Gas prices reach two-year low in time for the holidays

Staff writer

Those making their way back home for the holidays enjoyed the cheapest gas prices during the month of December since 2016, and prices could continue to drop, according to the latest report from AAA.

The national pricing average sat at $2.32 per gallon Monday, 5 cents cheaper than last week and a 12-cent drop from this time last year.

“AAA expects 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destination this year, which is a four percent increase year-over-year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “No doubt cheaper gas prices are fueling their decision to hit the road.”

In Virginia prices have also fallen, with Monday’s state average of just $2.11 per gallon, marking a 24-cent decrease from the state gas price average in November. AAA’s gas pricing website reports Monday’s averages for James City County were on par with the state average at $2.11, while York’s averages were even lower at $2 per gallon.

According to crowdsource gas pricing website GasBuddy, Williamsburg motorists can expect to pay as low as $1.99 per gallon at the Wawa on Merrimac Trail, or as high as $2.39 per gallon at the BP station on Richmond Road.

According to the AAA report, the drop can be attributed to a combination of high gasoline production and low demand.

“Motorists can expect gas prices to continue declining through year’s end,” the report states.

For more information on national and state gas price averages, visit gasprices.aaa.com.

Riverside Health System, with hospitals in Williamsburg, Newport News, Tappahannock, Gloucester and Onancock, was recognized for its advanced information technology system in a recent ranking by CHIME, a professional organization for senior healthcare IT leaders.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’ 2018 Most Wired list ranks hospitals across the country offering the best in IT services within the healthcare industry. According to a news release from Riverside, the company is the only health system in Virginia to make the list for 14 straight years.

“At CHIME, we believe that sharing best practices nationally and globally across the healthcare IT industry will improve patient safety and outcomes everywhere,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell in a news release. “Most Wired will help us achieve that goal, and more.”

According to the release, the annual Most Wired list ranks health systems that best adopt new technologies that allow them to better deliver quality and cost-effective evidence-based care. Riverside was ranked among 253 other health systems for its technological advancements.

“It is no longer acceptable to operate in silos; all our disciplines need to work together,” said Riverside President and CEO Bill Downey in the release. “We need to demonstrate that we can apply the technology and the information strategically to improve outcomes and enhance patient safety.”

Riverside attributes its 14-year streak on the Most Wired list to a habit of investing early in proven, worthwhile technologies that provide its physicians and clinical staff with the best tools possible.

Examples include the launch of a new electronic health record platform last year, which allows patients being cared for across outpatient, inpatient and emergency settings to share one complete medical record, according to the release.

The company also launched a service called Riverside MyChart, which allows patients to schedule appointments, order prescription refills, communicate with their provider, view test results and manage a loved one’s care online.

For more information, visit riversideonline.com.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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