David Bernd is the CEO Emeritus of Sentara Healthcare — an integrated health system headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.
Bernd began his career at Sentara Healthcare in 1972 as an administrative intern. He worked his way up through Sentara’s health care administration before becoming chief operating officer in the mid-1980s, and eventually being tapped as CEO in 1995.
From the time Bernd took the reins as CEO, the Sentara Healthcare system grew from a $600 million company with four hospitals serving Hampton Roads to a $4.7 billion system with 12 hospitals dispersed between North Carolina and Virginia. The system’s health plans cover more than 450,000 people and its medical staff comprises 3,700 doctors.
Under Bernd’s leadership, Sentara has not only become the largest health system in Virginia based on revenue, but the company has also developed and been recognized for a reputation for safety, quality, and innovation. Sentara Healthcare has made Modern Healthcare’s top integrated health care system list for 15 years. And, the heart program at Norfolk General, one of Sentara’s hospitals, has landed on the U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 heart programs list for the same number of years. The company was also the first to implement an eICU — an innovative remote monitoring system in intensive care units that provides telemedicine around the clock.
Bernd stepped down as CEO in early 2016. With 43 years of experience in the health care industry, Bernd now uses his expertise to mentor and coach health business executives at a Sentara Healthcare site in Virginia Beach.