Keith Barber

Keith BarberAlthough Keith Barber began his career as an auditor, he was always drawn to fields where he could help people. Twenty-five years ago, Barber gravitated to the health care industry when a good friend initiated an interview with Uvalde Memorial Hospital in Uvalde, Texas, netting him a job as the hospital’s chief financial officer.

“I was always intrigued by just the human component of seeing a hospital in action and just how meaningful that actually was versus a manufacturer of widgets,” Barber said.

After spending 15 years at regional hospitals, such as Tomball Regional Medical Center, Barber moved up the ladder after joining the Houston Methodist system in 2012. He was named CEO for Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital in September. Barber said he hopes to continue helping the hospital grow along with the rising population in northwest Harris County without sacrificing the quality the hospital’s patients have come to expect.

Did you always picture yourself as a CEO?

I was fortunate enough to have started out in a small hospital—so even early in my career, I was able to really lead. And also, even though I was on the financial side, I didn’t live in the numbers. I realized that the way to create results for the organization was by doing everything else really well—by growing the facility, making sure that we have the best quality and making sure that we take care of our people. By doing all that, you created the financial results that you were looking for, and by [noticing] that, my interest started to transfer over into those other areas.

What do you hope to accomplish as CEO of Houston Methodist Willowbrook?

Houston Methodist Willowbrook has been on an amazing trajectory over the last several years. Having already been here and a part of this team, it’s really about continuing that same trajectory of growth and excellence. It’s about keeping up with the pace of growth in the community. We use the term around here “grow wisely,” which means that we don’t grow too fast, but we don’t grow too slow either. But it’s also not [just] about growing. It is an absolute commitment to make sure we stay focused on quality and also our service model

Has rapid growth in Northwest Houston brought about any challenges?

I wouldn’t say challenges so much as [strategies]. Certainly, [Houston] Methodist is very serious about staying in pace with the growth in the markets that we serve in the [Greater]Houston area. So the expectation for us as a system, but also in this market, is to continually analyze the market so we stay in pace with it. We’re opening up our emergency room on Hwy. 290 [on Nov. 3]—we’re very excited about that. That’s an area where we’re meeting the needs of the [community]. More and more we continue to hear [Houston area residents] want to be at Methodist.

How has the state’s decision to not expand Medicaid affected the hospital? 

We may have to adjust as the rules may change out there. What we spend a lot of time on is adapting ourselves for change. We’ll even use the term “turn on the dime” so that we can be continually committed to providing great access to health care for everyone in our community. That’s what we’re committed to, and I think we do a great job of that. As health care reform goes about and changes and weaves, our position is to stay ready.

View a map of local health care providers



Raveneaux Country Club was one of hundreds of properties that flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Cagle: Goal of Raveneaux acquisition is not to put an ‘ugly hole in the ground’

“The goal is to create something more along the lines of Kickerillo [Mischer Preserve] with beautiful park amenities—little fishing piers, boat launches and walking trails that go around it,” Cagle said.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County study on eliminating ride fares left both METRO board members and officials seemingly unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO board of directors say free fare 'not realistic' for transit authority

A METRO study on eliminating ride fares left board members and officials unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County.

Star Cinema Grill, a dine-in theater featuring ten theaters, two large auditoriums and an event space, opened in the area in October. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact)
Apartments and more to break ground in Springwoods Village

Following corporate developments and amenity additions in 2019, Springwoods Village, a 2,000-acre master-planned community located west of I-45 and north of Spring Stuebner Road, is expected to see construction of its third multifamily community, the groundbreaking of a new corporate campus, and dining and retail openings in 2020.

McGown was appointed to the position in June 2019. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Klein ISD extends Superintendent Jenny McGown’s contract to 2025

The Klein ISD board of trustees unanimously voted to extend Superintendent Jenny McGown’s contract term to 2025 during a Jan. 14 board meeting

(Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert tickets go on sale Jan. 16

Lower-level seating options are already very limited.

Burkes Outlet offers a selection of clothing for men, women and children as well as a variety of shoes, handbags, accessories, beauty products and home goods. (Courtesy Burkes Outlet)
Burkes Outlet to close store on Spring Cypress Road on Jan. 18

The store is offering 50% off all merchandise as of Jan. 15 and will continue to increase the discount throughout the rest of the week.

Texas oil and gas industry could see a major slowdown in 2020

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday.

HGA driver Derek King picks up a patient from David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring before transporting her to the Texas Medical Center. (Courtesy Derek King)
Houston Ground Angels seeking volunteers to drive patients to Texas Medical Center

Houston Ground Angels is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation between local airports and the Texas Medical Center for patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

After proposing two instructional calendar options for the 2020-21 school year and gathering public feedback on both, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved Option 1 in a 6-1 vote at its Jan. 14 meeting. (Courtesy Spring ISD)
Spring ISD selects Option 1 for the 2020-21 instructional calendar

After proposing two instructional calendar options for the 2020-21 school year and gathering public feedback on both, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved Option 1 in a 6-1 vote at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve will host a S’mores & Stars event Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
Support nonprofits, enjoy barbecue: 19 ways to get involved in the Spring and Klein community throughout January, February

Here are a few events happening in and around the Spring and Klein community throughout January and February.

Chasewood Crossing Three is a six-story, 156,000-square-foot class A office building located off Hwy. 249. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
NCS Multistage Holdings, Inc. inks lease for office space in Chasewood Crossing Three

NCS Multistage Holdings, Inc., an oil and gas technology and services company, has relocated its headquarters to Chasewood Crossing Three.

Back to top