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Bernadette “Berni” Szczepanski, MBA


Bernadette “Berni” Szczepanski, MBA, serves as chief people officer for FirstHealth of the Carolinas.  She joined FirstHealth in March 2022.


Prior to joining FirstHealth, Berni most recently served as vice president, human resources for Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Ill., where she provided strategic direction for human resources services, workforce planning, talent acquisitions, HR and IT service delivery, and contract labor management.


In 2003, Berni joined Centegra Health System in Crystal Lake, Ill. as director, human resources and in 2012 became senior vice president, human resources prior to the merger with Northwestern Medicine.


Berni brings 37 years of human resources experience to FirstHealth. She has spent the majority of her career in community hospitals, but also has a great deal of knowledge from her time in an integrated academic health system.


Berni grew up on the northwest side of Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.