Glenn Mitchell, a pioneer in integrated health networks who founded Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare, died in January at age 75 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and dementia. The system issued an obituary last month.
The South Dakota native came to Norfolk in 1971 from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to serve as administrator of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. During his 25-year tenure with Sentara, Mitchell helped to build a nationally recognized, integrated hospital network and initiated the state's first managed-care plan, Optima Health, in 1984.
Sentara officials described him as having "a caring, compassionate and gentle manner and an unflagging commitment to creating a more efficient, responsive healthcare system." Mitchell retired in 1995.
"(Mitchell) taught me a number of lessons during our years together: Always emphasize individual dignity; constantly improve by investing resources; the real value of our institutions is our employees; and remember that an important part of our mission is to take care of the poor," says David Bernd, Sentara's CEO.
With a network of more than 70 care sites, Sentara was ranked No. 1 on Modern Healthcare's list of the most integrated healthcare networks in 2001 (Feb. 19, 2001, p. 18) and has been near the top of the list all eight years it has been published.