Lou Patalano is the Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Vice President & Corporate Secretary for Sentara Healthcare (“Sentara”) and Optima Health (“Optima”) in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to joining Sentara and Optima, Patalano was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, and served as Assistant Corporate Secretary, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (“Blue Cross NC”) in Durham, North Carolina for five and a half years. Previously, Patalano was employed with Cape Fear Valley Health System (“Cape Fear Valley”) in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the eighth largest health system in the State of North Carolina, where he served five and a half years as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal Services. Before joining Cape Fear Valley and rejoining Blue Cross NC, Patalano was with Blue Cross NC, where he served almost five years as Director of the Special Investigations Unit and as Associate and Assistant Counsel. Patalano also served as Assistant Attorney General with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office in Raleigh, and as Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Raleigh and Charlotte, prosecuting health care fraud and abuse cases in state and federal courts.
Patalano holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation from law school, Patalano clerked for two judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, including the Chief Judge. Patalano has been very active in the community and served in the past on various community boards including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors and Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Communities In Schools of North Carolina. Additionally, Patalano also served on the Board of Directors and in leadership roles with the North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys and the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section Council. In 2011, Patalano was recognized by The Fayetteville Observer as one of its top 40 Under Forty – an honor awarded to the region’s rising leaders based on both their business success and community impact.