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Published on June 02, 2021

Cone Health, Sentara Healthcare, Decide to End Affiliation Plans

The decision was made in the best interest of the communities served by the organizations.


Greensboro – Cone Health and Sentara Healthcare have mutually decided not to move forward with an affiliation initially proposed in August 2020

Since announcing our intent to affiliate, both Cone Health and Sentara Healthcare have remained committed to doing what is in the best interests of all those we have the privilege to serve. Leadership from both organizations began working in earnest on bringing our two organizations together in early 2021. As this work progressed, we realized that each of our communities and key stakeholders require support and commitments from our respective organizations that are better served by remaining independent. The decision was a difficult one, but both organizations remain committed to advancing our common goal of providing outstanding care for our respective communities. 

Terry Akin, chief executive officer of Cone Health, says, “We appreciate the efforts of Sentara to work with Cone Health to determine whether an affiliation of our two high-performing organizations is in the best interest of those we serve. Recently, in the final analysis, we mutually decided that we can best serve our communities by remaining independent organizations. We have developed a high regard for the excellent services and outcomes Sentara delivers, and we expect both our organizations to continue to advance our common goals of providing outstanding care for our respective communities.” 

“Cone Health and Sentara Healthcare are high performing, well respected, community-focused organizations. Those similarities served as the basis for efforts toward an affiliation. I am confident that this mutual decision will not alter either organization’s ongoing commitment to meet the needs for our respective communities. Sentara and Cone Health remain aligned and in agreement that our first priority is to those we serve, and we believe this will be better done as independent organizations," says Howard P. Kern, president and chief executive officer, Sentara Healthcare. “I have no doubt that Cone Health will remain a top tier health system and will continue to pursue new and innovative ways to provide value for North Carolinians for years to come.” 

The Cone Health Board of Trustees and the Sentara Healthcare Board of Directors came to the mutual agreement to end affiliation plans late last week. 

“We have appreciated the opportunity to work with another outstanding health system toward furthering leading-edge, high quality health and health care across our communities. After significant evaluation, we are certain that this is the best path forward for the future of Cone Health and the many people throughout our region who rely on us to deliver our very best,” says FD Hornaday III, chairman of the Cone Health Board of Trustees.

Dian Calderone, chairwoman of the Sentara Healthcare Board of Directors, says, “The Sentara Healthcare Board of Directors is very appreciative of the efforts undertaken by both organizations toward a shared goal of improving and advancing health care in Virginia and North Carolina. We have learned a great deal during our time together and I believe this will serve both of us well in the future. Sentara will continue to concentrate on improving health and well-being for the communities we serve, and I am confident that Cone Health will do the same.”

Both Cone Health and Sentara Healthcare are not-for-profit integrated hospital systems committed to improving patient choice, access and affordability.