Changes are coming to the management of DCH Health System.
After nearly 40 years with the Tuscaloosa-based medical center, DCH Health System CEO Bryan Kindred will retire on July 31.
Kindred’s retirement announcement, made Friday by DCH Health System, also indicated that his successor had already been chosen.
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Katrina Keefer, the current CEO of Augusta University Health and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at Augusta University, both in Augusta, Georgia, will bring to DCH her 20 years of health leadership experience in Alabama and Georgia from the 1st of August.
The announcement says Kindred, who has worked for the past 37 years in various administrative positions within the system – including the last 26 as CEO – will remain on staff in a consulting role to enable a smooth transition.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished at DCH for nearly four decades,” Kindred said in a press release. “We have grown by leaps and bounds, bringing new and innovative care to our community, and becoming the destination for healthcare needs in western Alabama.”
During his tenure with the DCH Health System, Kindred oversaw the opening and operation of the system’s first cancer center, led the construction of the hospital’s medical tower for outpatient services and clinics medical services, navigated the expansion of critical care and emergency departments, and gained affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“As a Board of Directors, we are extremely grateful to Bryan for his leadership and accomplishments at our facilities,” said Jim Harrison, Chairman of the Board of DCH Health System. “DCH would not be where it is now without Bryan’s tenacity and unwavering dedication.
His replacement is Keefer, a Georgia native raised in southern Alabama, who previously served 17 years in the UAB healthcare system as treasurer and chief financial operations officer. She then became senior vice president and chief financial officer of Baptist Health, a UAB affiliate in Montgomery, and then CEO of Augusta University Health in 2019.
While at Augusta University Health, Keefer oversaw a billion-dollar healthcare system comprised of an academic medical center, children’s hospital, acute care and long-term rehabilitation hospitals as well as many outpatient clinics.
She will now oversee the operations of the DCH Health System, which includes DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center, among other facilities.
“I will combine the skills and expertise I have honed over my career to drive change, continue to grow clinical services, strengthen engagement and improve healthcare outcomes for the patients we serve in western Alabama,” Keefer said in the press release announcing his hiring. “I look forward to working with the DCH team and building on what they have already accomplished.
“As a public hospital system, DCH has unique challenges, and it is imperative that we have the support of our local government entities, public servants and community leaders, as this is critical to success. From my perspective, working with these leaders will be a top priority to understand the challenges we face today, as well as those that will arise in the future.