Pediatric emergency medicine chair receives statewide honor

Robin Foster, M.D.

Robin Foster, M.D.

The chair of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University has received the prestigious Virginia Governor’s EMS Award for Outstanding Contribution for Children.

Robin Foster, M.D. (M.D.’89/M; H.S.’92/M), a longtime advocate for children and pediatric health care in Virginia and medical director of pediatric emergency medicine at CHoR, received the honor on Saturday at an awards ceremony held in conjunction with the 36th annual Virginia EMS Symposium in Norfolk.

Each year, the statewide award recognizes an individual or organization that exemplifies outstanding dedication and service to the contribution, development and enhancement of EMS for children in Virginia.

“It is overwhelming to receive this recognition for that work when every day I see the sacrifices and the commitment of [Office of Emergency Medical Services] and EMS providers to the health and well-being of every person in the commonwealth,” Foster said.

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VCU has only accredited adult and adolescent bariatric surgery centers in the state


Guilherme M. Campos, M.D.


David Lanning, M.D.

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU earned a distinction that identifies them as the state’s only accredited metabolic and bariatric surgery centers for adults and adolescents.

The American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program accredits inpatient and outpatient ba
riatric surgery centers that have undergone an independent, voluntary and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. Accreditation for metabolic and bariatric surgery not only promotes uniform standard benchmarks, but also supports continuous quality improvement.

“This MBSAQIP accreditation for VCU Medical Center formally acknowledges our commitment to providing and supporting quality improvement and patient safety efforts for metabolic and bariatric surgery patients,” said Guilherme M. Campos, M.D., professor of surgery and chair, Division of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery. “As an accredited program we have demonstrated that our center meets the needs of our patients by providing multidisciplinary, high-quality and patient-centered care.”

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National EMS award named for emergency medicine chair Joseph Ornato

Featured photo

Joseph Ornato, M.D.

The respect Joseph Ornato, M.D., has enjoyed over his 40-year career has now taken tangible form.

He was honored this summer at the Pinnacle EMS Leadership Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, with the announcement that a national award recognizing leadership in the emergency medical services field would carry his name.

Triple board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology and emergency medicine, Ornato is professor and chairman of the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Emergency Medicine. He is also medical director of the Richmond Ambulance Authority, Richmond Fire & EMS and Henrico County Division of Fire.

Reporting on the award, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services described him as the “undisputed leader in EMS and ED use of coordinated team resuscitation practices” from induced hypothermia to uninterrupted, continuous-compression CPR and rapid cath lab delivery and intervention.

Edward M. Racht, M.D. (H.S.’87/M), a School of Medicine alumnus, is the first recipient of the Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., Award for Clinical Leadership in EMS.

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Charting a healthy course for bikers, spectators

The wheels are racing in Robin Manke’s mind, making sleep difficult. With 1,000 cyclists headed to Richmond next week for the UCI Road World Championships, Manke, director of emergency management and telecommunications at VCU Health, is charged with coordinating everything from first-aid tents to patient transport to medical provisions.

“I wake up drawing incident command structures in my mind,” she says. “But I feel very comfortable. I think we have it.”

Those complicated logistics are designed to ensure that racers and an estimated 450,000 spectators have immediate access to medical treatment. The matrix includes a mass casualty plan and traffic flow diagrams that designate the quickest routes to the medical center. It addresses parking issues and the feeding of health care workers. No area of operations is untouched.

Robin Manke speaks at the May 2015 Rao R. Ivatury Trauma Symposium.

The medical team was lucky to have had a dress rehearsal in May 2014: the CapTech USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championship. The dry run featured 400 athletes, about 50 of whom were treated for various bumps and bruises. The event convinced the staff to downgrade their catastrophic thinking for the Worlds and focus more on road rash and shoulder separations. It also pinpointed where services might be needed most along the route — high-crash areas such as the Libby Hill cobblestone climb.

“It showed us how important little things are, things you don’t really think about,” Manke says.

About 167 staff members from VCU Health, the exclusive medical sponsor for the event, will be working in tents, fan zones, congested spectator areas, anti-doping sites and vehicles that ride alongside the bikers at a brisk 50-mph clip. There also will be medical staff at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and at the starting lines at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Kings Dominion and the University of Richmond.

The exposure will be invaluable for VCU Health. The experience should be enjoyable for the staff.

“I’m encouraging people to go out on their lunch break and watch,” Manke says. “People will get to see it who don’t even know what a peloton is.”

Want to learn more about VCU’s involvement in the bike race? Watch to see how the university geared up to welcome the world.


VCU Medical Center named to 2015 Most Wired list

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center was named among the 2015 Most Wired health care organizations in the country.

The 2015 Most Wired™ Survey and Benchmarking Study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of more than 741 participants, representing more than 2,213 hospitals, examined how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration.

VCU Medical Center has a rich tradition of using technology to benefit patients. The medical center has been using computerized provider order entry for nearly four decades, making patients safer along the way. In recent years, VCU Medical Center further accelerated its technology footprint by building a robust patient portal, closed loop medication administration and population health management.

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House call team at VCU Medical Center plays a pivotal role in the success of a national at-home primary care initiative

This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the initial year of results from the Independence at Home Demonstration, which is a CMS initiative designed to improve care while saving costs. The house call team at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center had a lead role in the creation and design of the initiative, working with Medstar Washington Hospital and University of Pennsylvania as the Mid-Atlantic Consortium.

The program’s medical team provides home-based medical care, also known as house calls, and personalized care coordination to Medicare beneficiaries that have decreased mobility and high illness burden. House calls provide the opportunity for providers to spend more quality time with patients, gain a much better understanding of the care environment and the patient’s goals, then match the care plan to actual needs. Quick access when conditions change is another key feature of at-home care. Working this way, the Mid-Atlantic Consortium’s home-based medical care programs reduced the cost of health care for this population by 20 to 30 percent. Programs can then receive funds to support the team care model, but only if measures of care quality and patient satisfaction are met.

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VCU names Michigan State University’s Marsha Rappley to health system CEO post

Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.

Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner, Michigan State University

Virginia Commonwealth University today announced that Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., will serve as Virginia Commonwealth University vice president for health sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System, effective Aug. 15.

In the position, Rappley will lead Virginia’s most comprehensive academic health sciences enterprise, which includes the VCU health system hospitals and outpatient clinics; the physician practice plan; the Medicaid health plan; the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Allied Health Professions; and the Massey Cancer Center.

Rappley currently serves as dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, with clinical, research and medical education operations at six campuses throughout the state that are affiliated with nine health systems and other health care providers.

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Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU ranks for third year in a row in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals

CHoR_US_News-featureU.S. News & World Report has placed Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in the new 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU ranked No. 48 in nephrology.

The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings highlight U.S. News’ top 50 U.S. pediatric facilities in cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. Based on a combination of clinical data and reputation surveys of pediatric specialists, 83 hospitals ranked in at least one specialty.

“It is an honor to once again be ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals for pediatric kidney care,” said Leslie G. Wyatt, senior vice president of children’s services and executive director of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “Our continued presence in the rankings is a reflection of the expertise of our nephrology team, CHoR’s full bench of pediatric specialists and staff required to provide comprehensive care to children with kidney disease, and our commitment to advancing children’s health.”

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VCU Medical Center awarded Baby-Friendly Hospital designation

medical center baby friendlyVCU Medical Center is now part of an elite group of hospitals across the country designated Baby-Friendly after meeting rigorous criteria for providing an exceptional level of attention to newborn feeding and mother-baby bonding.

The Baby-Friendly designation, part of a global initiative by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to promote and support breastfeeding, has been awarded to fewer than 10 percent of U.S. hospitals. VCU Medical Center is the only hospital in Greater Richmond, and one of four organizations in Virginia, to receive this prestigious accreditation.

“Becoming a Baby-Friendly health care organization requires a comprehensive journey of instituting evidence-based maternity care, challenging traditional protocols on newborn feeding and enhancing mother-baby bonding,” said Deborah Zimmerman, D.N.P., chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at VCU Medical Center. “The team at VCU Medical Center found the journey exciting, challenging and worth it. Our interprofessional team of clinicians enhanced their expertise, and, most importantly, the result has been the achievement of healthier babies and families.”

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VCU Medical Center among first to receive prestigious accreditation

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has become one of the nation’s first medical centers to complete the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s new accreditation program for Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers. The goal of the program is to improve the outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension, a debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to right heart failure.

With symptoms that include breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and chest pain, many pulmonary hypertension patients will see three or more physicians before they receive an accurate diagnosis. The survival rate for PH patients who go untreated is less than three years.

“We’re pleased that health care centers across the country are undergoing the rigorous review process to receive the special accreditation in the coming months,” said Murali Chakinala, M.D., from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and member of PHA’s Pulmonary Hypertension Association Oversight Committee. “In addition to providing lifesaving care for patients, these specialty care centers are a valuable resource for medical professionals, health insurers and families of people living with PH.”

“VCU Medical Center will improve the lives of more patients who know they have PH and many who have it and don’t know it.”

“There is an urgent need for medical institutions to accurately diagnose, treat and provide support for PH patients,” said Daniel C. Grinnan, M.D., associate professor of the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU Medical Center. “Our hope is that the PHA accreditation raises our profile to help us connect with health care professionals throughout our community to ensure that more people living with PH receive the right diagnosis early and accurately and that they will get the very best care available.”

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