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Sentara Healthcare names Dennis Matheis next top executive

Sentara Healthcare names Dennis Matheis next top executive

Dennis Matheis will take over as president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare on Sept. 1, the integrated not-for-profit health system announced Friday.

Matheis, president of Sentara Health Plans and executive vice president of Sentara Healthcare since 2018, will succeed Howard Kern, who plans to retire by the end of the year. Kern has worked at Norfolk, Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare for more than 40 years.

“Dennis is consistently innovating and thinking about ways to increase access to quality care, achieve greater success and outcomes, and develop new services to improve each patient’s and member’s individual experience with health and wellness services,” Allan Parrott, chair of Sentara Healthcare’s board, said in a news release.

Prior to joining Sentara Healthcare, Matheis was a senior vice president at the insurer Anthem and president of its central region and exchanges. He previously worked for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, Cigna, Humana and Advocate Health Care.

Sentara Healthcare, which operates 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina and a health plan, saw its operating income increase in 2021 despite a 12% jump in labor costs.

The company reported $733.7 million in operating income on $10.26 billion of operating revenue in 2021, up from $547.1 million and $8.86 billion, respectively, in 2020. The health system benefited from a 20% increase in premium and capitation revenue over that span.

Sentara Healthcare had planned to merge with Cone Health, a five-hospital not-for-profit system based in Greensboro, North Carolina, but that deal fell through in June 2021.