3 health system CEOs reveal retirement plans

Whether it be wine tasting, family time or coaching high school teams, these soon-to-be retired healthcare industry leaders have a lot to look forward to after many years of hard work. 

After decades of dedication and perseverance running health systems with thousands of employees, touching hundreds of thousands of patients' lives annually, three health system leaders from across the nation are retiring. The three soon-to-be retirees spoke to Becker's about what they were most looking forward to and what their career highlights were.

Bryan Kindred, president and CEO, DCH Health System (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)

Question: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

Bryan Kindred: At least initially I will be working with the new CEO as needed, but I anticipate having much more free time. The top things on my list are spending more time with my family, practicing bass guitar and helping to coach high school baseball.  

Q: What was a highlight or defining moment of your career in healthcare?

BK: Most of my career has been at DCH. We have accomplished a great deal in that time but my proudest moments have been working alongside a team of exceptional physicians, nurses, therapists and so many more who have responded with expertise, compassion and perseverance during times of crisis. In 2011 our community was hit by a major tornado and for the last few years we have been called upon time and again to respond to COVID-19. It has been truly humbling and gratifying to work with professionals who care so much for the work of healing that they just keep finding ways to overcome every obstacle to care for the community. I could not be more proud of this team and grateful to have contributed a small amount to their tremendous efforts.

Dave Fikse, president of Mercy Health-Cincinnati

Question: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

Dave Fikse: More travel, more time with family and some time with family "home improvements." After a little me time, I will look to give back through organizations that make a difference in their community.

Q: What was a highlight or defining moment of your career in healthcare?

DF: The highlight of my career comes in knowing that I have been able to be a mentor/coach for several individuals and they are now making a difference in leadership positions.

Richard Allen, CEO of Palmdale (Calif.) Regional, part of UHS. 

Question: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

Richard Allen: At the top of my list, I really look forward to spending more time with my daughters. One resides in the Pacific Northwest and the other in England. Additionally, reacquainting myself with friends around the country while enjoying wine tasting, fly fishing, biking, hiking and golf – while remembering to carry a “very good” insurance policy. Finally, finding opportunities to give back either by service on meaningful boards, teaching or engaging in policy development. 

Q: What was a highlight or defining moment of your career in healthcare?

RA: In terms of career highlights, notwithstanding the development of new programs and community services — something we all do, I would have to say that participating in state and national leadership positions, which influenced positive change, would have to be at the top of the list.

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