Callender has served as president of the University of Texas Medical Branch since 2007 and will succeed current president and CEO, Charles “Chuck” Stokes, who has served in the role since June 2017. Stokes, also served as the system’s chief operating officer for nearly a decade prior to his appointment and will officially retire at the end of 2019, according to the release.
“It’s been such a privilege to serve Memorial Hermann and this community for more than a decade,” Stokes said in a statement. “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.”
Callender received his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed his residency, followed by an oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to the release. Callender also holds an MBA from the University of Houston and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
“Memorial Hermann, together with its physician partners, is doing great work to make health care more affordable and more accessible for the residents of Greater Houston,” Callender said in a statement. “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 overall.”
Prior to serving as president of UTMB, Callender served as associate vice chancellor and chief executive officer for UCLA Health from 2004-07. Before that, he served in a variety of leadership roles with MD Anderson for more than 20 years, according to the release.
“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 health and stay healthy,” Memorial Herman Board Chair Deborah 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 Herman thrive and flourish during an era of change in the health care industry.”
The Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System has served the Greater Houston area for more than 110 years and is comprised of more than 6,400 affiliated physicians and 26,000 employees across 300 care delivery sites, according to the release.