Howard Kern was named CEO of Sentara Healthcare, a 12-hospital system based in Norfolk, Va. His appointment is effective March 4.
Kern replaces David Bernd, who retired this week after 21 years at the helm of the not-for-profit health system.
Kern served as COO for 18 years at Sentara before his promotion. He has chosen Michael Gentry, current senior corporate VP of Sentara, to replace him as COO. Gentry joined Sentara in 2008.
Throughout his tenure as CEO, Kern aims to focus on improving clinical performance, innovation and growth, according to a news release.
“I look forward to working closely with Mike Gentry and the entire Sentara leadership team to ensure our role as the trusted healthcare partner our communities serve,” Kern said.
Sentara serves areas of Virginia and North Carolina with a health plan that includes 450,000 members. It reported $4.7 billion in total revenue in 2014.