Skip to main content


Memorial Hermann Snags Local Exec as Next President and CEO

By Steven Porter  
   July 18, 2019

David Callender, who was selected to lead Memorial Hermann into the future, has been working as a health system president in the Greater Houston area for more than a decade.

Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System announced Thursday afternoon that it has named David L. Callender, MD, MBA, FACS, as its next top executive.

Callender, who has been president of the nearby University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) since 2007, will take over as Memorial Hermann president and CEO in September. His predecessor, current President and CEO Charles "Chuck" D. Stokes, previously announced that he will retire this year.

Memorial Hermann Board Chair Deborah M. Cannon called Callender "a natural choice," given his experience in the Greater Houston area.

"It's clear that Dr. Callender cares deeply for this community and, through his leadership at UTMB Health, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to foster a healthier environment for all," Cannon said in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome a leader who will preserve and strengthen Memorial Hermann's legacy of serving Greater Houston with pride and distinction, making him the ideal successor to Chuck, whose leadership has been instrumental in helping Memorial Hermann thrive and flourish during an era of change in the healthcare industry."

Before his time at UTMB Health, Callender was associate vice chancellor and CEO for UCLA Health. He had several earlier leadership roles with MD Anderson Cancer Center, including executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Callender said in the statement that Memorial Hermann and its physician partners have been making strides toward greater healthcare affordability and accessibility.

"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," he said.

Stokes will officially retire at the end of this year, giving him time to work alongside Callender for a smooth transition, according to the annoucement.

"I believe Dr. Callender is the right person to help guide Memorial Hermann into the future," Stokes said in the statement.

Related: Memorial Hermann CEO Chuck Stokes to Retire This Year

Related: The Interview: Chuck Stokes as a 'Steady Hand in Houston'

Related: Memorial Hermann Names New CFO, Sets Off Chain of Promotions

Related: Memorial Hermann, Baylor Scott & White Call Off Their Merger Talks

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: David Callender (Provided/Memorial Hermann)

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.