We improve health every day.
At only five words long, the mission of Sentara Healthcare is easy to remember: We improve health every day. While some may see this as our simple goal, we extend it as our promise. Whether it’s a patient who has called one of our Sentara Medical Group providers for help with a chronic illness, a visitor to the area who needs emergency care at one of our hospitals, or a community member whose first encounter with Sentara is at a free health screening, we want to help everyone.
As a not-for-profit, integrated healthcare system, we focus on giving back to those we serve. We reinvest income from operations back into meeting our community’s health needs and improving our care. Each year, we donate uncompensated care for those who need it most, doing what we can for those without financial resources and ensuring they receive the same medical guidance and treatment as other patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Since our earliest days, we have led the way by also investing in innovative techniques, collaborations and procedures. Back in 1946, the Leigh Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing became the first program in the country co-sponsored by vocational education and conducted entirely in a hospital. In 1972, the same hospital opened the state’s first free-standing ambulatory surgical center. In 2000, Sentara led the country in pioneering and introducing eICU, a remote monitoring system for intensive care. In 2002, we were the first in Hampton Roads and one of only a small number of health systems in the country to offer Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for cancer treatment. In February 2011, Martha Jefferson Hospital became the first hospital in the Central Virginia region to implant an MRI-compatible pacemaker
We continued to break new ground in other areas over the next decade, including offering the area’s first cardiac connection program, a combination of home visits and interactive telehealth visits; becoming the first home care agency in Virginia certified in VitalStim therapy system to help stimulate swallowing for patients; and performing the state’s first artificial spine disc replacement surgery.
Innovation happens in different ways, beyond our care centers’ walls, too, as we partner with community organizations who find unique ways to educate and treat those who might never know Sentara otherwise. Through our foundations, we fund groups who work directly with individuals needing medical care and information on how to improve their own health. Hundreds of individuals benefit from our grants, often not even knowing that Sentara was working behind the scenes.