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More inclusive care, easier wayfinding and new outpatient clinics

A look at how VCU Health served patients in 2022.

Mother and newborn pose with medical staff Ashley Towns, of Lawrenceville, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Namari Towns. Namari just so happened to be the 1,000th baby born at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital's Garland Birthing Center. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

By Laura Rossacher


Many of us are eager to prepare for the New Year, planning changes we want to make, both big and small. At the same time, this is a season for reflection – pausing for a moment to look at all we have accomplished this year. With our patients and the communities we serve in mind, we used 2022 to expand our physical footprint to provide more services, create a more welcoming environment and simplify how you get to appointments.


Expanding access to our services 


Open since May 2022, our first ambulatory surgery center, located in Short Pump, offers same-day surgical services that do not require an overnight hospital stay. Some of the specialties we offer at the center include orthopedics, urology, plastics, surgical oncology, as well as ear, nose and throat services. 

VCU Health team members share an inside look at the ambulatory surgery center in Henrico County. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications) 


Women’s health services also expanded in the Richmond-area, with a new clinic at GreenGate, offering patients in the West End a convenient location to see their provider. This new location has a team of doctors, midwives, nurse practitioners and technicians dedicated to providing the personalized and compassionate patient care we are known for. 


And for those with appointments at VCU Medical Center in downtown Richmond, we have made it easier to find your way around with our new VCU Health Way Finder application. You can access turn-by-turn directions to guide you to the right building and floor for your doctor’s visit.  


Creating a more inclusive environment 


Our VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital has expanded services for our cancer patients this year, opening the Cancer Care Center for Beauty & Confidence. Free salon services by appointment include free wigs, hats and other accessories, as well as skincare and cosmetics services. 


Patients in our hospitals and clinics may have noticed a black and gold pin on our team members’ clothing, letting others know their pronouns. These pronoun pins are a small, outward demonstration of how our team members identify. Launched in June, our hope is to provide a safe environment for patients to share how they identify as well.      


A female doctor and a female patient access representative posing with pronoun pins

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital's clinical nutrition manager Jennifer Ferguson and patient access representative Tanner Traylor show off their pronoun pins. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)


Creating a more inclusive environment is also a goal of VCU’s Office of Health Equity, which celebrated its one-year-anniversary in 2022. The office works to reduce health inequities and educate people about the challenges facing minority and lower-income communities when accessing health care. For patients, the office has established community partnerships to help with transportation and to address food insecurity, by providing  a box of food to take home upon discharge. 


Award-winning patient care, research 


Our work to make clinical trials accessible to everyone reached an important milestone this year. Named after our VCU Massey Cancer Center director, a $114 million Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program aims to engage patients who are underrepresented in clinical trials. It’s important that our research reflects everyone who’d benefit from breakthroughs.      


We also celebrated a national milestone this year. As the oldest civilian burn center in the United States, our Evans-Haynes Burn Center commemorated its 75th anniversary. 


Looking back and looking to the future: 2022 is a year the Towns family, of Lawrenceville, will never forget. Namari Towns came into the world at 12:44 a.m., on Sept. 29, 2022, weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long. Her birth also marked a major milestone as the 1,000th baby delivered at the Garland Birthing Center at the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

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