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Bon Secours, VCU Health break ground on pediatric outpatient facility on Westhampton School property


Bon Secours and VCU Health broke ground Tuesday on construction of a new pediatric medical office building on the Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital campus, which will maximize the combined outpatient resources of the two health systems. Expected to be completed by fall of 2020, the three-story, 55,000 square-foot building along Libbie Avenue will improve convenience and access to care for children and their families. 

Nearly 90 percent of pediatric care in the United States takes place in an outpatient setting. The collaboration offers the benefit of highly specialized pediatric care — including access to clinical trials — that is closer to home for many families.

“Breaking ground on this outpatient building is an important step in the strategic collaboration with our colleagues at Bon Secours aimed at ensuring quality and timely access to pediatric care,” said Elias Neujahr, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “By combining our unique strengths under one roof in a facility just for kids, we’re improving the health of children in our community.”

The medical office building is part of a broader collaboration between VCU Health and Bon Secours that goes beyond infrastructure investments and pediatric care, representatives from both organizations said.

“The way we deliver health care in the U.S. and in our own community is changing every day,” said Deborah Davis, chief of strategic initiatives at VCU Health System. “Our commitment to the betterment of greater Richmond will tackle health disparities from multiple angles. Our collaboration with Bon Secours allows us to create solutions for sustainable health care together well into the future.”

In early 2019, maternal fetal medicine and genetic counseling specialists from VCU Health began offering services at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital. Housed in one space at the Bon Secours-VCU Health Perinatal Center, high-risk pregnancy experts from both organizations now offer expecting families comprehensive perinatal care.

“The compassionate ministry of Bon Secours and the research and academic protocols of VCU Health join together to offer our patients the best care possible,” said Francine Barr, president of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.

In addition to providing combined medical services, the organizations’ collaboration involves efforts in the community to address social factors affecting health and well-being. VCU Health and Bon Secours will work to enhance the capacity and operations of Virginia Supportive Housing, a nonprofit organization that views housing as a social determinant of health for vulnerable populations and provides permanent housing and support services for homeless single adults. Both organizations have pledged investments over the next three years to support pre-development costs associated with the renovation of a vacated assisted living facility in Richmond’s East End into apartments for formerly homeless and low-income individuals.

A joint sponsorship of GRTC Pulse and a partnership with Virginia Premier for insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange in 2019 are other examples of successful collaborations in the community between the two health systems. 

“Barriers to care are real and exist for too many central Virginians. As we continue to live our mission of enhancing the health and well-being of the communities we serve, then we need to find new ways of ensuring access to quality, sustainable health care for all,” said Toni Ardabell, president of Bon Secours Richmond market. “As our region’s two nonprofit health leaders, we share a commitment to lift our community into the future with projects inside and beyond our hospital walls.”

An FAQ about the collaboration between VCU Health and Bon Secours can be found on VCUHealth.org.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.

About Bon Secours Richmond Health System

Bon Secours Richmond is part of Bon Secours Virginia, which provides compassionate medical care to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the commonwealth. The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Richmond is a Catholic health ministry that partners with the community to create a more humane world, build health and social justice and serve those who are vulnerable. Bon Secours Richmond provides nearly $130 million in community care through Medicare, Medicaid, charity care and other community benefits. As one of Richmond’s largest employers, the nonprofit health system employs more than 9,000 people, including nearly 420 providers as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group. Bon Secours Richmond includes St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, Rappahannock General Hospital and Westchester Emergency Center. The Bon Secours Richmond Health Foundation raises charitable funds to help Bon Secours Virginia Health System address the community’s growing health care needs with compassion and excellence.