Sentara names Obici chief

Published 9:15 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A dislocated shoulder and degenerative back problems eventually led to Kurt Hofelich becoming vice president and administrator of Sentara Obici Hospital.

An assortment of sports injuries caused by playing competitive volleyball throughout high school and college drove Hofelich to pursue a career in health care. Shortly after receiving his master’s degree in physical therapy from Philadelphia’s Arcadia University, Hofelich joined the Sentara organization as a physical therapist at Sentara Leigh Hospital in 1992.

“Through my various injuries, I became interested in health care,” Hofelich said. “I certainly know and can empathize with the health care process and rehabilitation process.”

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Beginning in 1994, Hofelich rose through the ranks of the health care conglomerate, serving as director of rehabilitation services at Sentara Leigh, director of ambulatory diagnostics and rehab, director of the Sentara Rehab Network and vice president for Sentara Advanced Imaging and Rehabilitation. He currently serves as vice president and division executive of Sentara Ambulatory Operations and Rehabilitation.

Sentara officials announced Tuesday that Hofelich will assume the role of vice president and administrator of Sentara Obici Hospital on July 5. Hofelich replaces Rosemary Check, who left the organization in April.

“I’m very excited,” Hofelich said Tuesday. “I look forward to many new developments and working with the medical staff and the administration team.”

Hofelich already has been working with the staff at Obici as part of his job spearheading the clinical development of the Sentara Belleharbour and Sentara St. Luke’s facilities, located in North Suffolk and Carrollton, respectively.

“Developing programs has always been a strength of mine,” Hofelich said. “I’ve done a lot of new clinical initiatives across the organization. I feel quite comfortable and excited about making sure all of those opportunities best fit the needs of the community.”

Through his system-wide work during the past 17 years, Hofelich’s interests have grown beyond rehabilitation, thanks to opportunities to work with various mentors throughout the organization, he said.

Hofelich identified his top priorities as care quality, patient safety and customer service, as well as implementing Sentara eCare at Obici in September. The eCare program allows patient care to be centralized from the primary care office to the emergency room, providing added quality, consistency and safety.

“I’m very excited to jump right in,” Hofelich said.

“I am excited that Kurt has accepted the role of vice president and administrator at Sentara Obici Hospital,” said Mark A. Szalwinski, Sentara corporate vice president, Peninsula and Western Tidewater. “His strong leadership skills, demonstrated ability to align physicians and staff around common objectives and his commitment to the success of our Western Tidewater strategy made him the exceptional choice for this role.”

Hofelich holds a Master of Science degree in physical therapy from Arcadia University in Philadelphia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in education and exercise physiology from Ohio State University.