TAPPAHANNOCK, Va. – For nearly two decades, Elizabeth Martin never had to wonder how the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital was doing.

Riverside Tappahannock Hospital is such a key member of the community, said Martin, "I don't have to wait to get a report…I can walk through local stores and talk to my friends and neighbors and I know how we're doing."

Following more than 18 years as the Vice President and Administrator for the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, Martin was appointed Riverside Health System's Vice President for Quality. John Peterman will become new hospital's new administrator following his post as Administrator of the Cardiac, Vascular and Pulmonary Service Line.

Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, a member of the not for profit Riverside Health System, primarily serves the residents of the Tappahannock area, including Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties and the Northern Neck counties of Richmond, Westmoreland, Northumberland and Lancaster. Riverside Health System acquired the hospital in 1989 and invested $8 million to pull the hospital out of bankruptcy.Liz Martin

Martin joined Riverside Health System in 1989 after earning an undergraduate degree in Biology from the College of William and Mary and her Masters Degree in Health Administration from Duke University.

Before arriving in Tappahannock, Va., Martin planned, supervised and coordinated outpatient care across the health system. In 1995, Martin became the chief executive for the then newly acquired Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. For two years, Martin also simultaneously served as the administrator for the Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester, Va.

Martin said, in looking back over her tenure in Tappahannock, she's proudest of what Riverside has given back to the community, both in terms of enhanced medical care and philanthropy.

"As a not-for-profit, we put all of our dollars back into patient care, expanding the ER from seven to 10 beds, the ICU from four to seven beds and size of surgical suite," Martin said. "Every time the community chooses to get their care here, they make our hospital better."

Over the years, the hospital has supported the Tappahannock Free Clinic, providing millions of dollars of free care, provided the seed funding to establish a school nurse program at the Essex County public schools, which is now funded by the school system, used telehealth technology to bring medical services to a rural community that otherwise wouldn't have access to them and is currently working to transition all of the hospital to private rooms.    

"In addition," Martin said, "the Riverside team of more than 500 employees magnifies the organization's commitment to the community through their personal volunteerism across the Tappahannock and Northern Neck regions."

The hospital's transition to all private rooms is happening thanks to another partnership between Riverside and the community. Riverside Tappahannock Hospital is currently fundraising $2.5 million in the community to convert the rooms. Riverside Health System will match, dollar for dollar, the community's investment of $2.5 million.Peterman_John_RHS_opt

Peterman brings more than 25 years of health care experience to the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital.A graduate of Duke University's School of Allied Health with an undergraduate degree in business administration and a Master's Degree Management and Organizational Development, Peterman joined Riverside in 1987.

 In 2002, he was named the Service Line Administrator for Cardiac, Vascular and Pulmonary Services.In Tappahannock, Peterman hopes to continue to grow the medical staff.

 "Building a stronger community, making access to heath care easier and faster, is what makes not only this hospital better, but it makes our entire Tappahannock-Essex-Northern Neck community stronger. And Riverside is committed to that," Peterman said.

 "We are invested in the community," Peterman said. "Riverside has pulled resources from other places to enhance what's offered here. That's a commitment and one that Riverside will continue."

Published: October 21, 2013