Dear colleagues,

As part of our continuing efforts to ensure a safe and secure environment at VCU Health and the School of Medicine campus, I wanted to make you aware that on Wednesday, November 1, weapons detection screening will go into effect at the main entrances to the McGlothlin Medical Education Center (MMEC), Sanger Hall and West Hospital.

These locations were selected because they are physically connected to the medical center. By now, most of you have become accustomed to the screening procedures, which are detailed further below. However, the implementation of these security upgrades will also be accompanied by changes to building access during overnight hours, weekends and Virginia Commonwealth University holidays.

Here’s what to expect beginning November 1:


  • Monday – Friday, 6 AM to Midnight – screening at main entrance (12th Street). Card swipe still required to directly enter the building at 12th Street and Marshall St. before screening.
  • Midnight – 6 AM, weekends, weather closures and VCU Holidays -- accessed only through screening in Gateway lobby (until 9 p.m.), or screening at the 24/7 Critical Care Hospital (CCH) ground floor entrance.


  • 24/7 Screening at main entrance (Marshall Street), bus stop entrance (11th Street) and courtyard entrance (Patterson Garden). Card swipe still required to directly enter the building at these entrances. All other exterior doors will be egress only.

West Hospital:

  • Monday – Friday, 7 AM to 6 PM – screening at main entrance. (No access permitted at this entrance when VCU is closed for holidays, inclement weather, or breaks)
  • All other times: those needing access to West Hospital will need to go through screening at one of the following Health System locations:
    • Gateway entrance (until 9 PM)
    • Critical Care Hospital (ground level entrance 24/7) via bridge connector

When arriving at screening stations, security recommends removing the following items from your bag/backpack before walking through the weapons detection unit:

  • Laptops
  • iPads/tablets
  • Umbrellas
  • Metal cups/travel mugs/water bottles
  • Eyeglass cases

Items such as keys, cell phones, wallets and loose change do not need to be removed. Anyone with concerns related to medical devices may opt to be screened with a weapons detection wand.

This latest upgrade follows implementation of similar screening stations at major entry points to the VCU Health Campus. As is the case with the current systems in operation, these measures are non-invasive and similar to what people experience when attending events at entertainment venues and other public facilities. Installation at MMEC, Sanger and West will take place in the days prior to implementation, and VCU Police will be on hand to provide information and address any additional questions.

More details about the screening process can be found HERE.

Your safety and security remain our highest priority. We will provide additional security updates to other parts of our SOM campus as they become available. Thank you again for your patience throughout this process, as we work to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our patients, students, staff, faculty and clinicians.

With gratitude,

Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System