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Donors drive new research at CHoR

In 2014, Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) established the CHF Research Fund through a two-year $100,000 pledge to improve the research competitiveness of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU faculty. Community support for the fund has continued, and $191,000 has been awarded to support 28 grants of $10,000 or less during the fund’s first four years.

“The purpose of doing research is to improve the health of our children,” said Dr. Henry Rozycki, professor of pediatrics and vice chair for research. “It’s also a critical part of our mission and helps us attract outstanding physicians and providers.”

Data from 13 of the 28 funded studies were used to apply for additional grants that received $3.72 million in funding from sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense. Studies have examined a variety of issues including infectious disease, dental health, prematurity, and neurological and pulmonary function in children in Virginia, the U.S. and across the world. The CHF Research Fund is one part of the research efforts at CHoR. At any given time, there are approximately 100 studies being conducted at CHoR and 400 children participating in clinical trials.

“The NIH and other organizations require substantial and solid preliminary research to justify investing millions of dollars,” said Dr. Rozycki. “The CHF Research Fund provides needed funding for our faculty to support new ideas and expand those ideas into significant studies to get external funding.”

To be considered for a CHF Research Fund grant, a project must be plausible, feasible and have the ability to lead to larger, more substantial studies if the initial research works. The fund also provides financial support for grant recipients to present their results at meetings or publish them in medical journals. CHoR faculty author approximately 250 publications a year.

“Research is where new ideas come from,” said Dr. Rozycki. “We want to award as many grants as we can to spark new ideas, engage faculty in research and support ideas to eventually improve care.”