Bon Secours and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU join forces to advance pediatric care in Central Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 3, 2018) — Bon Secours and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU announced today they have formed a new collaboration that will maximize their combined resources to enhance access to quality care and improve the health and well-being of children in Central Virginia. The two organizations will remain independent under the new agreement.


Outpatient care offered through the collaborative will be on the campus of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in the new medical office building being constructed on Libbie Avenue on a portion of the Westhampton School property. Bon Secours will break ground on the new 55,000-square-foot, three-story building in March and plans to complete construction by fall of 2020. Doctors and team members from both organizations have contributed to the facility’s layout and workflow, building off of successful elements of CHoR’s Children’s Pavilion. Nearly 90 percent of pediatric care takes place in the outpatient setting and the new building will improve access and convenience for patients and their families.


"When you look across the country, strategic relationships are a proven way to enhance quality and ensure sustainable pediatric care in a changing health care environment,” said Elias Neujahr, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “Our organizations have provided expert and compassionate care to children and families for decades. Now we are sharing our unique strengths with one another to ultimately improve the health of children in our community and beyond.” 


Neujahr said the collaboration will extend elements of the academic medical center into the community, including access to life-changing clinical trials. The organizations also will share best practices and protocols for conditions such as asthma and diabetes to improve quality and continuity of care for shared patients.


Today’s announcement marks the beginning of several years of work and planning before patients and their families can access the coordinated care of Bon Secours and CHoR. Work groups from both organizations will develop integrated clinical care guidelines and protocols in the following specialties that will reside in the new medical office building: cardiology, general surgery, neurosurgery, urology, nephrology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, neurology and endocrinology. The two organizations are also targeting programs for expansion to meet growing need in the community.


“We started this journey with patients and their families as our focus,” said Toni Ardabell, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “This initiative combines the compassionate ministry of Bon Secours with the research and academic protocols from CHoR. By working together, we will significantly elevate the care we all provide to our pediatric patients and their families through quality, research and education collaborations. Navigating specialty pediatric care can be a hardship for families, and this partnership will create convenience and continuity of care for them.”


Sharing electronic medical records is another important aspect of the collaborative to enhance coordination of care for providers and patients. Both organizations have placed a priority on making this an essential component of their joint program.


“The partnership between a leading academic medical center and a strong regional health care system recognizes that children’s health care is unique, and by working together rather than in parallel, children and families will have access to state-of-the-art, coordinated and highly specialized pediatric care close to home,” said Amy Knight, chief operating officer of Children’s Hospital Association. “Across the nation, children’s hospitals and community partners are leading the way in building bridges to better serve kids — creating systems of care that span geographic and organizational boundaries.”


Bon Secours and VCU Health are mission-driven nonprofit health systems with long histories of serving the most vulnerable populations in our communities. This collaboration is an extension of several others the two organizations have formed.


“We firmly believe that we can best meet the needs of our communities as partners,” said Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics at VCU Health. “We are building on a history of collaboration that includes clinical care and extends beyond hospital walls, driven by our commitment to create healthier communities.”


The combined adult thoracic program, a partnership with Virginia Premier for insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange in 2019, continuing medical education programming for pediatric providers, and the joint sponsorship of GRTC Pulse are examples of successful collaboration between the two health systems.