Our History

Be the change you want to see in the world.
In the 1980s, Riverside Health System purchased a rural Newport News hospital in default.  We could not have known then that directly employing physicians to rebuild a depleted hospital staff, would decades later serve as the catalyst for the formation of Riverside Medical Group.

From our humble beginnings has evolved one of the most transformative and progressive medical groups in the country where our physicians are as engaged in a board room as they are in an operating room. We believe our future depends on it.

Sometimes the door opens and the future walks in.
The 1980s brought the very real prospect of capitation as a dominant payment mechanism, prompting early attempts by Riverside Health System to establish integrated care delivery. These attempts occurred as a by-product of cost containment and operating efficiencies rather than visionary thinking, but they occurred nonetheless, providing insight into a future we couldn't then conceive.  

With a goal of working toward an integrated care model built around family practice and OB/GYN, over the next two decades, Riverside Health System began directly employing physicians. This small and slowly growing group of doctors formed an advisory board, organizing as Riverside Physician Associates (RPA).  Far from representing a critical mass, RPA was a physician silo with little voice in a rapidly expanding health system.

The choices we make, are the hinges of our destiny. 
In 2004, Riverside Health System quickly employed members of a neurosurgery group whose growth challenges and desire to relocate threatened the status of community care and Riverside Regional Medical Center's Level II trauma designation. The Health System reached out and hired several other physician specialty groups with similar issues.  While not the result of a well-crafted strategy penned for months around a board table, early forms of a physician employment model began to slowly take shape.

By 2005, some of the top physicians in the area including highly respected general surgeons, ENTs, neurosurgeons and neurologists, were operating under a non-traditional health system "employee" business model. What's more, they liked it and set about finding the best physician talent in the country to join them.

The neurosurgery crisis averted and with competition from other health systems escalating, heath system leadership and the "employees" of Riverside Physician Associates (RPA) began assessing what in the minds of consumers differentiated us from other health care providers?  Though it took a team of consultants to point it out, The Riverside Difference was right in front of us, that which we'd unknowingly been building since the purchase of a rural hospital in default many years ago --  a relationship between health system and health provider.   

The time is now. The Formation of Riverside Medical Group
Over time and on the heels of more direct physician engagement and business participation in joint ventures such as surgery centers, the "employment" model slowly developed into a hybrid  "employment and production" model.  Health system leadership and "employed" physicians  collectively rallied around the emergence and use of electronic medical records. The experience of working together toward a common purpose combined with the exponential growth in numbers of "employed" physicians, led to the formation of Riverside Medical Group in 2007. Authored shortly thereafter and adopted by Riverside Medical Group and Riverside Health System, the Physician Compact, is a purpose-driven doctrine emphasizing our number one priority – patients.

Instead of a hospital with doctors, we are doctors with a hospital.
Riverside Medical Group is a planned multispecialty practice of more 330 medically distinguished physicians and 110 mid-level providers, in over 110 locations representing more than 30 specialties. We serve the southeast Virginia Peninsula community of Hampton Roads and the more rural areas of Gloucester, Tappahannock and the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland. We draw patients from the greater Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News metropolitan area of over 1.6 million households and from communities all across the country who want access to affordable, coordinated, integrated care delivered by some of the best doctors in the country using some of the most advanced technology in the world. We are committed to effective communication and increased physician leadership in administrative, strategic, operational and healthcare delivery areas and above all, to the provision of superior, coordinated patient care resulting in some of the best medical outcomes possible.  

From a culture rooted in the physician employment model once needed to keep a small, fledgling community hospital from default, has come transformative change of monumental proportions in how Riverside Health System, facilities, services and patient care is managed --and who manages it.

In 2009, the first-ever Medical Director was named to lead Riverside Medical Group.  Five physician leaders were appointed to work side by side with Administrators to oversee all aspects of service line practice management, facility operations, service delivery and most importantly, patient care and outcomes. An RMG physician was named Senior Vice President and Administrator of the health system's flagship hospital. And the "Riverside" organization, a team of health system Administrators and Riverside Medical Group physician leaders, now work side by side as one "Riverside" management team. 

Together, we have taken a giant step in transforming healthcare delivery. We will always be medical doctors. But we are also medical directors, hospital administrators, clinical innovation directors, service line chiefs and board of director members.

Our mission hasn't changed.  But our leadership role has.



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Riverside Regional 30 minutes
Doctors' Hospital 16 minutes
Walter Reed 23 minutes
Tappahannock 22 minutes
Shore Memorial 11 minutes
Updated: 4:00 PM on 5/25/17