Dr. John Koster, president and CEO of 29-hospital Providence Health & Services, Renton, Wash., will retire at the end of 2013, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Providence officials distributed an internal memo on Thursday announcing the news. Koster, 62, has served as Providence's top executive since 2003 when he replaced Hank Walker. Koster started at Providence in April 1997, joining the organization as chief medical officer. System officials will assemble an internal search committee with plans to recommend a replacement in the first quarter of next year. Koster would then work with his successor until his final day with Providence, planned for Dec. 31, 2013, the spokeswoman added.