The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and Children’s Hospital have officially joined to become Children’s Hospital of Richmond

The new hospital will provide a unified source of comprehensive, coordinated specialty pediatric care to children and their families at 10 locations throughout the greater Richmond area and in Fredericksburg.

Formal talks between the VCU Health System and Children’s Hospital announced in March have concluded with an agreement that joins the operations of the two organizations under the VCU Health System umbrella.

“In the years ahead, we will look back on today as a milestone, an important step forward in providing coordinated and compassionate children’s health care in the Richmond area and beyond,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and the VCU Health System.  “Children’s health care always has been especially important to me. I am delighted to see our organizations come together to further advance the quality of health care for our children now and in the future.”

“The agreement creates a unique children’s medical center in central Virginia with unparalleled scope and breadth,” added Dr. Sheldon Retchin, VCU Health System CEO and vice president for VCU Health Sciences.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond will provide increased access to all levels of health care for children — from well-child checks to advanced medical and surgical services for serious conditions to long-term care and therapy.

“This union improves the coordination of care for our young patients among all of their health care providers,” said John Duval, CEO of MCV Hospitals of the VCU Health System. “We are in a period of transition that ultimately results in one set of quality standards, one unified patient experience and one unified environment of care.

“Our goal is nothing less than to be a nationally recognized children’s medical center,” Duval said.

More than 350 Children’s Hospital employees join the nearly 1,000 VCU Health System employees dedicated to pediatric care, as well as an additional 1,200 VCU Health System employees in medical and surgical specialties who care for children and adults. 

Children’s Hospital of Richmond will include:

  • Six specialized inpatient units with 149 pediatric beds, including acute care, pediatric intensive care, neonatal intensive care and transitional care.
  • Thirty-five pediatric medical-surgical services including cardiology, developmental pediatrics, orthopedic surgery and other sub-specialties.
  • Nine therapy services such as audiology, assistive technology and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
  • Seven support service programs including child life/recreational therapy, pastoral care and social work, designed to complement medical and therapy services.

“The sum of all of these parts is impressive,” said Leslie Wyatt, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital who will serve as vice president for Children’s Services, VCU Health System. “Children’s Hospital of Richmond fills a significant need in the Richmond area, which until now, was one of only two metropolitan areas of its size without a comprehensive children’s hospital.”

Officials said top children’s hospitals have strong links to an academic medical center, with established infrastructure for conducting basic science and clinical research and training pediatric health care providers. 

Dr. Bruce Rubin, chair of the VCU Department of Pediatrics, said the union of Children’s Hospital with the VCU academic medical center facilitates the retention and recruitment of additional top pediatric medical and surgical specialists and subspecialists. He said 30 of the country’s best physicians and researchers will be hired over the next few years.

“These physicians and researchers will enable us to enhance and expand specialty services and research programs as well as strengthen our residency and fellowship training programs,” Rubin said. “We face increasing shortages of pediatricians and pediatric specialists, so the education of future pediatricians and pediatric specialists is particularly important.

“Now is the time to ensure the future for pediatric health care in the Richmond area and throughout central Virginia,” Rubin said.

For more information on Children’s Hospital of Richmond, visit