Project includes new Surgical/Inpatient Services Building, expanded Emergency Department, enhanced entrance to the hospital and more.

Riverside Walter Reed Hospital recently broke ground on its largest renovation and expansion project in almost forty years of serving the Middle Peninsula. Nearly 100 community leaders, elected officials, construction and architecture teams, Riverside Health System and Walter Reed Hospital Board members, Riverside Foundation Founder’s Society members, volunteers, team members and physicians attended the groundbreaking that took place at the site of the new two-story Surgical and Inpatient Services building on the campus of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. The 65,000 square foot Surgical and Inpatient Services building will include capacity for four new state-of-the-art operating suites, 2 procedure rooms, pre-operative and postoperative recovery areas along with 36 private patient rooms located on the second floor.

Riverside Walter Reed’s Emergency Department will be expanded from 6,300 square feet to more than 16,000 square feet including 18 beds, 3 major treatment rooms, a trauma room and a Family Care Room. The Family Care Room, much like the J. Doswell Dutton Family Care Center adjacent to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, is made possible through generous contributions from our community members, businesses and volunteers and will provide a dedicated area of privacy for families and loved ones during what may be one of the most difficult times in their lives. Riverside is a not-for-profit health care organization and projects like these are only made possible through the generous support of our community partners.

To make room for the expansion and renovation of the Emergency Department, Riverside Walter Reed’s main hospital entrance will relocate to the area of campus where the current Medical Arts Building entrance is located and be accessed from Gloucester’s Main Street and Medical Drive. Renovations related to this move include a new lobby, registration and waiting area, gift shop and much more.

As part of the master plan for the project, Riverside Walter Reed has recently completed the renovation and relocation of Outpatient Imaging services including Mammography, Outpatient CT, Bone Density and Ultrasound.

The new Outpatient Imaging Suite is located in the Medical Arts Building and includes the addition of 3D Mammography services. Future campus construction and renovation includes a new suite for the two Orthopedic practices on campus, an expansion of the Middle Peninsula Cancer Center as well as additional campus parking.

“One of the things we’ve been looking for in Gloucester County is growth, and this is an example of what growth is,” said Phillip Bazzani, Chairman of the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, following the groundbreaking event. “For the county, this will help our community, it will provide more services to our citizens, they won’t have to go across the bridge, it’s all localized here. It will mean a lot of new opportunities for our citizens.”

“Riverside Walter Reed Hospital has become even more of a health care facility of choice” added John Meyer, At Large Member of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors.

“We are embarking on the largest renovation in the history of Walter Reed Hospital,” said retired gastroenterologist Dr. Richard Crowder, who currently serves as Chairman of the Riverside Walter Reed Board of Directors. “As with all such renovations, patient and family safety will be top priority. We ask for your patience as we renovate in place. There will undoubtedly be inconveniences, but every effort will be made to mitigate that. Patients will be rewarded with a state-of-the-art facility with which we can better care for the citizens of the Middle Peninsula.”

Greg Haldeman of DPR Construction, lead contractor on the project said, “For us, it’s not just about the project, it’s about the community.” Haldeman said he’d love to say patients won’t hear or see the construction crews while the expansion takes place. However, they will do everything they can to stay out of the way and there won’t be any interruptions during the construction. “Everything that’s available today will remain available throughout the project,” Haldeman said.

Riverside Walter Reed Hospital “has been and continues to be a tremendous community asset,” said Bill Downey, President and CEO of Riverside Health System, who served as the administrator of Walter Reed earlier in his career, which he described as among the happiest times of his life. “It has grown with the community over these 40 years. And it’s not just Walter Reed; we have continued to expand services throughout the Middle Peninsula.”

Expanded services and Riverside’s investment in the Middle Peninsula have included, among other projects, additional lifelong health and retirement community services, recruiting and adding top physicians to Riverside’s primary care and specialty care medical practices, bringing oncology services to the Middle Peninsula; and adding a new Intensive Care Unit and Family Care Center. “We have and will continue to have a long-standing commitment to the Middle Peninsula and Walter Reed,” Downey said.

“It comes back to what we call the Riverside Care Difference…which is summed up in our mission of caring for others as we would care for those we love.”

Published: February 17, 2017