“The work Riverside does ... is truly needed.”

Newport News VA – Dr. William H. Hazel, Jr., Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources, celebrated Riverside Health System’s latest innovations in acute care and lifelong health Friday, Jan 11 when he visited Heron Cove at Sanders in Gloucester and served as the keynote speaker of Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Pavilion ribbon cutting.

The Pavilion – Technologically Innovative Acute Care Medical Center

The Pavilion is a 250,000-square-foot, three story addition to the Newport News Riverside Regional Medial Center. It includes, among other features, large, state-of-the-art operating room suites and 72 private patient rooms.

“If anything would get me back into an operating room, it’s a place like this,” said Hazel, who described himself as a recovering orthopedic surgeon.

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. William H. Hazel, Jr., tours the Pavilion

Hazel, an orthopedic surgeon from Northern Virginia, oversees 12 state agencies that include diverse medical programs like Medicaid, Behavioral Health, Social Services and Aging and Disability Services. He has been charged by Governor Bob McDonnell to prepare Virginia for Health System Reform.

Illness never happens at a good time.

“No one wants to come to the hospital voluntarily,” said Dr. Patrick Parcells, Administrator of Riverside Regional Medical Center.

At the Pavilion, Parcells said, Riverside has a building that houses the best technology for medical care, and physicians and staff that provides the best care.

“We promise to care for others as we care for those we love,” Parcells said.
Construction on the Pavilion, a $107 million project built by the W.M. Jordan Company, is part of Riverside’s enhancements to its 78-acre Newport News campus.

Following the ribbon cutting, the several hundred guests who attended were invited on guided tours of the Pavilion. Guests included Congressional Representatives Bobby Scott and Rob Wittman, state senators and delegates and city and county officials.

“It’s probably one of the few times you get to go into an (operating room) vertically,” Parcells said.

The Pavilion invited the public to tour on Jan. 13 and will open for medical care Jan. 28.

Heron Cove at Sanders – Innovative Residence for Older Adults

Heron Cove at Sanders is the first residence of its kind in Virginia for older adults.

“The work Riverside does in…the community is truly needed as our population ages,” Hazel said of Heron Cove at Sanders and Riverside’s comprehensive lifelong health programs, like the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

“Riverside has an expertise in long term care and community based services,” Hazel said, calling every Riverside site “absolutely needed.”

Heron Cove at Sanders officially opened to the public Jan. 3. Heron Cove at Sanders, located in the heart of Gloucester, Va.’s Main Street region, is made up of two houses that replace Sanders Retirement Community’s 50-year-old nursing home.

It’s both the houses and style of care the residents will receive inside that make Heron Cove the first of its kind in Virginia.

Both houses in Heron Cove are designed like traditional homes and feature private bedrooms and bathrooms and open dining and living areas. At the heart of each home sits a family-style kitchen that’s resident friendly and meant to bring every aspect of home life to the forefront of daily living.

Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. William H. Hazel, Jr. tours Heron Cove

“I can see the difference with my eyes and my nose,” Hazel said during his tour, which was shortly before the residents ate dinner.

Gone are the regimented days of nursing home living. At Heron Cove, individual resident routines are known and respected. Residents arise when they choose, eat when and what they choose, and have the autonomy to be the driver of their daily lives. 

Both homes in Heron Cove can accommodate up to 20 residents. One house provides long-term nursing care and the other offers short-term rehabilitation. The cost of this model of care is comparable to other facilities offering nursing home level of care.

The long-term goal of Riverside’s Lifelong Health Division is to bring this model to every nursing facility. Sanders Retirement Community is one of Riverside’s three continuing care retirement communities. It includes assisted living apartments and independent living cottages. Both remain part of the campus.

Published: January 14, 2013