Health care's a beach for Sentara Healthcare. The not-for-profit organization operates a network of hospitals and other health facilities primarily in the coastal Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia. The system includes 10 acute care hospitals housing a total of some 2,400 beds; one of the hospitals, Sentara Norfolk, includes a dedicated cardiac hospital with more than 100 beds. In addition to its acute care facilities, Sentara Healthcare operates several outpatient care facilities, as well as nursing homes, rehab centers, medical practices, imaging centers, and home health agencies. Its Optima Health unit provides HMO, PPO, and other health insurance products to about 430,000 Virginians.
The medical system's multi-specialty physicians group, the Sentara Medical Group, has more than 380 primary care and specialty physicians. Its Sentara Senior Services unit operates about 10 nursing and assisted living centers. Altogether, Sentara Healthcare's facilities serve customers throughout southeastern and northern Virginia, as well as in northeastern North Carolina.
Though it's already one of the largest health care organizations in the state, Sentara is not resting on its laurels. The system continues to grow through acquisitions, construction (both expansions and new buildings), and mergers. In mid-2009 the company expanded its home health services by acquiring Bath Community House Home Health and Hospice of the Highlands, and subsequently gave it the less-lengthy moniker of Sentara Highlands Home Health. Following that acquisition Sentara operates home care offices in seven cities in Virginia and in Elizabeth, North Carolina.
Sentara also acquired the 180-bed Potomac Hospital (now operating as Sentara Potomac Hospital) in Woodbridge through a merger transaction in 2009, expanding its hospital operations into northern Virginia. The agreement was made, in part, to keep Potomac Hospital from going under in the face of continuing economic pressure. As part of the agreement, Sentara will invest in the hospital's infrastructure and establish a community health foundation to help address the medical needs of the area's residents.
In 2010 Sentara acquired two more Virginia medical centers, starting with the purchase of RMH Healthcare, which operates Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In addition to the 238-bed community hospital, RMH operates a wellness center and physicians group. In mid-2011 Sentara completed the acquisition of Martha Jefferson Hospital (aka Martha Jefferson Health Services), adding a 175-bed acute care facility and a network of primary and specialty care clinics in central Virginia to its network.
Sentara has also completed construction of a new acute care hospital located on its existing Princess Anne outpatient campus in Virginia Beach. The facility, named Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, opened in mid-2011 and is operated through a 70%-owned joint venture with Bon Secours Health System. The 160-bed, $145 million facility encompasses five stories and offers comprehensive surgical procedures, intensive care, advanced cardiac care, and a maternity center.
Like any large health care system, Sentara also occasionally must downsize operations at certain facilities to adjust to market needs. For instance, following the completion of the new Princess Anne Hospital, the company transitioned its older hospital facility in Virginia Beach, Sentara Bayside Hospital, to an outpatient facility.