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Programs We Support

Children’s Hospital Foundation is dedicated to providing support for the clinical programs at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), our region’s only full-service children’s hospital. Since 2010, the Foundation has paid and pledged $79.4 million to support and advocate for pediatric initiatives at CHoR.

Please explore the programs below to see how funds have been used to help children in our community.

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Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s hematology and oncology team is dedicated to improving the quality of children’s lives through prevention, control and cure of childhood cancer and blood disorders.

CHoR’s hematology and oncology team includes doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, chaplains, educational consultants, psychologists and child life specialists who help treat the whole child and family—not just the illness. CHoR houses a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit, the only program of it’s kind in the state of Virginia.

From routine, same-day outpatient surgeries to complex, delicate procedures, surgeons at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU utilize the most current, effective surgical methods. These include robot-assisted surgery to minimize pain, scarring and blood loss, and other minimally invasive surgical procedures. CHoR is the only accredited adolescent bariatric surgery center in Virginia, and one of several in the mid-atlantic region.

Children’s Hospital Foundation has pledged $500,000 towards construction of a pediatric perioperative center, a waiting area for patients before surgery. CHF has also given funds to add a 5th full time surgeon at CHoR.

In December 2014, Children’s Hospital Foundation 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.

CHoR is home to the Richmond region’s only pediatric nephrology program. From diagnosis to long-term treatment, the full range of medical and support services for kidney and urinary tract disorders are available at CHoR.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU offers a broad spectrum of therapy services including physical, speech, and occupation therapy.

Physical Therapy

If your child has a physically disabling condition – temporary or long term – the specialized physical therapists at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU can help your child gain new skills or relearn old ones involving physical and gross motor movement.

Speech Therapy

Children who have difficulty with speech, language, cognition and swallowing receive specialized attention from the speech and language pathologists at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Occupational Therapy

If your child has a developmental, neurological or other condition that has caused disability, the most basic tasks of everyday living may become complicated or even impossible.

The specialized occupational therapists at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU help your child learn or relearn the skills of daily life, by performing a comprehensive evaluation and developing a personalized treatment plan that’s unique to your child’s needs.

In 2011, Children’s Hospital Foundation established the John J. Mickell, MD Endowed Chair with a gift of $1 million to support a pediatric physician in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Dr. Mickell established Central Virginia’s first PICU in 1978 at MCV. Additional support has been given to guarantee that the PICU has physician coverage 24/7.

CHoR’s is home to the only Level 1 PICU in Central Virginia, due to this 24/7 access to pediatric specialties and the lifesaving technologies and treatments available for critically ill and injured children.

Pulmonary specialists at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU provide expert diagnosis and comprehensive treatment to address the unique medical needs of children. The pulmonary team evaluates children with respiratory symptoms such as chest congestion, chronic noisy breathing (stridor, snoring and wheezing), persistent cough, rapid breathing, and shortness of breath. The team treats children with a wide variety of acute and chronic respiratory problems.

Children's Hospital Foundation has supported the hospital's You Can Control Asthma Now Program (UCAN), which was developed to meet the needs of Richmond children suffering from asthma. Asthma effects approximately 6.3 million children in the United States. In cities such as Richmond the number of children suffering from asthma is disproportionately higher than in the surrounding areas. With medical care and focused patient education, children are able to gain control of asthma symptoms and live active, healthy lives.

The Center for Craniofacial Care at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU is Virginia’s premier facility for treating children with craniofacial abnormalities. Children with a cleft, craniofacial or vascular malformation can require corrective surgery, and the Center’s multidisciplinary specialists recognize that children with complex needs and their families may require additional specialized services.

The 10,000 sq. ft. emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has several unique features:

  • Designated Level 1 pediatric trauma center
  • 12 large exam rooms with recliners for families
  • Literacy center with books for children to take home
  • Pediatrics-only entrance and waiting room

Children’s Hospital Foundation has worked to expand the pediatric offerings at CHoR through a $1,000,000 gift to the Emergency department. Funds were raised through corporate partnership with Food Lion and Dancing with the Richmond Stars.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU provides the most comprehensive gastroenterology and nutrition (GI) services for children in Central Virginia. The GI team includes board certified gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners and dietitians who manage the entire spectrum of pediatric gastrointestinal and nutritional diseases and disorders.

Children’s Hospital Foundation has funded a $1,000,000 endowed chair.

Ear, nose and throat diseases in children can range from common to complex, but all have the potential to delay your child’s development, negatively affect overall health and create significant long-term medical complications.

The experts in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU treat the full spectrum of ear, nose and throat problems in children, and provide facial plastic and reconstructive services as well.

The Healthy Lifestyles Center at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU aims to stem the rising tide of childhood obesity by promoting healthy weight management, eating, exercise and lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime.

Whether it’s a broken bone, sports injury or a complex congenital condition, the orthopaedic experts at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU know how significantly the problem can affect your child’s quality of life.

By decreasing your child’s pain and enhancing functional mobility, the orthopaedic surgery team at CHoR makes a positive impact on your child’s life, both now and on their future physical, emotional and social development.

Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU's urology team provides care for children with acute and chronic urological issues. The team approach focuses on:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of congenital genitourinary anomalies
  • Improvement of urologic function
  • Maintenance of a healthy urinary system

Funds from Children's Hospital Foundation have been used to recruit specialists, establish the Children's Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Urology, and develop other programs.

To ease the emotional stress of a serious medical condition, child life specialists at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU provide the smiles and support to help children and their families cope. They ease their young patients’ adjustment to unfamiliar hospital surroundings through playful activities and celebrations that make everyone more relaxed and comfortable. Support from Children’s Hospital Foundation for the Child Life program is made possible primarily through support from the annual Spirit of Children fundraiser held by Spirit Halloween stores in the community.

The Feeding Program offers a multidisciplinary continuum of care, with day patient and outpatient feeding services designed to address your child’s specific needs.

The Day Patient Feeding Program is designed for children with moderate to severe feeding problems who are medically stable and in need of an intensive treatment approach. Therapy is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and typically involves three treatment sessions per day. Day treatment includes feeding therapy, weekly meetings, family training, and follow-up services.

The Outpatient Feeding Program typically involves weekly visits for therapy and other services. This level of care is for less severe problems that can be addressed through family training and do not require the more intense Day Patient Feeding Program.

In 2011, Children’s Hospital Foundation established the William Tate Graham, MD Endowed Chair with a gift of $1 million to support a pediatric physician in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Dr. Graham was the founder of the original Crippled Children’s Hospital in Richmond, which began as a free outpatient clinic to care for children with polio. The endowed position is currently held by Dr. Karen Hendricks-Munoz.

The NICU at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) provides quiet surroundings, 32 private rooms and the most advanced technologies available to create a healing environment for premature and critically ill newborns.

Pediatric neurosurgery focuses on issues in the brain, spine or peripheral nerves that require surgery while these areas of the brain are still developing. This includes surgeries for children before birth, immediately after birth, during infancy, childhood, adolescence or even in adulthood if the condition continues to persist.

Pediatric neurosurgeons at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) are expertly trained to treat the following conditions:

Sometimes a child’s ongoing health condition requires both medical and nursing care, and special equipment or services. In those cases, the transitional care unit at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU provides a friendly, supportive and comfortable environment for both children and their families.

Depending on the child’s condition, levels of care can include:

  • Long-Term care – rehabilitative, restorative or skilled care provided over an extended period, assisting patients with daily living activities
  • Transitional care – aimed at improving a child’s health status to aid the transition to home, a rehab facility or adult long-term care when the child reaches age 21
  • Palliative care – relieving pain and other symptoms of life-threatening medical conditions, to maximize quality of life when a cure is not possible
  • End-of-life care – provided when death is near

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU offers a full range of pediatric dental services. Each dentist has specialized training in treating the dental needs of all children from birth to age 21. From bedside dentistry and emergency availability to preventative care, you can rest assured that your child’s dental health is a top priority at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Children’s Hospital Foundation gave $250,000 to partially fund the Farrington/Mourino Professorship in Pediatric Dentistry.

Parents of children with mental and behavioral health problems look for help from the professional expertise offered by Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Services are provided through two separate and distinct programs, each with its own special areas of focus in caring for troubled children and their families.

The Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC) offers both inpatient programs – including acute care crisis stabilization and evaluations – and outpatient programs – including evaluations, family and individual therapy and specialty clinics. Its programs are designed for children of school age through 17 years.

The Psychology Department on the Brook Road Campus specializes in working with children from birth to age 17 who have psychological needs related to medical, emotional and behavioral issues, and neuropsychological evaluations following a neurological injury or illness.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s multidisciplinary team helps children and their parents through every step of TBI/concussion recovery, from managing neurological symptoms to school and social issues. Specialists on the team include:

  • Certified brain injury specialists
  • Educational consultants
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Registered nurses
  • Rehabilitation therapists
  • Social workers
  • Sports medicine physicians

The team also includes certified consultants for ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). ImPACT is the most widely used and scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system for assessing the injury, tracking recovery and affirming a safe return to play. CHoR is an ImPACT-certified center.

In addition to the support given to establish the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center, we have given funds to support general cardiology services at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). CHoR’s cardiac disease specialists treat a full range of conditions, from congenital to acquired heart disease, including:

  • Arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chest pain
  • Congenital heart diseases (pediatric and adult)
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Dyslipidemias (elevated cholesterol)
  • Family sudden cardiac death
  • Heart murmur
  • Hypertension
  • Kawasaki disease and other causes of myocarditis
  • Obesity
  • Syncope/palpitations

Your child may need an imaging procedure to help the specialists at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU make an accurate diagnosis. Imaging may also be an integral part of a treatment regimen. In either case, getting an appropriate image safely and precisely with a pediatric patient requires special skill and experience.

The knowledgeable staff at CHoR uses the latest equipment and adapts its use for children, adjusting radiation doses for small, growing bodies. And the team knows how to quiet children’s fears and make them comfortable with large and sometimes noisy machines.

Pediatric hospital medicine involves the care of hospitalized children. Hospitalists work with other sub specialists and surgical services to coordinate care between those services while children are in the hospital. They also maintain an open line of communication with community pediatricians and other specialists by sharing admission notes and discharge summaries in a timely manner and speaking personally to referring physicians so they are aware of their patient’s condition and care delivered.

During fiscal years 2012-2014, Children’s Hospital Foundation paid $380,111 to support Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Hospital Medicine program. The Foundation renewed its support with a two-year, $367,210 pledge to fund the Hospital Medicine Fellowship program, which started in July 2015.

When your child is hospitalized, recreation therapy provides a healing escape for play. The recreation therapy staff at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU assist and encourage your child to participate in a variety of activities to enhance physical and cognitive abilities in a safe and supportive environment.

As part of a coordinated care plan, expert staff makes sure your child receives daily stimulation and recreation, while teaching recreational skills and ways to modify activities to meet your child’s needs. Activities are age appropriate and range from arts and crafts and community outings, to games and music therapy, to pet therapy and social events for all ages.

Children’s Hospital Foundation supports recreation therapy through our Holiday Wishes campaign. Holiday Wishes money goes towards the rec therapy activity fund, which funds community outings for children on the Transitional Care Unit.