The head of one of the state’s biggest hospital chains and a major player in the Richmond healthcare scene is stepping down.
Peter Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia, will retire from his position on Aug. 31, ending his 15-year run with the $2.1 billion organization.
Bernard recently resigned from his other role as CEO of Bon Secours Richmond. He was replaced in that position by Toni Ardabell, who began the job Jan. 1.
Ardabell is one of three Bon Secours executives advising Bernard during his final months as part of the organization’s newly created Office of the CEO. The other two are Thomas Auer, who is CEO of the Bon Secours Medical Group, and Michael Kerner, CEO of Bon Secours Hampton Roads.
The organization’s succession strategy involves Bernard working with those three before his official retirement date.
Richard Statuto, CEO of the entire Bon Secours health system, will then decide if an individual should assume Bernard’s position or if those three will continue sharing statewide responsibilities, Bernard said.
“We’re very high on promotion and growth from within, and this complements that strategy,” Bernard said. “It’s our intention to see how that organization structure works over the next several months, and then the CEO of the system will make the decision to promote somebody from within or advance this different model.”
Bernard, 61, made the decision to retire in the fall of last year after reflecting with mentors and confidants, he said.
He became CEO in August of 2000, when the nonprofit had three hospitals, 4,000 employees, and $330 million in annual net revenue.
He will leave it with nine hospitals, 12,500 employees and $2.1 billion in revenue. Bon Secours’ hospitals in the Richmond market include St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center.
“Bon Secours is nationally recognized, and it is a very passionate and compassionate organization,” Bernard said.
For his work as CEO, Bernard received $1.6 million in total compensation in 2012, according to Bon Secours Richmond’s most recent tax forms available through Guidestar.com.
Bernard, who lives in the area, said he has not yet decided what he will do in his retirement.
Correction/Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that Bon Secours executives Michael Kerner, Toni Ardabell and Thomas Auer were candidates to potentially replace Peter Bernard as CEO of the Bon Secours Virginia. The organization has since said that Kerner, Ardabell and Auer are not considered candidates, but are working in the newly created office of the CEO as advisors to Bernard during his departure.