Dear Colleagues-Friends,

These past few days we’ve had the opportunity and privilege to participate in the VCUHS Community Internship Program. Our group included senior leaders in our community, all of whom voluntarily took two days away from their busy schedules to learn more about our Health System.

We had the opportunity to learn from and experience first-hand as we toured various units throughout our hospital – a great many of our VCU team members – each of whom displayed impressive knowledge, commitment and joy in serving our academic healthcare mission. We toured the operating rooms, SOM Simulation Center, the children’s in-patient units and CHoR Pavilion, the molecular laboratory, the NICU, the emergency department, morning safety call, the cardiac cath lab, radiology department, the Massey Cancer Center, Department of Corrections secure unit, epilepsy monitoring unit and in-patient rehabilitation. Excellence, compassion, and commitment was evident everywhere we visited. During the community internship, our distinguished guests also learned about the safe and successful delivery of sextuplets – a remarkable accomplishment that can only happen so successfully at a high functioning, quality driven health system with great clinical teams. With all that our guests observed, they were glowing in their praise of all their experiences and uniformly said “We had no idea about all the great things going on here!”

The appreciation of community leaders for what we do – when they can then be powerful ambassadors for VCU – is priceless.

Thanks to all of you who supported and participated in this Community Internship. Please also extend thanks for Lauren Moore and her development team for putting together such a professional and powerful program.

As a complementary accompaniment to this “note of thanks,” we thought you might be interested in this “hot off the press” article from JAMA that demonstrates superior patient outcomes in academic medical centers. This is an important article. Hopefully, this will stimulate discussion in our academic and broader healthcare communities about the unique, vital, and complementary role that academic health centers – like ours – play in U.S. healthcare.

Thank you for your leadership and contributions to the remarkable quality of care given every day to people who seek treatment with us.

With every good wish,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System