Dear colleagues,

As we celebrate love in all its forms this Valentine’s Day, let’s also take time to reflect on February as American Heart Month and prioritize heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., according to the CDC. Each year the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute raises awareness about cardiovascular health throughout the month of February with initiatives like #OurHearts, heart health fact sheets, panel discussions and other resources.

We are proud that VCU’s Pauley Heart Center is at the forefront of saving lives and improving outcomes for patients with heart disease. In collaboration with the Division of Cardiology, experts at the center provide inpatient and outpatient care ranging from noninvasive procedures to heart transplantation; lead pioneering clinical and basic science studies; and educate the next generation of compassionate health care providers and researchers. The center also takes health inequities to heart, using a patient-centered approach to address social determinants and cardiovascular health disparities.

VCU’s commitment to cardiovascular health extends beyond Pauley Heart Center as well. A new partnership between the Children’s Hospital of Richmond and University of Virginia Children’s Hospital provides life-saving congenital heart surgery for children like Genesis, which allows families in Central Virginia to stay closer to home for procedures and follow-up care.

We are immensely grateful for the leadership and innovation of our heart specialists at VCU School of Medicine and VCU Health, and their commitment to keeping our communities healthy. We also encourage you to listen to your heart this February, take advantage of the resources available and help spread the word about American Heart Month to your friends and colleagues.


David P. Chelmow, M.D. - Interim Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health