William B. DowneyNewport News VA - Alan S. Witt, Chairman, Board of Directors of Riverside Health System announced today that William B. Downey will assume the responsibilities and title of President of Riverside Health System effective March 1, 2011.  In addition, Mr. Downey will become the system’s Chief Executive Officer at year end.  Richard J. Pearce will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer until December 31, 2011 when he will transition to Executive Vice-Chairman of the Riverside Health System Board and Special Advisor to the executive team.  This change in leadership was approved by the Health System Board at their January 26th meeting.

“The close working relationship of these two men, complemented by a cohesive executive team and the Boards’ direction, assures Riverside’s exceptional leadership stability will continue into the future,” noted Mr. Witt.  He added, “This relationship is a significant corporate advantage during an era of constant healthcare change.”

William B. Downey started working at Riverside in 1985. He served in numerous roles within Riverside until 1995 when he left to work with a nationally known health system. In June 2001 he returned to serve Riverside as an Executive Vice President, adding the role of Chief Operation Officer in February 2003.  Mr. Downey has been very active in civic matters and has helped to keep Riverside at the forefront of community leadership representing the importance of maintaining a healthy community.

Richard J. Pearce joined Riverside in 1972. He also served in numerous roles within Riverside before President of the system in 1992. In January 2001 Mr. Pearce added the role of Chief Executive Officer. His leadership, foresight, and creativity over the past 12 years have allowed Riverside to expand in numerous ways. The development of Riverside Medical Group as a pivotal element of Riverside, growth in Williamsburg and the Eastern Shore, and the initiation of innovative programs such as Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Richmond and Hampton are only a few of his benchmark achievements.

Published: February 3, 2011