Community and Giving

Riverside Regional Medical Center Appoints New Chief Medical Officer

April 23, 2019
Dr Cohen

Riverside Health System is pleased to announce that it has named David I. Cohen, M.D. the new Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia. The medical center, located at the intersection of J. Clyde Morris and Warwick Boulevards, is the most comprehensive medical facility in the region serving more than half a million residents.

Dr. Cohen, certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, comes to Riverside from Arizona where he most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer at Banner Baywood Medical Center.

“I feel honored and privileged to lead a really great team,” Dr. Cohen said. “We have the pieces – the people – here to do great things for our patients and their families and I appreciate the trust that Riverside has placed in me to lead and evolve Riverside Regional Medical Center.”

Riverside Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in the Peninsula region to maintain a Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (offering mechanical ventilation, access to pediatric specialists, imaging capabilities, and surgeries requiring anesthesia), and Level II Trauma Center. In addition to other medical specialties, it also provides cancer care services and is home to a radiosurgery center. Its 42-room emergency department responds to more than 67,000 emergencies each year and in 2018 the medical center completed a 150,000 square-foot expansion that enhanced the medical intensive care and cardiac care units.

“Welcoming Dr. Cohen to Riverside Regional Medical Center, with his expertise in emergency medicine and focus on patient-centered care, further highlights the commitment of the health system to care for our patients as we would care for those we love,” said Mike Doucette, Riverside Senior Vice President and Administrator for Riverside Regional Medical Center. “His focus on safety and quality will be felt by every patient, every family member, every team member.”

Dr. Cohen earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and studied medicine at Northwestern University Medical School before completing a general surgery internship at Rush Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center and an emergency medicine residency at the University of Chicago.

He was drawn to emergency medicine early in his career because “emergency medicine requires you to be a problem solver, forcing you to sort through a set of data, or symptoms, and process it very quickly. What I’ve learned as an emergency medicine physician, dealing with patients and their families at the worst times in their lives, is that what they need most is someone who is honest, transparent, straight forward and empathetic.”

Being closer to family brought him to explore opportunities on the East Coast, where he discovered Riverside. After looking more deeply into the health system, Dr. Cohen said, he saw the great reputation it has in the community it serves and wanted to be part of its team.

“Health care is changing and it is changing very rapidly in our country,” Dr. Cohen said. “We can’t do business like we used to. We can’t just do more and more and more for patients. We are moving from a volume-based approach to medicine to a value-based approached.”

Value, for Dr. Cohen, is the intersection of the cost of health care, quality of medicine and patient satisfaction.

“Our patients incur risks each time they come to the hospital,” Dr. Cohen said. “They incur health risks by being in the hospital longer than they need to, and they experience financial risk when they receive treatments that don’t benefit them. Medicine today is and should be focused on patient-centered care. It’s doing what’s right for the patient. It’s applying high reliability approaches for them in the most efficient way possible.”

As Dr. Cohen settles into his new role, he said the Riverside team and community should expect to see him doing a lot of learning and listening “so I can begin to earn the trust of the community to accomplish our bigger goals, which is to provide great, safe and high-quality experiences for our patients and families.”“As an organization, we make a promise to keep our patients safe, heal them, respect their wishes,” said Mike Dacey, M.D, Riverside Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Operations Officer. “As physicians, we’ve made a promise to do no harm. As Riverside team members, we’ve made a promise to always put patients at the center of all we do. Adding Dr. Cohen to the team, with his long history of leading teams to always find new ways to improve on the full patient and family experience, is the latest way Riverside is delivering on its promise.”