Sentara Healthcare has committed to increasing its minimum wage for all Sentara and Optima Health employees, with a plan to reach a $15 per hour minimum wage by January 2022. This significant increase applies to all positions in the communities Sentara serves across Virginia and North Carolina and is more than double the federally-mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Sentara Healthcare expands its living wage initiative for employees

Virginia’s largest health system commits to $15 per hour minimum wage for all employees by January 2022

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Sentara Healthcare has committed to increasing its minimum wage for all Sentara and Optima Health employees, with a plan to reach a $15 per hour minimum wage by January 2022. This significant increase applies to all positions in the communities Sentara serves across Virginia and North Carolina and is more than double the federally-mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

“We are proud to offer market-competitive pay and benefits to our employees to ensure that they are earning livable wages.” said Howard P. Kern, President & CEO of Sentara Healthcare.  “Sentara is committed to rewarding our more than 28,000 team members for their dedication to our mission to improve health every day.  As one of the largest employers in Virginia, Sentara is also working to support sustainable growth in the regions that we serve by providing competitive pay and benefits to our employees.” 

Sentara Healthcare is the third largest employer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The system has been ranked as one of ‘America’s Best Employers’ by Forbes and regularly receives national recognition for its clinical quality and organizational management. As the not-for-profit health system focuses its philanthropic efforts on social determinants of health, increasing its minimum wage for employees is a natural extension. This planned wage increase follows a similar commitment by Sentara in 2012 when the first adjustment occurred, and a second increase which was extended in 2019.

“Investing in the financial security of our team members is intended to improve their well-being and increase employee retention and job satisfaction,” said Becky Sawyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Sentara Healthcare. “This important decision reflects our commitment to our employees and our appreciation of their efforts to provide safe, high quality service and care.”