The new hospital will be 155,000 square feet that will include a new Cancer Center and be constructed to complement the architectural character of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Onley, Va. – Mayors along Chesapeake Bay's Eastern Shore joined in with Riverside Health System leaders, physicians and more than 500 community members Tuesday, Oct. 22 to break ground on the new Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onley.

Shore Groundbreaking

"As a public official, I have the privilege of attending a number of ceremonial events (but) there is no more momentous event on the Eastern Shore than the building of this hospital," said Virginia State Del. Lynwood Lewis. "We should be grateful for the physicians, Board members and others who have shown their dedication to our citizens. It's a commitment that the Eastern Shore deserves and one that I know Riverside will fulfill."

The new hospital, which should be completed and open for patients in late 2015, will be approximately 155,000 square feet with an adjacent building of 44,000 square feet housing physician offices, support services and a Cancer Center.

Front Entrance - The New Shore Memorial Hospital

It will feature 57 private inpatient rooms, with the ability to expand and add 12 more in the future. There will be three Operating Rooms, a state of the art Intensive Care Unit, 24-hour full-service Emergency Department with 13 additional private rooms, Newborn Unit, two sleep study areas, 10 infusion areas, a Diagnostic Center with MRI, CT and general radiology capabilities, and day surgery facilities for outpatient services.

"We are fortunate to be a large health system, but it is the communities we serve that make the difference," said Riverside CEO William Downey. "The building of the hospital can be a huge economic engine for the local community. We need to continue to grow and keep people here on the Eastern Shore."

The materials that will be used for the construction of the Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital are similar in nature to those used on previous Riverside projects and are sensitive to the architectural context of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Red brick or red cement board are being considered for the primary cladding of the new hospital, similar to other commercial and educational buildings in the area.

The location for the new hospital is immediately behind the Four Corners Plaza in Accomack County.

Medical services on the Eastern Shore have a history of being celebrated and supported by the community, a culture dating back to 1920 when Dr. William Sturgis Sr. helped raise the necessary funds to erect the Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital, saving residents a drive of hundreds of miles just to reach medical services. That first hospital opened in 1928, expanded to a modern facility in 1971 and in 2009 became affiliated with Riverside Health System and renamed Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.

"When we searched in 2009 for a partner, one system stood out from the rest – Riverside," said Robert Leatherbury, Chairman of the Board. "It's an organization that shares our values and commitment to the community. Right away we began working on our greatest needs: physicians, equipment and information systems and a facility ready for the next century."


Published: October 22, 2013