Riverside Foundation

Farewell to Part of Our Family

Tappahannock Hospital Farewell
In October, Riverside Health System and VCU Health System finalized the purchase agreement for VCU Health System to acquire Riverside’s hospital and physician practices in the Northern Neck and upper Middle Peninsula region of Virginia, including Riverside Tappahannock Hospital effective January 1, 2021.

“It has been an honor to serve the Northern Neck community,” said Riverside CEO Bill Downey. “Riverside Health System and VCU Health share the same values and commitment to improving the health of our communities by expanding access to quality care and providing leading-edge, compassionate and effective health care close to home.”

The first community hospital in Tappahannock opened its doors in 1964 and joined the Riverside family in 1989. Over the years, we have forged incredible friendships in the community. Prominent among those friendships has been the leadership and vision to elevate care in Tappahannock through philanthropy by two very special women.

Hospital President Liz Martin helped support fundraising efforts and oversee the multi-million dollar private room conversion completed in 2017. Liz joined Riverside Health System in 1989. Before arriving in Tappahannock, Virginia, she planned, supervised and coordinated outpatient care across the health system. In 1995, Liz became the chief executive for the recently acquired Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. Her belief in and commitment to the Riverside mission has been instrumental in guiding this close-knit family of caregivers.

Liz also led the effort to establish a scholarship in memory of Dr. Jeffery M. Haskins, a urologist who faithfully served the Tappahannock and Northern Neck community for more than 25 years.

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 member of the Riverside Foundation Board of Directors, Frances Ellis has been an outspoken advocate of the need for private support for Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. At the recommendation of the Board of Directors in 2012, Frances and Marion Rowe formed a community committee and embarked on a capital campaign to convert existing patient rooms into private care settings.

In 2019 Riverside was grateful for the opportunity to honor Frances’ many contributions as a part of our 20th Anniversary celebration. We have recently created a lasting tribute to Frances, and her beloved late husband, Ben, by naming the emergency medicine/trauma training suite within the Simulation Training Lab at Riverside Regional Medical Center in their honor.

“Her leadership will have an impact on our work for decades to come,” said Kristen Witt, executive director of the Riverside Health System Foundation. “To be able to recognize her accomplishments alongside of Ben, who lived a life of distinction and service, means so much to us.” The shared leadership and incredible accomplishments of both Liz and Frances have elevated the work of the Foundation as well as Riverside’s ability to deliver remarkable care in Tappahannock for our patients, their families and our communities. It has been an incredible honor, and we are immensely grateful.

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