Bryan Kindred, the chief executive officer of the DCH Health System, announced his retirement after 30 years in that role Friday morning.

In an email obtained by the Tuscaloosa Thread, Jim Harrison, the chairman of the DCH Board of Directors, alerted all medical staff members in the system of the imminent change Friday.

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Harrison said Kindred is stepping away from his leadership role after 40 years in the healthcare field, including nearly 30 as the CEO of the DCH System.

Harrison also announced that Katrina Keefer, the CEO of Augusta University Health in Georgia, will take over as CEO on August 1st.

(Augusta University Health)
(Augusta University Health)

The news of Kindred's retirement comes less than two weeks after he was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame and a day after area leaders held a frank conversation about the need for immediate change at the DCH Health System, which the Thread reported exclusively here. 

Harrison thanked Kindred for his service to the DCH System, which runs not-for-profit hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette, and said he will remain in the System in a consulting role.

"I am beyond grateful to Bryan for his dedication and leadership for the last 37 years, as he has navigated DCH through times of complexity and change," Harrison wrote. "During this time he oversaw a tremendous amount of change including the opening and operation of the system’s first cancer center, building the hospital’s medical tower for outpatient services and physician clinics, navigating the expansion of the critical care and emergency departments and securing an affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. No one has meant more than Bryan to the growth and success of our system. Because of this, I am thankful he has agreed to stay on in a consultant role to ensure a smooth transition for our new leader."

Harrison also expressed excitement about Keefer's future as the CEO of the System.

"The DCH Health System board of directors strongly believes Katrina, who has been with Augusta University Health since 2019, will be a transformative leader for our health system," Harrison wrote. "No industry faces more challenges than healthcare, and Katrina has significant experience as a senior leader of major healthcare institutions that will help us continue to meet those challenges. After a thorough process to identify a new leader for our system, Katrina rose to the top and was a unanimous choice of our selection committee and endorsed by the board of directors."

Keefer also spent 17 years with the UAB Health System, Harrison said, where she served as treasurer and director of financial operations in Birmingham before becoming the senior vice president and chief financial officer of UAB’s Montgomery affiliate, Baptist Health.

This is a breaking, developing story. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on this and other issues at DCH as they become available.

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