CEO David Bernd: Riding the Waves of Reform at Sentara Healthcare

David Bernd has served as CEO of Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., since 1994. He joined the 10-hospital system in 1973.

When the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in June 2012, Mr. Bernd took the announcement in stride because of Sentara's strong integrated network. "What the U.S. Supreme Court decision doesn't change is our strategic direction. Sentara is well positioned for the ripples of this decision because of our vision and strength as an integrated system," he said in a statement. "Our strategic vision is now bearing fruit. Because of work already underway, we're ready for what is coming."

Sentara Healthcare has a health plan, Optima Health; three medical groups; a 3,680-provider medical staff and an electronic medical records system to help the system transition into the post-reform healthcare era.

Along with overseeing the large integrated system, Mr. Bernd has been involved outside of Sentara. In 2004, he served as the chairman of the American Hospital Association board of trustees. Mr. Bernd has also served on Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors since 2008, among other appointments.

Mr. Bernd has received several recognitions of excellence, even early in his career. In 1984, he received the American College of Hospital Administrators' Robert S. Hudgens National Young Hospital Administrator of the Year Award. More recently, Mr. Bernd was named to Becker's Hospital Review's list of 300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know and its list of 100 Non-Profit Hospital, Health System CEOs to Know in 2012.

Mr. Bernd earned his master's degree in hospital and health administration from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

Mr. Bernd  will be a speaker at the Becker's Hospital Review 4th Annual Meeting, May 9-11, in Chicago. For more information on the event, or to register, please click here.

If you have additional information or updates for this profile, or would like to recommend a leader to be profiled in the future, please contact Lindsey Dunn, editor in chief, Becker's Hospital Review at

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