Our View: Sentara off to strong start with choice of interim CEO

The Daily Advance

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First moves say a lot. Sentara Healthcare apparently thinks so. That’s why no sooner had the ink dried on its long-term lease of Albemarle Hospital than the Norfolk, Va.-based health care system announced it was bringing in Ken Wood, a 40-year veteran health care administrator, as the hospital’s new interim CEO.

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Hospital Management

I sure hope the hospital for the future is an improvement from the past. The board has gone from trying to suspend my father's privileges for daring to take a black woman into the labor room, to a modern hospital with specialist doctors. They built a new hospital that made millions of dollars profit but allowed the money to sift through the fingers of the county commissioners, and ended up loosing money and having to sell the control to an outside entity. Of course at the same time their manager succeeded in running off more doctors than they attracted because of "her" personal problems. I feel her idea was to make sure that none of the local kids who went to medical school would want to work there so she could control what the local people would know about her shenanigans. Now an out of state group is taking over and local considerations will be history. Most of the other hospitals are facing the same problem of emergency rooms being health centers and not getting paid. Anyway what I am saying is that we are going to loose local control of something that my ancestors worked hard to raise money and provide us with. Though we might as well be an annex of Tidewater Virginia I predict issues when we cross state lines for medications and such. Not that Norfolk isn't closer than Greenville, but is my Virginia doctor going to be allowed to prescribe substances that are illegal in NC? It could soon be an issue!

Off To Great Start

I agree Sentara is off to a great start and I have great confidence they'll turn things around. I'm sure they already know and if not that they'll make every effort to understand why so many people leave the area and travel to Hampton Roads for their healthcare. Unless that's addressed nothing will change. Sentara was definitely the right choice.

It is so good to be able to say I totally agree.

As to the "tougher pill to swallow", I see having those appointed by a professional medical organization such as Sentara having control of who is on the board as a huge plus. I imagine those on the board in the past have tried to do their best, but how many of them did not understood the world of healthcare enough to make the best decisions? Sentara will ensure that board members are healthcare knowledgeable.

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