Two weeks after being named interim president and CEO of Houston’s Memorial Hermann Health System, Charles Stokes, MHA, has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis by the hospital’s board.
Already the system’s chief operating officer, he took over the president and CEO role when Benjamin Chu, MD, abruptly announced his departure on June 19 to “pursue my passion in health and public policy.” Chu had been in the positions for just one year following the 14-year tenure of Dan Wolterman, MBA, MHA.
Stokes comes to the job with plenty of C-suite experience beyond his time at Memorial Hermann. His past roles include president of the 650-bed North Mississippi Medical Center, executive vice president and system operations officer at St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock, Arkansas and executive vice president, COO and chief nurse executive at Huntsville Hospital System in Alabama. He’s currently serving a term as chairman of the board of governors for American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a master's degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
“At a time when our industry is facing unprecedented challenges with declining reimbursements and escalating costs, I have every confidence that Chuck has the experience and visionary leadership necessary to navigate our organization through this period of change and uncertainty,” Memorial Hermann Board Chair Deborah M. Cannon said in a statement.
Since 2008, Stokes had been overseeing operations for the system, the largest in the Houston area, encompassing 17 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient clinics, 25,000 employees and 5,500 affiliated physicians.
“I am honored and humbled to work alongside our exceptional employees and talented medical staff as we fulfill our mission to advance the health of all Houstonians," Stokes said. "In its 110 years of faithfully serving this community, Memorial Hermann has grown to become a nationally recognized organization with an unrelenting focus on providing enhanced access to the safest, highest-quality care, all at an affordable cost.”