VCU Medical Center opened the Baird Vascular Institute this past Thursday on the MCV campus. The building, previously called the Virginia Heart Institute, focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease.
The building will be in full operation by mid-November and has its first appointment tentatively scheduled for Nov. 11. The institute is a joint effort between International Radiology and Vascular Surgery, allowing for a true multi-disciplinary approach.
“It’s one of those things where by getting the expertise coming from multiple angles you’re able to make a better diagnosis for the patient,” said Geoff Chestnut, manager of business development at the Department of Radiology.
The institute was made possible in part by the donation of the building and property by Jane B. Baird Hyde, who donated it in memory of her late husband, Charles L. Baird, M.D. Dr. Baird was the founder and director of the building’s previous role as the Virginia Heart Institute. While the building’s focus has shifted from the heart to a peripheral vascular treatment, which is everything else but the heart and brain, many of the speakers at the opening spoke of how they would continue the work of Dr. Baird.
Renovation began back in April to bring the building up to modern building codes and re-focus the building for its new outpatient treatment. Around $2 million was spent in the whole process.
“It is a very warm and friendly environment,” Chestnut said. “The building was designed with patients in mind, as well as referring physicians in mind. Everything about it is meant to be warm and comfortable for the patient.”
The institute, due to its affiliation with VCU Medical Center, is one of the only major academic-based vascular centers in the region.
The new building will not host classes for MCV students as it is strictly a clinical facility, but students may have the opportunity to fellow or have residency at the institute.
The Baird Community Room, however, a large room within the institute, will be used for community outreach and engagement. According to Chestnut, it is possible that academic lectures could be held there.
The building will have a team of six attending physicians that rotate between the hospitals and the Baird Vascular Institute. The institute is only for outpatient care and will not host overnight operations or stays. The longest operations at the center will be in the five-hour range.
The institute’s first major community program will be held mid-January and offer a range of screenings to the public in a fair-like setting.