Memorial Hermann Health System President and CEO Dan Wolterman Announces Intent to Retire in 2016

Dan Wolterman

Dan Wolterman

As part of a long-term succession plan implemented more than a year ago, Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Health System, has announced his intention to retire in the second half of 2016. The Memorial Hermann Health System Board and executive leadership have engaged Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm, to conduct a national search for Wolterman’s successor. The board will consider both internal and external candidates.

“It has been a great honor to lead one of most respected health care systems in the nation,” said Wolterman. “It has been particularly gratifying and a privilege to work with a group of incredible employees and physicians who are among the best in the country. But, it has always been my desire to retire at 60 to travel with my wife, Lori, spend more time with our family and enjoy the next chapter of our lives.”

Wolterman joined Memorial Hermann in 1999 and was promoted to CEO in 2002. His tenure as CEO has seen Memorial Hermann achieve year-over-year double-digit growth, ascend to the largest not-for-profit health system in Southeast Texas and one of the largest in the country, while expanding to 13 hospitals with nearly 24,000 employees and 5,000 affiliated physicians and becoming the country’s busiest Level 1 trauma center. Wolterman also oversaw the launch of the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization, the country’s most successful Medicare shared-savings program in each of the last two years.

This success is a direct result of Wolterman’s insistence upon transforming Memorial Hermann from a hospital-centric system to one that is based on patient-centered care anchored by key and essential services in the community that are unique to Memorial Hermann.

“Unfortunately, we knew this day was coming for some time now,” said Will Williams, chair of the Memorial Hermann Health System board. “So in the interest of a smooth transition, the board and executive leadership began the succession planning to accommodate Dan’s wishes to retire when he turns 60 in July.

“The complexity and size of an organization like Memorial Hermann – along with the dynamics of being in a large and diverse city like Houston – demands a thoughtful and thorough selection process,” Williams continued. “That process takes time and is the primary reason why we are announcing Dan’s plans to retire now. In the meantime, Dan will continue to serve in his role until, and for some time after, his successor is identified to ensure a seamless transition to the next generation of leadership at Memorial Hermann.”

In 2006, Wolterman initiated Memorial Hermann’s quest to become a High Reliability Organization – where zero error is the standard – and transformed the system’s cultural approach to quality, patient safety and infection control. Now, Memorial Hermann is known across the country for its exceptional quality and safety protocols and outcomes.

“It’s been a privilege to work for an organization that advocates for safe, high-quality care for everyone,” said Wolterman. “I’m grateful to have had this platform to campaign for change and betterment when it comes to access to quality care. I am incredibly proud of where we have come as a system. Even as I transition over the next year, our mission to expand access to care within the Houston community will continue to be a top priority.”

In an effort to improve access to health care, Memorial Hermann recently announced its largest multi-construction project in its history. These projects include the construction of new hospitals in the booming communities of Pearland and Cypress and expansions to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land and Memorial Hermann Katy. In addition, Memorial Hermann recently announced its first urgent care facility and its seventh Convenient Care Center.

“With more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, Dan is a trusted and influential leader in this industry,” said Williams. “An asset to this organization, the City of Houston and health care across our nation, Dan truly inspires everyone with his tireless work to help create solutions for the uninsured and underserved in communities across our network.”