The Norfolk healthcare market has remained static over the years, largely due to the geographical separation of the towns and villages by various rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. This had led to a highly consolidated and siloed market Sentara Healthcare is the most influential healthcare entity in this market, owing to the presence of its health system enterprise and Optima Health Plan, and it made a bold move by announcing an intent to merge with North Carolina’s Cone Health as part of an $11.5 billion deal. Trying to keep pace with Sentara, Bon Secours Mercy Health is shuttering its seldom-used DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk and expanding its Harbour View center in the growing Suffolk area. There is a shortage of providers in the market, particularly oncologists, therefore it must be asked if there are enough experienced specialists to fill the facilities and meet patient demand. Sentara’s new Brock Cancer Center should help bring valuable oncology resources to Norfolk. Look for providers to discuss further expansion and renovation plans in 2021 as they get a better handle on tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

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