VCU’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) received a holiday gift last month that will make pediatric cardiac care for local families more accessible in the future.
On Dec. 16, the Children’s Hospital Foundation bestowed CHoR with a $28 million gift—the largest donation to the VCU pediatric health system to date. The money will help create the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center, which will include a pediatric cardiac surgery program.
Matt Brady, vice president of communications for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, said he thinks it is especially important to have a children’s cardiac treatment center in Richmond for those who live in the region.
“When families are dealing with traumatic events, it is incredibly comforting to know they do not have to travel away from home, which often means going away from their support networks to get the best possible care for their children,” Brady said.
Brady added that the establishment will allow CHoR to broaden the health care options offerd to its patients.
“Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU is dedicated to strengthening pediatric clinical, educational and research initiatives that are important in our community,” Brady said. “A heart center like this one is an integral part of a full-service children’s hospital.”
In the four years since the Children’s Hospital Foundation merged with the VCU Health System in 2010, the foundation has donated more than $58 million to CHoR.
VCU President Michael Rao said this relationship is mutually beneficial and displays VCU’s commitment to assisting the surrounding Richmond area.
The foundation’s most recent donation is intended to span a 10-year time period and will be used to hire specialists such as anesthetists, perfusionists and cardiologists.
The VCU Medical Center has also committed an additional $14 million for purchasing new equipment and financing operating expenses.
Thomas Yeh, M.D., will lead the new Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center. Yeh joined VCU in October 2014 after working at the Pediatric Heart Center at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic. Yeh also completed his surgical residency at the VCU medical campus after receiving his M.D. from John Hopkins University.
“It is an honor to provide cardiac care to children and families in Central Virginia, and to give back to one of the institutions that was so fundamental to my training,” Yeh stated in a Dec. 16 press release following the announcement.