Paving the Way at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital

July 01, 2021

Riverside Foundation Mental Health
RWRH event attendees hear updates from Esther Muscari Desimini, Hospital President, and Melvin D. Schursky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer.

Thank you to our Gloucester community supporters who came out to enjoy the Riverside Foundation’s first ‘Paving the Way’ event on June 22, 2021, hosted by Cara and Randy Randolph.

It was an intimate evening with visionary leaders at Walter Reed Hospital talking about facility and service enhancements coming soon.

We offer a special thank you to our hosts and to Esther Muscari Desimini, Hospital President, and Melvin D. Schursky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the wonderful evening and inspiring information!


Paving the Way


Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, the heart of the Gloucester community, is a 67-bed acute care facility located near historic Gloucester Court House in Gloucester County. With 24-hour emergency service and a 12,000-square-foot Intensive Care Unit, Walter Reed features a complete range of outpatient services, a highly professional, caring staff and more than 50 outstanding area physicians. As part of the Riverside Health System, Walter Reed also has direct access to Riverside Regional Medical Center's Level II Trauma Center, nationally recognized Heart Center and 18-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

In addition to the hospital's services, Riverside on the Middle Peninsula provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services and access to specialists, including cardiology, gastroenterology, general surgery, nephrology, a neurology and sleep center, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, physiatry, therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hand therapy, nutrition), urology, vascular, and women's health.

Vital Care Close to Home

At a time when hospitals across the country are seeing a decline in admissions, the opposite is true at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital because of community health profiles and care needs on the Middle Peninsula:

  • Current average patient profile: Over 45 years of age, Smoker, Drinker, Obese
  • Increased incidence of Heart Disease, Orthopedic conditions, Cancer and Women’s Health
  • Many residents are traveling to Richmond for critical health services including Heart Disease Care, Heart and Breast Diagnostics, Cancer Care, and Vascular Surgery

In January of 2019, Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester, Virginia opened a 54,000 square foot inpatient services building, featuring advanced operating and procedure rooms, pre- and post-op care areas and 38 next-generation inpatient rooms. We since have completed renovations to our emergency department, which doubled treatment space to 16,000+ square feet and opened a new main entrance, lobby and registration area.

Expansion Fueled by Clinical Expertise

The continued expansion is fueled by the clinical expertise of Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mel Schursky and Hospital President Esther Desimini. Both leaders understand that creating an environment for cutting-edge health care in a rural setting directly translates into immense benefits for patients who can receive vital care and services close to home. These four capital projects, expanded upon in following pages, are slated to begin in late 2021 with an estimated cost of $10 million.

Middle Peninsula Cancer Center

Riverside will double the current Oncology Infusion Center capacity from eight to sixteen bays, expand nurse workstations and support areas, renovate the on-site lab, generate five additional exam rooms, enlarge, and enhance the waiting areas, and construct an enclosed connector between the Cancer Center and the Hospital. The Cancer Center is also home to Riverside’s Oncology Nurse Navigator who serves as a personal guide, resource and support system for patients and families from diagnosis through treatment at no additional cost.

The Shirley Spain Healing Garden

Along with renovations to the Cancer Center, the neighboring healing garden, in loving memory of Shirley Spain, will receive updates and revitalization so patients and their families can visit this outside oasis for fresh air and reflection.

Breast Health Center

An outpatient and spa-like clinic for women will offer digital and 3D mammography, ultrasound, and breast MRI’s and have the capability to support diagnostic services such as stereotactic and breast ultrasound biopsies, and nuclear medicine breast imaging.

Cardiovascular Diagnostic Lab

This state-of-the-art lab will feature critical advanced technology to aid in the treatment of heart disease:

  • Nuclear Medicine Diagnostic Imaging
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease Testing

New Medical Infusion Suites

Currently, over 2,000 patients travel to Williamsburg and beyond for infusion care. In order for more patients to receive vital treatment and care closer to home, six new bays will be added to facilitate non-chemotherapy, medical infusion treatments for autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, systemic infections, anemia and osteoporosis.

Help Us Write the Next Chapter

We welcome your involvement in the Riverside mission in a way that is comfortable and meaningful to you.

Your investment in our care is a priceless gift with tangible results. Contact us at 757-234-8740 or [email protected] to learn more. Make a gift online today!

A note from Cara and Randy

Thank you for coming tonight and sharing this special evening with us. Recent enhancements to the campus as well as the future expansion of the cancer center have created an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Our community is so fortunate to have this exceptional facility in our backyard.

Our dear friend Billy Healy was treated at this facility.

Though he lost his battle with cancer, there have been and will continue to be many successful outcomes because of the exceptional care provided. Billy’s presence is seen everywhere through the beauty he created with his landscaping and the cultivation of his many close friendships. We can’t think of a better way to honor him than to help create a beautiful space for patients and their families to heal.

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