VCU's Department of Pediatrics is committed to training and developing the next generation of dedicated pediatricians, caring for each child as if they were our own and advancing the specialty and its myriad subspecialties through innovative research. Our central hub is at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in downtown Richmond, with satellite locations and community clinics all throughout Central Virginia.

We provide the full gamut of pediatric services, and fellowship-trained faculty members lead each of our academic subspecialty divisions:

CHoR is a comprehensive regional referral children’s hospital with deep public health roots, providing the highest level of medical care for children from newborns to young adults in the state of Virginia since 1917.

In 2020, CHoR was rated No. 1 in the metro-Richmond area by US News & World Report. Since 2013, CHoR has ranked as U.S. News Best Children’s Hospital nationally and in 2020 the only children’s hospital in Virginia to rank in hematology, nephrology, urology and pulmonology categories.

As a regional referral center for children for the mid-Atlantic area with air and ground transport expertise, we are proud to influence patient care and safety, providing innovative therapies that support our public health clinical mission well beyond our hospital borders.

With training and research key priorities for the department, our efforts are supported by the National Institutes of Health, industry, Department of Defense, foundations and philanthropy.  Strong integrated collaborations with the Child Health Research Institute, the NCI-designated VCU Massey Cancer Center, the VCU Center for Rehabilitation Services and Engineering and the Pauley Heart Center, support faculty and learners with opportunities for innovative research and clinical care specific to children’s health for innovative discovery.

Our Mission

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Pediatrics is dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate, state-of-the-art pediatric health care, research and education at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and community hospitals throughout the region.

Our History


Dr. William Tate Graham, Virginia’s first orthopaedic surgeon, opened a free children’s clinic in the basement of his office on East Franklin Street. The clinic grew into a new hospital by 1928, operating under the name Crippled Children’s Hospital.


Lee J. Sutton Jr., Ph.D., became the first full-time professor of pediatrics at the then Medical College of Virginia. During his tenure from 1928 to 1959, there were sweeping changes in medical and pediatric care, as the philosophy of total care by the pediatrician for the physical, intellectual and emotional well-being of the child was developed.


The Department of Pediatrics opened an adolescent unit, underlining its commitment to serve infants, children, adolescents and young adults.


The Children’s Hospital of Richmond established a neonatal intensive care unit as a regional referral center for Central Virginia


The residency began offering a pediatric primary care track for trainees. VCU also established Central Virginia’s first pediatric intensive care unit 


A Ronald McDonald House opened to provide housing for the families of our patients. Throughout the 1980s under Harold Maurer, Ph.D., new programs in child neurology, pediatric infectious disease, critical care, gastroenterology, child psychiatry and pediatric pulmonology flourished.


All pediatric inpatient services at the VCU Medical Center relocated to the new Main Hospital.


The Board of Visitors of VCU approved the creation of the Children’s Medical Center to encompass all programs directed by the Department of Pediatrics and affiliated pediatric subspecialty services.


VCU’s combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency began. With integrated curriculum allowing residents to develop depth and expertise in each discipline, it has grown into a strong and challenging training program.


The VCU Medical Children’s Center merged with the Children’s Hospital on Brook Road to form the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.


Led by David Lanning, M.D., Ph.D., co-surgeon-in-chief of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Pediatrics, a medical team successfully separated 20-month-old conjoined twins from the Dominican Republic Maria and Teresa Tapia.


The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU opens the Children’s Pavilion, a 15-story facility in downtown Richmond providing outpatient services in nearly all pediatric subspecialties.