Rachel Seifert, the top attorney at Community Health Systems, is retiring at the end of March, the company announced.
Seifert has been CHS' general counsel since joining the hospital chain in 1998.
She also is an executive vice president and is secretary of the CHS Board of Directors.
Ben Fordham, a senior vice president at CHS and chief litigation counsel, has been named to replace Seifert on an interim basis upon her retirement.
“Through nearly two decades of leadership, Rachel Seifert's range of responsibility has been broad and dynamic. She has provided sharp counsel and management for all of the company's legal matters,” said CHS CEO Wayne Smith.
Those matters include major transactions and corporate financing, oversight for SEC compliance and expertise on regulatory matters, Smith said.
Seifert was CHS's first general counsel and she never relinquished the role. Prior to joining CHS in 1998, Seifert worked at Columbia/HCA, a predecessor company to today's HCA Holdings, as its associate general counsel and vice president.
Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS is the nation's second-largest investor-owned hospital company with 159 hospitals.
Fordham joined CHS in 2007 with 29 years of private practice experience in litigation, mergers and acquisitions, general business and health law, the company said.
Separately, Allen Carroll, the longtime CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, S.C. is retiring in May.
Carroll was chief operating officer of the hospital in 1990 when he was tasked with overseeing its relocation from downtown Charleston to a 90-acre site in the West Ashley section of the city.
Bon Secours St. Francis is one of the three hospitals that make up Roper St. Francis, a not-for-profit health system in Charleston that late last year hired Lorraine Lutton as its CEO.
Carroll became CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis in 1995, three years before the merger that created Roper St. Francis.
“Allen's gift has been elevating the culture of compassionate care at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital while boosting the overall quality of the hospital's services,” Lutton said. “He has guided the hospital to become a nationally recognized center of excellence.”
One of Carroll's last projects was overseeing the planning of the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital campus. The 50-bed, $113 million project in a fast-growing Charleston suburb of Berkeley is scheduled to open in 2019.
Roper St. Francis is a not-for-profit joint venture that combines Roper Hospital, owned by the Medical Society of South Carolina, with St. Francis Xavier Hospital of the Bon Secours Health System. The managing partner is Carolinas HealthCare System.