Memorial Hermann Health System CEO to step down at year's end

Chuck Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, will retire at the end of 2019.

Chuck Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, will retire at the end of 2019.

Charles "Chuck" Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, announced his plans Feb. 27 to retire at the end of 2019, according to a Feb. 27 news release from the health system.

Stokes has served as president and CEO since 2017, first joining Memorial Hermann in 2008 at chief operating officer, according to the release.

"I have been fortunate to serve Memorial Hermann for more than 10 years and have had the distinct pleasure to work alongside some of the most talented and hard-working professionals in health care," Stokes said in the release. "It's with profound gratitude that I prepare to embark on this new phase of my life with my wife, Judy, during which we plan to travel and spend more time with family."

Stokes said he also plans to teach and volunteer during his retirement, focusing on preparing the next generation of health care leaders.

As Stokes announced his retirement 10 months in advance of his planned departure date, the Memorial Hermann Health System Board has engaged an executive search firm to perform a national search for Stokes' successor, considering both internal and external candidates, according to the release.

"Chuck is a well-loved visionary whose unique style of servant leadership, insightful perspectives and unrelenting focus on quality and high-reliability have been a guiding force for our organization for many years," board Chairperson Deborah Cannon said in the release. "We have always known it was Chuck's intention to retire this year, and we are incredibly appreciative that he decided to make Memorial Hermann the last stop in his long and storied career."

Stokes will continue to serve in his current role until a successor is in place, according to the release.

"We intend to identify a strong and capable candidate who will build upon the momentum this organization has achieved while maintaining our deep-rooted commitment to safely and compassionately care for those we serve," Cannon said.

Stokes began his health care career 40 years ago as a registered nurse, according to the release.

“It has been my deepest honor to serve an organization with a century-long legacy of placing the health and wellbeing of its patients at the forefront,” he said. “Not only has Memorial Hermann achieved a well-deserved national reputation for safe, high-quality care, but we have demonstrated time and again to our friends, family members and neighbors across Greater Houston that we are dedicated to being there for them whenever they need us. Our commitment to this community will never change, and I’m humbled to have been a part of that mission.”
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