Community and Giving

Boy Scouts Honor Riversides William Downey as a Person Who Moves America

November 19, 2019
Bill Downey receiving an award

The Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored Riverside Health System CEO William Downey at its 2019 People Who Move America Breakfast, an annual event to benefit the scouting programs in the region. All proceeds from the event will be invested in local youth by helping fund programs that prepare them for life by teaching them about character, citizenship and fitness.

“The lessons our programs teach have an impact not only in the lives of young people, but also in our communities,” said Clinton Hammett, Scout Executive and CEO of the Colonial Virginia Council. “The funds raised from this event help ensure that every young person that wants to be a part of scouting has the opportunity to do so.”

The Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts serves over 5,000 active youth and 2,000 adult members each year and is one of the largest youth-serving organizations on the Virginia Peninsula.

Scouting “teaches the fundamentals that we all have heard from our parents, and it reinforces those things,” Downey said. “It helps you think about more than just yourself.”

If you want a strong community, you need people to think beyond themselves, Downey said.

“Health care clearly is the area where you are giving to others and it is an honor and privilege when people come into our facilities,” Downey said. “Sometimes they are at their lowest point and they are very stressed.”

Thinking about “how do we make sure we are taking care of them in the proper way, that we are doing everything we can to show them respect,” Downey said, are some of the same skills and lessons you learn from scouting.

Downey joined Riverside in May of 1981 as an Administrative Extern. He returned to Riverside in June 2001 and became President and CEO in 2012.

Over the years, Downey has been involved in numerous community organizations, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Greater Peninsula NOW, and as a Board member of The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., the Hampton Roads Economic Development Authority, United Way, Towne Bank-Peninsula and Premier, Inc. He is also a past chairman of An Achievable Dream, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the United Way and Virginia Living Museum.

In 2018, Downey was recognized at the 50th annual Peninsula Humanitarian Awards presented by the Peninsula Chapter of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC).

Virginia Business Magazine named Downey among the “50 Most Influential Virginians” in 2019.