David Bernd, CEO of Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare, is retiring next year.
Howard Kern, Sentara's president and COO assume the role after Bernd's retirement, effective March 3, 2016.
Bernd, 66, has worked at not-for-profit Sentara for more than four decades and has spent the past 21 years as CEO. Since Bernd took the helm in 1995, the system has grown from a four-hospital, $600 million organization serving the Hampton Roads region to a $4.7 billion, 12-hospital system with locations in North Carolina and Virginia, including home-care services and a health plan that covers over 450,000 people.
"I think the national reputation Sentara has for clinical quality and patient safety in our community is our greatest achievement," Bernd told Modern Healthcare on Thursday. "We were one of the first healthcare systems to put clinical indicators in all of our senior managers' variable pay and we invested in patient safety.”