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Healthy Aging

Ambassador Barbara Stephenson Provides Keynote Address at Unveiling of Model Retirement Community

August 19, 2020
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson Provides Keynote Address at Unveiling of Model Retirement Community

Dignitaries and officials celebrate the opening of Presidents Pavilion at Patriots Colony At Williamsburg


Williamsburg, Va. – Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, President of the American Foreign Service Association, gave the keynote address at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today on the campus of Patriots Colony At Williamsburg, a model retirement community for military officers and government officials.

Ambassador Stephenson was on hand for the unveiling of Presidents Pavilion, a new, state-of-the art independent living residence reserved for members of the Armed Forces or civil service. The event commemorated the latest in a series of expansions for Patriots Colony At Williamsburg, which is backed by Riverside Health System, one of the most respected health systems in Virginia.

Joined by other dignitaries, service personnel, and corporate executives, Ambassador Stephenson reflected on the virtue and value of public service, while emphasizing the importance of community.

“Today we celebrate the opening of this wondeRiverside Foundationul place, in this wondeRiverside Foundationul community,” said Ambassador Stephenson, who offered perspective on current events and life as a Foreign Service officer – a role which required frequent moves and relocations.

“While that has afforded us an opportunity to meet so many interesting people over the course of our careers, it has also taught us how important it is to find a community. And that’s why a place like Patriots Colony is so special,” she said.

“After long careers on the move or on the front lines, it’s a remarkable gift to be with people who understand our journeys and share our values,” Ambassador Stephenson continued.

More than 270 civic leaders, residents and guests attended the event, which was held in the new three-building complex. Many attendees were retired service men and women who now call Patriots Colony home.

Riverside Health System President and CEO Bill Downey also addressed the audience, underscoring Riverside’s commitment to providing high-quality healthcare and community living facilities to retired veterans across the region.

Downey noted that he has a son in the Army and that both of his parents and his wife’s parents were residents of Patriots Colony over the course of the community’s 25-year history.

“When you look at the commitment of Riverside to the greater Williamsburg area, it’s about a quarter of a billion dollars that we have spent in the area to build a great health care team. A big part of that is here at Patriots Colony,” said Downey. “So we’re very excited about today, we’re very excited about the next 25 years and we thank all of you who have been a part of this.”

The Presidents Pavilion expansion, which adds 60 new independent living apartments, brings the total independent living residences within Patriots Colony At Williamsburg to 242 apartments and homes serving some 400 residents. Patriots Colony also recently announced extensive renovations to its dining facilities that opened to residents earlier this season, including the build-out of three restaurants on site of the community and an outdoor eating terrace.

 Presidents Pavilion independent living residence building on the campus of Patriots Colony At Williamsburg

Nancy Littlefield, Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Riverside Health System remarked on how the expansions at Patriots Colony go way beyond the physical construction of new buildings.

“In construction, when we expand we often say we’re expanding a footprint,” commented Littlefield. “It’s so exciting to say today that we’ve not just expanded a footprint, we’ve added a neighborhood to Patriots Colony.”

“And our neighbors will be cared for under the Riverside mission, which is to care for others as we would care for those we love,” Littlefield continued.

Williamsburg, which was recently ranked as one of the “10 Great Places to Retire for Your Health” by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, is known for its mild climate and recreational facilities, among other amenities. With close proximity to several major military facilities and the U.S. capitol, Williamsburg is an especially popular retirement destination for government and service personnel.

Presidents Pavilion is open and accepting new residents. For more information, visit patriotscolony.org.