Riverside Welcomes Community at Previews of New Williamsburg Hospital

Newport News, Va. – The ribbon was cut, and the crowd cheered as Riverside officially kicked off the community celebration for the opening of Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg. The day was a long time coming, with plans for a Riverside Hospital in Williamsburg beginning in 2004 when the land was purchased.

"We recognize that our guests this evening represent longtime Riverside advocates who wrote letters and visited the General Assembly on behalf of this hospital, to individuals who have just moved to the area and are interested in this newest addition to the Historic Triangle. We hope that what you see this evening will make you proud of what we have accomplished to date and anticipate what is to come," said Steve McCary, Vice President/ Administrator Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg.

Numerous supporters of the hospital attended the event. During his speech, Senator Tommy Norment gave some history of the area, citing the Jamestown settlers as "not medically prepared." In contrast, today's Historic Triangle is well-prepared for health care needs big and small.

RDHW ribbon cutting
Ribbon cutting - surrounded by a crowd of 500 attendees, from left to right: Lynn Ellis, Bill Downey, Arlene Messina, Dr. Pat Parcells, Dr. James McCorry, Steve McCary, Dianna LoVecchio, Pastor William Dawson, Alan Witt, Bill Brauer, Charlene Smith, Dr. Paul Hartman, Ray Brown (RTKL) and Chris Jahlring (Turner)

"It's fitting that the hospital is at this intersection, because it's what connects the 21st century to this community; a visible and dynamic area," Norment said.

Although the facility includes advanced technology, Riverside Health System Chairman of Board Alan Witt pointed out, "It's just a facility that allows us to accomplish our mission: to care for others as we would care for those we love." Witt also mentioned the intentional design of the hospital "with the patient and patient's family in mind," calling it "holistic" and "cutting edge." The architecture, design features and even color selection create a calm experience for patients, with technology centered on communication.

The emphasis on patients continued with the invocation, which included an invocation for "hope for recovery, hope for healing and hope for life," by Pastor William Dawson of nearby Mount Gilead Baptist Church. Riverside Doctors' Hospital includes many features to encourage healing, including an emphasis on personal health care from the tight-knit care team that has been working together for the last few months to ensure they are ready to receive patients on May 6th.

Bill Downey, President and CEO Riverside Health System thanked the numerous people whose hard work and perseverance made it possible for the location to open, including Riverside staff, community members and people involved in the process over nearly a decade. "We are immensely grateful for the hours of work by so many dedicated people, which will make it possible for more people in Williamsburg to experience The Riverside Care Difference," Downey said.

Several events kicked off the arrival of the hospital, including invitations to the business community, EMS staff members and retired Riverside employees. Over 1,500 guests have come to see the new Riverside Doctors' Hospital facility during the first 12 days of April, with the emergency department, the surgical suites and the patient rooms highlighted on tours available to all guests. Diverse groups came together to see the technology and care innovations offered at the new hospital, including senior living communities, religious leaders, community business members and Riverside volunteers. McCary noted, "These events could not have been possible without the Riverside Doctors' Hospital staff and volunteers who hosted the tours through the facility."

The numerous people supporting the construction of a new hospital in the City of Williamsburg were included, notably those who signed the Certificate of Public Need petitions, and members of Dr. Mark Ellis' staff. Dr. Ellis was a local oncologist who spoke publicly about the need for the new hospital but died several years prior to construction beginning. His staff wore photos of him during one reception in tribute.

Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg will improve the future of healthcare in Williamsburg through advanced technology and a commitment to care. The Riverside Care Difference is: To care for others as we would care for those we love - to enhance their well-being and improve their health.


Published: April 16, 2013