first responders sign the final beam for the RSMH & RSCC building

Shore community members were invited to sign the final beam in the infrastructure of the new Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital (RSMH) and Riverside Shore Cancer Center (RSCC) building. A crowd of 200 showed their support on Friday when they gathered to sign the beam and watch while a crane lifted the beam into place.

Reverend Elizabeth Freund gave the invocation, and William Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Riverside Health System, credited the local Board of Directors. "They had the vision to say 'how do we continue to enhance, expand and improve'" health care services on the Eastern Shore.

Robert Leatherbury, Past Chairman of the RSMH Board of Directors, mentioned numerous investments in advanced technology over the past few years, and said "a lot has already happened, and today we're at another milestone; it's a big, big day."

John Peterman, Administrator and Vice President of RSMH, unveiled the slogan that team members will use over the coming year to refer to the transition planning process. The winning entry 'Sailing Into Excellence' was voted on by team members from a pool of suggestions submitted by their colleagues.


Beam signings and "topping out" ceremonies are part of a long construction industry tradition that celebrates the completion of the steel structure work as the building takes shape with the placement of the topmost beam. It's the first milestone in the process of bringing the building to life.

The steel used in the hospital and cancer center building was manufactured in the United States and fabricated in Maryland.

Construction of the three buildings on the campus -the hospital and cancer center as well as a medical office building - will total more than $80million.   Keeping that investment close to home is important to Riverside, so local vendors have been used whenever feasible. They include Adco Signs, Allen Clark Trucking, Apostle Roofing, Beachamp Constructions, Branscome Eastern Shore, Chapman Electric, Crystal Steel, Eastern Shore Events and Rentals, Eastern Shore Landscape Management, Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority, Fulgent Contracting, Heavenly Creations Catering, Highcamera Aerial Photographic Service, Hill Sand and Gravel, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Jack Tarr Electrical Contractor, Moore's Portable Solutions, Oak Hall Supplies, Onancock Building Supply, Patriot Steel, Rommel Electric, Sev's Cleaning Service, T&W Block Inc., and Walker Laberge.

The total square footage of all three buildings comes to more than 179,000 square feet. The hospital will offer 52 private inpatient rooms including 10 rooms for critical care patients. It will also feature 13 private emergency department rooms, three operating rooms and state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging. The campus is 60 acres bordered by woods and a creek with easy access from Route 13.


Published: January 18, 2016