On March 2, Riverside Health System announced plans to expand its memory care services with the establishment of a new memory care center.
The center will be known as the Martha W. Goodson Memory Care Center and is being made possible through a seven-figure donation from G. Royden Goodson III, a native of Newport News, according to a release. The exact amount of the gift was not disclosed, though the donation is the largest the health system has ever received from an individual.
The center, which is being created in honor of Goodson’s wife, will enable Riverside to offer additional services, resources, and support to patients who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological and memory impairments and their caregivers. Goodson’s wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 57 and received treatment at Riverside Health System’s Neurological and Spine Institute.
“I researched and discovered all kinds of information about how to be a better care partner, but one of the best resources I found was Riverside Health,” Goodson said in a statement. “I met and worked with professionals at Riverside who helped me better educate myself, anticipate what might happen as the disease progressed, and what I could do to support Martha. I am grateful for the support that Martha and I have had, and I cannot think of a better way to honor her than by providing this gift. I hope it will inspire others to join us in this journey as I was inspired to do so.”
The establishment of the center will in part help build awareness and knowledge of dementia, help guide patients and their families through every step of care, and offer training for staff and first responders in order to better support those who have dementia.
“Dementia is a devastating disease, and one we understand takes tremendous strength and a support system for both the one diagnosed and their caregivers to help them during this difficult time,” said Riverside Health System CEO Bill Downey. “Our team is dedicated to being a consistent source of guidance, care, and empathy for families like the Goodsons. We are inspired by Royden’s love for Martha and his compassion and caring for others who may also be touched by dementia. We thank the Goodsons for embodying our mission: To care for others as we would care for those we love, to enhance their well-being and improve their health, and helping us continue to be the best resource to patients and caregivers in the community.”