VCU ready to discuss independent children’s hospital

Will this finally lead to the free standing children’s hospital many have pushed for?

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Update #1 — March 19, 2014; 11:03 AM

The Board of Directors of VCU Health Systems voted 17-3 on Tuesday in favor of entering “formal discussions with interested parties that could lead to an independent, free-standing children’s hospital in Richmond,” read a VCU press release.

This is big news for proponents for an independent children’s hospital in Richmond, the most influential of which being PACKids (see below).

The VCU Health Systems had previously argued that a children’s hospital should operate under its existing health system. PACKids countered that a free standing hospital was better.

Comments from VCU president Michael Rao indicate that VCU Health Systems may now agree with PACKids.

“Discussions with interested parties over the past few months have led to the real potential for an independent, free-standing children’s hospital that supports our inviolate missions of patient care, medical education, and research,” Rao said in a press release. “We are ready to take the discussions to the next level toward a community-based children’s hospital that enhances pediatric medical education, pediatric research, and advances children’s health care in Central Virginia and beyond.”

VCU Health System provided no indication as to when those discussions would take place, or who would be involved.

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Original — June 11, 2013

Today VCU Health Systems announced “that it has proposed a model for a new, free-standing children’s hospital to the VCU Health System Authority for its consideration.” Seems great, right? Who wouldn’t want a hospital dedicated to helping kids. The whole story behind Richmond’s lack of a free-standing, comprehensive children’s hospital is complicated and involves many of the city’s major players.

Here are a couple of must-reads to help you familiarize yourself with what’s happening and to put some context around today’s announcement.

PACKids remains focused on collaboration to build one independent hospital for central Virginia’s children

PACKids welcomes the announcement by VCU Health System in regards to building a free-standing hospital for children. Our board believes this is absolutely a step in the right direction, a step toward collaboration and solution finding with all the healthcare systems.

PACKids’ goal has always been a collaborative effort with all the health systems, the community, and our pediatricians, working together to build a successful, sustainable, world- class independent hospital for all Virginia’s children. With VCU now stepping up to the plate, we know we can make it happen.

PACKids looks forward to working with the healthcare systems and the philanthropic community to make sure we avoid the mistakes of other cities where competing children’s hospitals have been built. We have one chance to do this right and we believe we can work together to make the right decisions for our children and our families.

We look forward to pulling together a task force that can begin working on the details with VCU, Bon Secours and HCA along with interested community members. This is truly a monumental day for Virginia’s families.

Photo by: taberandrew

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