Heart Center

Heart Center

Dear Friends:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Foundation, we are pleased to announce that our Foundation has pledged $28 million over 10 years to establish the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). This commitment represents the largest gift ever made in support of a program at the hospital.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center will be the only one of its kind in Richmond. The first and most critical step in establishing the program has occurred: Dr. Thomas Yeh, an experienced pediatric congenital cardiac surgeon, has been hired to lead the program. Dr. Yeh comes from Tulane Medical Center and is most capable of realizing our shared vision of developing a Pediatric Heart Center at CHoR, the only full-service children’s hospital in our region.

Our Foundation remains committed to building programs at CHoR and has provided $30 million in cash and pledges over the last four years. With our recent pledge of $28 million, that total is now $58 million. We remain focused on the children and their needs. That is what is most important to us.

As we begin this new project, we hope you will be pleased to know that the support you provide to us is being used to benefit all children, no matter their circumstance in life. Every child deserves the very best care available.

We will provide quarterly updates on our progress in upcoming issues of our Young at Heart magazine.

In the meantime, please know that something very special is now a reality in Richmond and will literally touch the hearts of our community’s sickest children. We are most grateful for your continued support.

Eleanor M. Goode, Chairman
Chris Broughton-Spruill, President

Press Release

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU announces $28 million gift to develop Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center
Largest gift to pediatric health care in VCU’s history

RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 16, 2014) – Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (CHoR) on Tuesday announced an unprecedented $28 million gift from Children’s Hospital Foundation, the single largest gift to pediatric health care in VCU’s history and one that will establish a pediatric cardiac surgery program in Richmond.

The gift advances pediatric heart care in Central Virginia through the development of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center at CHoR.

“This is another example of how VCU is helping to ensure that the children of the Richmond region have access to world-class health care in their own backyard,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. “We have committed again and again that we will help the people who need us, including children, and will be the best partner and colleague for our entire region and state to serve young patients and their families.”

“We are a nationally premier research university that is focused on discovering causes and cures across the spectrum of health care that enable our diverse patient population to live longer and better lives. That mission begins with children,” Rao said.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has made many advancements in children’s health thanks to the unwavering support of Children’s Hospital Foundation. Since 2010, the hospital has hired more than 40 new pediatric specialists, opened a dedicated pediatric emergency room, broken ground on a new psychiatric facility, developed new research initiatives and expanded multiple programs.

“Since the merger of Children’s Hospital and VCU Health System in 2010, Children’s Hospital Foundation has provided over $30 million in cash and pledges to pediatric programs like nephrology, orthopaedic surgery, neonatal medicine, critical care, craniofacial care, gastroenterology—and the list goes on,” said Eleanor Goode, chairman of Children’s Hospital Foundation. “With the announcement of our $28 million pledge, our total level of support now exceeds $58 million.”

John Duval, chief executive officer of MCV Hospitals, VCU Health System, said the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center will be led by Thomas Yeh Jr., M.D., Ph.D., a senior board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon. Duval said Yeh’s nearly 20 years of surgical experience, including thousands of successful pediatric cardiac surgeries, and his impressive training pedigree, are what led to his recruitment. 

“With this incredible gift and the recruitment of Dr. Thomas Yeh, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has the ability to stand up a robust heart center to care for any cardiac need a child might have around the clock,” Duval said. “From increased access with same-day appointments to 24/7 coverage of emergent issues, this gift will advance comprehensive cardiac surgical care in our community and prevent families from feeling they must leave Richmond—and their support system—during a critical and stressful time.”

“I’m humbled by the incredible support of Children’s Hospital Foundation,” said Yeh, director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center and chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “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. From fetal cardiology to interventional cardiac catheterization and surgery, our team will ensure that children with congenital or acquired heart disease thrive into adulthood.”

Congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defects, occurring in about one in 100 live births. Each year in Virginia, 800 babies are born with a congenital heart defect. Nearly 400 of these infants require medical care that may include open heart surgery within the first year after birth. These vital surgeries are often performed on fragile hearts no larger than the size of a walnut.

The $28 million gift will fund the people necessary to support the new comprehensive Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center, including the recruitment of Yeh and additional anesthetists, perfusionists, cardiologists, nurses, nurse practitioners and additional specialists for the care of children with congenital and acquired heart disease. VCU Medical Center will supplement the major gift with a $14 million commitment toward equipment and operating expenses.


About Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) is Central Virginia’s only comprehensive, full-service hospital dedicated to the care of children. CHoR is ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and is Virginia’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center. With more than 15 locations across Central Virginia, CHoR provides pediatric inpatient and outpatient services that cover nearly all children’s health-related needs. As part of the VCU Medical Center, CHoR is committed to ensuring access to care for all children, training future pediatric caregivers and making new discoveries that improve understanding and treatment of childhood diseases. For more, see www.chrichmond.org

About Children’s Hospital Foundation
Children’s Hospital Foundation is dedicated to funding and advocating for pediatric initiatives that improve the status of health care and the quality of life for children in our region. The Foundation provides support for the programs and initiatives of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the tens of thousands of children it serves each year. Children’s Hospital Foundation depends on the support of individuals, businesses and other organizations to help continue their mission of supporting excellence in health care for children.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.


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Audrey Costa may have been born with chronic kidney disease, but thanks to the care she receives at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, she is a happy and active 2-year-old. Hear Audrey’s parents, Tiffany and Tony, tell their daughter’s amazing story.

Meet Allie


Since starting physical, occupational and speech therapy at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, four-year-old Allie Jones has started school, is learning to pedal a bicycle, is expanding her spoken vocabulary and recently graduated from the Children’s Feeding Program.

Meet Ellen


When Ellen Sulanke became ill with a severe respiratory virus at five weeks of age, she spent six days at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU where she was cared for by physicians in the Progressive Care Unit. www.chfrichmond.org

Four Mile Walk/Run Commercial


Check out our CBS6 commercial for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Four Mile Walk/Run, which will be held on Saturday, September 21! Learn more and register today at www.CHFRace.org.

Sydney's Story


After breaking her arm at gymnastics practice, 10-year-old Sydney Emery was treated by multiple specialists in Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Emergency Room. www.chfrichmond.org

36 Hours for Kids Radiothon 2012


Beginning Friday, December 7th, 2012, Lite98 and Q94 brought the community together and showed how much they care for local children by hosting the 36 Hours for Kids Radiothon. Local talent from both Lite98 and Q94 gathered at the Brook Road Campus of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) and at Short Pump Town Center for three days to help raise vital funds for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Kappa Delta Tour Day 2012


Watch highlights from the annual Kappa Delta Tour Day, held on Saturday, November 3. Children’s Hospital Foundation is a national philanthropy of Kappa Delta Sorority.

Petersburg Health & Safety Day 2012 Video


Over 400 children came to our Petersburg Health and Safety Day on May 15, 2012. The event featured a fire safety house from the Fort Lee Fire Department, a water safety demonstration by the YMCA, and games and exercises from the hospital therapy department. Additional community partners included American Family Fitness, Petersburg School System, Petersburg Public Library, and many others.

13th Annual Virginia Dance Festival

Photo Gallery

More than 400 dancers took the stage on Jan. 28, 2012 during the 13th Annual Virginia Dance Festival organized by Jessica Morgan School of Dance. This year’s festival raised more than $13,000 for Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Children's Garden Concept Art

Photo Gallery

Proceeds from the 2011 Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball will be used to renovate a rooftop play deck, named the Children’s Garden, on the MCV Campus of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Once completed, the rooftop play deck pictured in these photos will serve the more than 5,000 children and families admitted each year to the acute care pediatric areas on the seventh floor of the Main Hospital.

Junior Board Raises $217,000 for Children’s Hospital Foundation

Press Release

Members of the Junior Board of Children’s Hospital Foundation are pleased to announce that the 48th Annual Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball raised $217,000 for the renovation of the rooftop play deck at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). The Ball was held on November 4 at the Country Club of Virginia and was attended by more than 650 guests.

40th Anniversary Dong's Martial Arts Tournament Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

The 40th Anniversary Dong’s Martial Arts Tournament, held Saturday, November 5th, produced a $29,180 donation for Children’s Hospital Foundation, bringing the total to $300,334.58 raised for the foundation in the past 15 years. The tournament at the Arthur Ashe Center had 360 participants and about 3,500 spectators.

29th Annual Teddy Bear Run Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

On Saturday, November 5th, riders on more than 900 motorcycles delivered teddy bears to patients at Children’s Hospital of Richmond during the 29th Annual Teddy Bear Run! The event is organized by the Blue Knights VA III, a local law enforcement motorcycle club.

Children's Hospital Foundation 5K/10K Walk/Run 2011 Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

The ninth annual Children’s Hospital Foundation 5K/10K Walk/Run sponsored by American Family Fitness and Richmond Family Magazine Kids Mascot Mile was held around the grounds of Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s Brook Road Campus on Saturday, Oct. 8. Nearly 600 participants walked and ran through Richmond’s Northside neighborhoods to support Children’s Hospital Foundation.

40th Anniversary Martial Arts Tournament Benefits Children's Hospital Foundation

Press Release

The 40th Anniversary Dong’s Martial Arts Tournament is scheduled for November 5, 2011 at noon at the Arthur Ashe Center, 2907 North Boulevard. As a benefit for Children’s Hospital Foundation, this annual event is a celebration of the true spirit of martial arts - the willingness to help others as well as yourself.

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