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DCH CEO announces retirement after nearly four decades with the system, successor named

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  • Written By: DCH Health System
DCH CEO announces retirement after nearly four decades with the system, successor named

Augusta University Health’s Katrina Keefer to succeed Bryan Kindred at DCH on Aug. 1

Augusta University Health’s Katrina Keefer will start at DCH on Aug. 1

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (April 15, 2022) – DCH Health System CEO Bryan Kindred will retire July 31 and be succeeded by Katrina Keefer, a veteran leader with 20 years of healthcare leadership experience in Alabama and Georgia.

Katrina Keefer

Keefer is currently the chief executive officer of Augusta University Health and executive vice president of health affairs at Augusta University. She will become CEO at DCH on Aug. 1.

Kindred, who has led DCH for 26 years as CEO, will remain in a consultant role to ensure a smooth transition.

Kindred has been CEO at DCH since 1996 and has spent more than 37 years in various administrative positions within the system.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at DCH over almost four decades,” Kindred said. “We have grown by leaps and bounds, brought new and innovative care to our community and become the destination for healthcare needs in West Alabama.”

In nearly four decades with the DCH Health System, Kindred oversaw the opening and operation of the system’s first cancer center, spearheaded the build of the hospital’s medical tower for outpatient services and physician clinics, navigated the expansion of the critical care and emergency departments and secured an affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“As a board, we are immensely grateful to Bryan for his leadership and his accomplishments at our facilities,” said Jim Harrison, chairman of the DCH Health System Board of Directors. “DCH would not be where it is now without Bryan’s tenacity and unwavering dedication.”

Before becoming chief executive officer, Kindred served as executive vice president/chief operating officer from 1994 to 1996; executive vice president/administrator from 1988 to 1994; and associate administrator from 1985 to 1988.

A Georgia native raised in South Alabama, Keefer previously worked 17 years in the UAB Health System, where she served as treasurer and director of financial operations. She then became senior vice president and chief financial officer of UAB’s Montgomery affiliate, Baptist Health. She became CEO at Augusta University Health in 2019.

“The DCH Health System board of directors strongly believes Katrina will be a transformative leader for our health system,” said DCH Board Chairman Jim Harrison. “Few industries face more challenges than healthcare, and Katrina’s significant experience at major medical institutions will help us meet those challenges head on. After a thorough process to identify a new leader for our system, Katrina rose to the top and was the unanimous choice of our selection committee and endorsed by the board of directors. We know that Katrina will take a collaborative approach to understanding the problems we face in our region from a healthcare perspective and will work closely with our local officials and community leaders to address those challenges in the future.”

During her tenure at Augusta University Health, Katrina has overseen a $1 billion health system consisting of an academic medical center, a children’s hospital, long term acute care and rehab hospitals as well as numerous outpatient clinics. Some of Katrina’s notable achievements while in Augusta include opening the first freestanding imaging center in the region, acquiring a multispecialty ambulatory surgery center, establishing an air ambulance service and introducing new high acuity clinical services and expanding the geographic footprint of the health system

“I will combine the skills and expertise I have honed during my career to drive change, continue to grow clinical services, enhance engagement and improve healthcare outcomes for the patients we serve in West Alabama,” Keefer said. “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 support of our local government entities, officials and community leaders because that is critical to success. From my standpoint, collaborating with these leaders will be a top priority to understand the challenges we are facing today, as well as those that come in the future.”

Kindred said he looks forward to working with Keefer during the transition, and he expressed confidence in the health system’s future under her leadership.

“I’ve been honored to work with the DCH team for so many years, and I’m so proud of what we have been able to do,” Kindred said. “It’s gratifying to be able to step away and know that this institution will be in such capable hands. I have personally known Katrina for many years and I know she will provide excellent leadership for DCH and will be a wonderful asset in our community.”

About DCH

DCH Health System is a public, not-for-profit health system located in West Alabama. For nearly 100 years, DCH has provided quality health care to the people of West Alabama. DCH Health System includes DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center.