The Shore Health Services Board of Directors – the governing body for Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital (RSMH), Riverside Shore Cancer Center, and related healthcare providers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore – voted Tuesday to build a new facility in the geographic area between Keller and Parksley while maintaining significant outpatient, diagnostic and physician services in Northampton.  At its meeting on Wednesday, the Riverside Health System (RHS) Board of Directors approved and endorsed the decision of the local Shore Board.

Ms. Caramine Kellam, Chairman of the SHS Board, stated, “We have researched and evaluated our options for several months in our Strategic Planning and Board meetings.  We sought the opinions of many stakeholders including physicians and other healthcare providers and individuals from all areas of the Shore.  All perspectives were systematically aired, discussed, and genuinely considered.”

The existing hospital structure opened for business in 1971.  Joe Zager, RSMH Administrator, explained, “After lengthy study, the Board determined that renovation of the existing 39-year-old hospital would be prohibitively expensive, and would significantly disturb patient care for an extended period of time.  As a result, the Board decided that a whole hospital replacement would better serve the community.” 

Hospital inpatient and directly-related support services will move north to an as yet undetermined location.  Extensive outpatient and physician services will remain in Northampton County.  It is anticipated that the Nassawadox location will include an express care center with extended hours.  In addition, before the end of 2010, a $3 million investment in improvements to the Nassawadox site will include an upgraded CT scanner, digital mammography, and a digital image archiving system that allows physicians to view and discuss radiologic images from multiple locations. 

Bill Downey, Chief Operating Officer of Riverside Health System, commented, “RHS is proud to endorse the local Board’s decision.  We are excited to support the Board in expanding the availability of healthcare services for all Eastern Shore residents from the Bridge-Tunnel to the state line.”


Published: July 29, 2010