Sentara Healthcare announces new president and CEO

Sentara Healthcare announces new president and CEO

Rebecca Barnabi
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Dennis Matheis is Sentara Healthcare’s new president and CEO.

“I am proud and humbled to be the new CEO of Sentara Healthcare,” Matheis said in a video.

He grew up in small community outside of Chicago. Both of his parents were teachers.

“They instilled in me a constant curiosity and desire to learn, and a passion for reading,” Matheis said.

His professional background in healthcare spans 26 years.

“Access to fundamentally sound and quality healthcare that’s also affordable is a necessity for life, and we have an opportunity here at Sentara to make a difference every day in the lives of our patients and of our members,” Matheis said.

In his first 60 days as president and CEO, Matheis was on a “listening tour.” He visited all 12 Sentara hospital facilities and some physician practices. “It’s important to me that people feel heard,” Matheis said.

“Healthcare is an incredibly dynamic industry. It is constantly changing and we have to be prepared for the changes that are coming at us as an organization,” Matheis said.

A current challenge is attracting and retaining staff after a couple of years of staffing shortages.

“Sitting in front of a camera is not my favorite place to be in the world. I am generally a very humble and somewhat reserved person. And, so this is a new experience for me. One I embrace because I want to make sure that everyone across our great organization gets a chance to know me,” Matheis said.

He said he is “incredibly excited” to work with the 30,000 staff members at Sentara.

“I stand in awe of what our team members do day in and day out to make sure that we are delivering the highest quality of care to our patients and members in our communities,” Matheis said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.