MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award

“Dr. Foster is a role model for all clinicians. She can somehow both manage a busy department and find time to connect deeply with her patients. She is truly incredible.”

This is a typical appreciation of the contributions of Robin L. Foster, M.D., Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, who has served as Medical Director of the Child Protection Team for the past 18 years. Dr. Foster completed medical school and residency training at VCU, returning in 1996 after completing her fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine. She is triple board certified in General Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Child Abuse.

Tiffany Kimbrough, M.D., Assistant Professor of General Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Mother-Infant Unit, explains, “. . . she completes comprehensive evaluations of children for physical and sexual abuse and neglect cases and testifies in court on their behalf

. . . her team has completed over 900 medical examinations for physical abuse, providing care all over the state in the last year. She has the uncanny ability to put children at ease who are often terrified and traumatized. Her disarming bedside manner allows families to trust her with complex dynamics; they are often reticent to share crucial details with healthcare providers due to distrust of the medical system.”

Dr. Foster’s work also includes preventing future injury. “Our burn center admits between l00-150 children each year. Every child under five and any child that the burn team feels warrants a child protective evaluation receives Dr. Foster's attention. . . . She is collaborative and delivers an invaluable service to both the Commonwealth at large and VCU. We were able to show a zero-recidivism rate after review of years of children admitted for burn care, (winning) us best in category that year at the American Bum Association,” shares Michael J. Feldman, M.D., Medical Director, Evans-Haynes Burn Center, Associate Professor of Surgery.

Colleagues and trainees praise Dr. Foster’s mentoring. “As a new Pediatric EM attending... she guided and supported me in my efforts to bring sepsis screening to the Pediatric ED. I frequently consult her for advice on clinical management of ED patients and call her at all hours for help in navigating the intricacies of social services and law enforcement when complex situations arise. Students, residents and fellows often tell me how much they value their time with Dr. Foster,” attests Jon Silverman, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Foster has provided hundreds of presentations for students, trainees, medical providers and community members to raise awareness for prevention, treatment, and intervention in cases of child abuse and neglect. Her service includes terms as President of the Board for Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and the Richmond Midnight Basketball League, and work for the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and Reach Out and Read. Her service to Virginia includes membership in the State Bar Commission on the Needs of Children (since 2000), the Central Regional Fatality Team (since 2012), and the Department of Criminal Justice Services Court Appointed Special Advocates/Criminal Justice Act Advisory Committee (since 2014). Dr. Foster served as the legislative and child abuse chair of the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for a decade, enacting legislation to protect the safety and rights of children at that time. She serves on the Board of ImPACT Virginia; a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating human trafficking.

Her work has been recognized with numerous honors, including the 2009 YMCA Outstanding Women Award for Health and Science, the 2009 Prevent Child Abuse VA Child Champion Award, the Child Advocate Award from VA Commonwealth Attorneys in 2013, the 2016 Medical Society of Virginia Salute to Service Award for the Uninsured and Underserved. She was elected to the VCU SOM Brown Sequard Chapter of AOA by our students in 2017.