callender is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas and trained in Houston, earning his medical degree and completing his residency at the 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. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Callender previously served as Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer for UCLA Health from 2004 to 2007 and previously served in leadership roles over more than 20 years with MD Anderson, including the role of executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“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," Callender said in a statement.

Stokes will retire at the end of the year after assisting in the transition, officials said.

A registered nurse, Stokes was instrumental in helping Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital receive the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Stoke led the growth of high-reliability systems and innovation. Memorial Hermann and Baylor, Scott & White Health announced plans to combine into a statewide system in 2018, but the deal was called off earlier this year

At UTMB, Callender is credited with enhancing the training of the future healthcare workplace, developing new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat illness through research and improving access to care. He also led the reconstruction efforts of the university's Galveston campus in 2008 after Hurricane Ike caused more than $1 billion in damage.