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Tenet Healthcare, one of the country’s largest hospital chains and owner of the Detroit Medical Center, has announced its chairman and CEO will step down and the company is working to “refresh” its board of directors.

The Dallas-based chain said Thursday that director and CEO Trevor Fetter is stepping down after a transition period and director Ronald Rittenmeyer has been named executive chairman.

Fetter will continue his roles until March 15, 2018, or when a successor is appointed, the company said. The board has hired Russell Reynolds Associates to conduct a search for a new CEO, according to the news release from Tenet Health.

In a released statement, Fetter thanked the board for their “confidence and support” during his tenure.

“I am proud of what we accomplished in transforming the company, and strongly believe the 130,000 Tenet employees will continue focusing every day on advancing the Company’s mission,” Fetter said. “I have no doubt that Tenet will be a leading force in creating a better healthcare system and I look forward to assisting during the transition.”

Since 2003, Fetter oversaw the company, which operates 77 general acute care hospitals, 21 short-stay surgical hospitals and over 460 outpatient centers in the U.S.

Rittenmeyer previously served as lead director at Tenet, and has been a Tenet board member since 2010. He previously served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Millennium Health, a health solutions company.

In March, Tenet Health and the Detroit Medical Center spent $1.2 million correcting problems with dirty surgical instruments exposed from a six-month investigation by The Detroit News in August 2016. The investigation traced back dirty, broken and missing surgical instruments at Detroit Medical Center’s five Midtown Detroit hospitals for at least 11 years.

In May, leaders from DMC and Tenet Healthcare said the surgical instrument issues were fixed for a total cost of $1.6 million.

While Tenet searches for a new CEO, they also will have a new board of directors.

“This process is intended to ensure that the Board has the best mix of skills and experience to maximize the future value of the Company,” the release notes.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal

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