David Bernd to retire as CEO of Sentara Healthcare
David L. Bernd, the CEO of Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare, will retire in March and be succeeded by Howard P. Kern, the health system's president and chief operating officer.
Bernd became Sentara’s CEO in 1995. At that time, the nonprofit health system Sentara had annual revenue of $600 million, four Hampton Roads hospitals, a newly formed 63-physician medical group and a 143,000-member health plan. Sentara now has revenue of $4.7 billion. It is an integrated system, including 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina, four medical groups more than 900 health-care providers, a health plan with more than 450,000 members, and life care and home care services.
“Since Dave Bernd became chief executive officer of Sentara Health System (now Sentara Healthcare) in 1995, he has built a quality health-care system focused on clinical best practices, advanced technology and exceptional patient care,” Bob Fort, chairman of the Sentara board, said in a statement. “His commitment to excellence has positioned Sentara to be recognized for 15 years as one of the nation’s top integrated healthcare systems, including three times as #1, according to an independent study published in Modern Healthcare [magazine].
Bernd has been on Virginia Business’ list of 50 Most Influential Virginians every year since the list began in 2013.
Kern has been COO for the past 18 years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of many professional and community organizations. He was chairman of the board of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association in 2012.
Kern received a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia (now the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine) in 1981 after earning an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York.