Our History

Sentara Healthcare has come a long way since 1888 when it was first established as the 25-bed Retreat for the Sick in Norfolk, VA. Flash-forward more than 130 years: Sentara Healthcare is now comprised of 12 acute care hospitals with more than 300 sites of care all throughout Virginia and northeastern North Carolina and beyond.

Explore our history through the years in photos:

1800s: Small beginnings
Sentara Healthcare started small in 1888 as the 25-bed Retreat for the Sick in Norfolk, Virginia.  

Early 1900s: Paving the way for the future
As the years passed, new hospitals opened in Hampton Roads to meet the community’s growing demand, while future Sentara member hospitals in the Blue Ridge region began making history.           

1950 - 1999: Expansion, Growth and Innovation
While Norfolk’s medical facilities grew upward and Charlottesville and Harrisonburg’s hospitals grew outward, other communities in Virginia were just starting.

The New Millennium: Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience
The name “Sentara” quickly became synonymous with patient-centered, safe, and effective medical care.

Looking Forward

In efforts to continuously provide quality care, reach favorable outcomes, and provide care at low costs, our leaders have been efficient in responding to the perfect storm of change.