Riverside Tappahannock Hospital (RTH) and VCU Health System announced they have entered into an agreement for VCU Health System to acquire Riverside’s medical services in the Northern Neck region of Virginia. 

Under the terms of the agreement, VCU Health System will acquire RTH and several related services, including diagnostics, physical therapy, Riverside Medical Group provider practice locations in the region and Tappahannock Urgent Care.

The acquisition will provide Tappahannock and Northern Neck residents seamless access to the full range of advanced health care services offered by the VCU Health System, including a broader range of medical specialists, clinical trials and state-of-the-art technology.

“Rural hospitals thrive – and community health care benefits – when there is a strong connection to specialized services provided by a larger network,” said Liz Martin, President of Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. “This transition will continue to ensure that patients across the Northern Neck can receive excellent care locally at the same time they have access to the continuity of services available through VCU Health System’s acclaimed medical center.”

The acquisition further extends the collaboration between two high-performing organizations, combining the clinical expertise of a community-based hospital with the nationally-ranked programs of VCU Medical Center under the umbrella of VCU Health System. It builds on the existing partnership that RTH and VCU Massey Cancer Center began in 2019 to enhance cancer care in the Northern Neck region.

“Riverside Health System has done a tremendous job enhancing medical care and patient experience at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital for the past 31 years,” said Rick Farmar, Chairman of the Board for Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. “VCU Health System has a very strong reputable brand which is well known in the Northern Neck area and this transition will bring enormous value for patient care, specialized medical services, and provide a “stress-free” gateway for high complexity acute care services. This is truly a “win-win” for our community!”

Riverside Health System and VCU Health System have also agreed to a more formal affiliation that will bring to life several clinical, research and education initiatives. The health systems identified several areas of opportunity, with some of them currently in operation and many more in the planning stages.

“Riverside Health System’s strategic plan highlights the need for academic health affiliations, particularly with larger academic health systems,” said Riverside’s President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mike Dacey. “Our collaboration with VCU Massey Cancer Center in Tappahannock has proven just how beneficial those relationships can be for the community.”

Riverside Health System acquired RTH in 1989 and invested heavily in the 67-bed facility and its grounds, bolstering its technological capabilities, expanding the inpatient, surgical and emergency department facilities, and adding new services such as the Cancer Care and Infusion Center. The creation of a strong medical group with both primary care and specialty care providers and the development of a talented team of caregivers and support staff have culminated in a comprehensive service offering to benefit the residents of this region.

Riverside and VCU Health System’s goal is to ensure a smooth transition with no interruption in continuity of care. Riverside Northern Neck team members will remain Riverside employees for at least 12 months following the change of ownership. Tappahannock Urgent Care employees will also remain on the payroll of their current organization.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work together with Riverside Health System, to build on one another’s programs and expertise, and through Tappahannock Hospital to initiate these opportunities as we look forward to becoming an integral part of the community there,” said Melinda Hancock, chief administrative and financial officer for the VCU Health System. “We have a successful track record of helping rural communities thrive by keeping their health care local as much as possible and providing the direct access to the highly specialized care at VCU Medical Center when essential.”

“Our mission is about preserving and restoring health for all Virginians and we advance this by innovation in health care service, education and research, “ said Dr. Peter Buckley, interim CEO, VCU Health System, and senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences. “We are delighted to align with Riverside, an outstanding healthcare organization, to collectively bring the best we have to our combined communities.”

Riverside CEO Bill Downey noted that “having these two highly respected independent health systems work together will not only improve the care provided in our communities, it will strengthen both Riverside and VCU Health System for the long run.”

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