Riverside Smithfield Hospital Ramps up Community Outreach Efforts

June 03, 2024
Riverside Smithfield Hospital Ramps up Community Outreach Efforts

As construction on the new Riverside Smithfield Hospital (RSH) continues to progress steadily, a new team member has come on board to help engage with the local community and share information about future and existing health services. 

Miyanla McConner, MHA, Business Development Project Manager for Smithfield Development, has a two-part role that includes organizing outreach efforts and working with nine internal focus groups on operational planning and construction progress.  

In May, McConner’s first month on the job, Emergency Department and stroke team representatives attended a health and wellness fair at Smithfield Center to distribute flyers on RSH along with educational materials on stroke symptoms and treatments.

A Riverside team will attend an elder abuse awareness event in June to share handouts on memory care and dementia resources, while oncology and primary care providers will be at two farmer’s markets in July. More events will follow in Isle of Wight and Surry counties.   

“We’re really excited about building our involvement in the community,” McConner says. “We have a lot of good things already on the calendar, and we’re also growing important long-term partnerships with community organizations.”

Meanwhile, RSH focus groups are working to ensure that the hospital adheres to its construction timelines, regulatory requirements and budgetary guidelines. The 50-bed, 200,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2026.

The groups’ collective goal is to ensure that RSH has everything ready to serve patients on day one, from medical equipment and treatment spaces to computer networks and furniture to marketing strategies.

“We’re drawing on subject-matter experts from many different departments to contribute their perspectives,” McConner notes. “That’s essential both to keeping us on track and putting the best resources in place for our providers and patients.”

A Newport News native, McConner earned a Health Services Management degree at Norfolk State University and a Masters in Health Administration and Graduate Certification in Healthcare Financial Management from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

At VCU, McConner established and directed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee within the Department of Health Administration to support and champion students from diverse backgrounds.

McConner also has worked as a Pharmacy Technician for CVS and an Administrative Intern for the Capital Area Health Education Center in Richmond, where she planned health education programs, and Optima Health, where she concentrated on oncology care models.

In June 2023, McConner joined Riverside as an Administrative Resident to complete her master’s program. In that role, she helped coordinate community outreach events and gather market research on needed health services in Smithfield, specifically in obstetrics.

“I’ve already learned a lot about the great people that our hospital will serve,” she says, “and I’m looking forward to connecting with them even more.”