Staff members of the VCU Medical Center stand together to form a giant No. 1
Staff members of the VCU Medical Center stand together to form a giant No. 1

Honors and awards

In dedicating ourselves to individualized patient care and multidisciplinary approaches to education, outreach and research, we inspire others.

CHoR surgeon receives rank of knight

David Lanning, M.D., with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez Reyna

David Lanning, M.D., surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), received the Order of Christopher Columbus rank of Knight from Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez Reyna. In 2011, Lanning successfully led a team of 45 physicians and pediatric subspecialists who worked together to perform a dramatic 20-hour procedure that gave conjoined twins Maria and Teresa Tapia the chance to lead separate, healthy lives. The two tiny celebrities, who turned 2 years old in April 2012, traveled back to the VCU Medical Center from the Dominican Republic for a checkup in the fall and showed that they were healthy and thriving a year after their surgery.

Marian Altman, M.S., R.N., CNS-BC, CCRN, ANP, School of Nursing, received a Circle of Excellence Award, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Dixie Bowman, PT, DPT, Ed.D., School of Allied Health Professions, received the Distinguished Service Award, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Alfred Certosimo, D.M.D., M.Ed., School of Dentistry, received the Frank “Buddy” Boris Memorial Award for Distinguished Service, American Board of General Dentistry.

PonJola Coney, M.D., director of the Center on Health Disparities and professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine, elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Jeffrey Delafuente, M.S., FCCP, FASCP, School of Pharmacy, elected a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow, National Academies of Practice; took office as president-elect, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

Dave Dixon, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE, CLS, School of Pharmacy, named to the National Lipid Association’s Patient Adherence Subcommittee.

R.K. Elswick Jr., Ph.D., School of Nursing, received the 2012 Judson C. Hickey Scientific Writing Award, Editorial Council of the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.

Sharon Gatewood, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy, was selected for the 2012-13 Faculty Scholars Program, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

Mary Jo Grap, Ph.D., R.N., ACNP, FAAN, School of Nursing, received a 2012 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Research Abstract Award.

Kenneth Kendler, M.D., Department of Psychiatry and Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, named one of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists of 2012 by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Nancy Langston, Ph.D., School of Nursing, named an Academy of Nursing Education Fellow by the National League for Nursing.

Steven Lindauer, D.M.D., M.D.Sc., School of Dentistry, named editor, The Angle Orthodontist.

Daniel Longo, Sc.D., Department of Family Medicine, appointed chair of an application review panel, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, School of Nursing, appointed to the Alliance Symptom Intervention Committee, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology; appointed co-chair, Genetic Nursing and Health Care Expert Panel, American Academy of Nursing.

Gary Matzke, Pharm.D., FCCP, FCP, School of Pharmacy, appointed an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy representative to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Effective Health Care Program Pharmacy Workgroup.

Victoria Menzies, Ph.D., R.N., PMHCNS-BC, School of Nursing, appointed to the editorial board, Arthritis Care & Research.

Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H., VCU Health System and VCU Health Sciences, elected 2012-13 National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems executive committee member.

Arun Sanyal, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, received the Ranbaxy Research Award in the field of Medical Sciences – Clinical Research, Ranbaxy Foundation.

Evan Sisson, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy, appointed to the editorial board, The Diabetes Educator.

Kenneth White, Ph.D., the Sentara Professor in Health Administration in the School of Allied Health Professions and professor in the School of Nursing, inducted as a fellow during the American Academy of Nursing’s 39th annual meeting.

Leslie Wyatt, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, received a 2012 Outstanding Women Award, YWCA of Richmond.

Victor Yanchick, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, named to the editorial team, Libyan Journal of Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacology.

Medical center receives No. 1 ranking in state

U.S.News & World Report 'Best Hospitals' badge

U.S.News & World Report confirmed in its July 2012 “Best Hospitals” rankings that when it comes to care in Virginia, VCU Medical Center remains unmatched. VCU Medical Center earned the distinction of No. 1 hospital in the state, as well as the Richmond metropolitan area, while also placing four programs — nephrology, pulmonology, orthopaedics and urology — in the top 50 in the nation.

The rankings showcased more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 of those, however, are ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

“All of these hospitals are medical centers that should be on your list when you need the best care,” said U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “They are where other hospitals send the toughest cases.”

The VCU Medical Center also ranked as “high-performing” in cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; geriatrics; gynecology; neurology and neurosurgery; and rehabilitation.

Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H., CEO of the VCU Health System and senior vice president for VCU Health Sciences, said the No. 1 ranking in the commonwealth “is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment to excellence in patient care and reflects our goal of bringing the latest and best therapies, treatments and cures to our patients and to the community.”

Physicians earn top rankings, cover spot

Cover of Richmond Magazine's 'Top Docs' issue

VCU Medical Center physicians figured prominently in Richmond Magazine’s 2012 Top Docs survey, which asked Richmond-area physicians whom they would recommend in a range of specialties. Adam Klausner, M.D., associate professor and the director of neurourology, female urology and voiding dysfunction in the Division of Urology, who earned the most votes in the urology and urological survey category, even snagged the coveted cover photo.

Of the 389 physicians appearing on the “top docs” list, 133 (roughly one-third) were VCU Medical Center physicians. VCU doctors earned spots in all of the 78 categories but two, and they earned the most votes in 51 of the categories. In conjunction with the survey, Richmond Magazine asked readers to submit personal stories about their experiences with exceptional physicians. One of the five stories chosen honored R. Scott Lucidi, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and medical director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies practice, for his care of a patient with uterine cancer who was struggling to become pregnant.

VCU Health System wins top nonprofit honor

The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) named the VCU Health System as one of the NAFE Top Nonprofit Companies for Executive Women. This is the sixth time NAFE has presented the health system with the award, which is given based on female representation, hiring, attrition and promotion rates, access, and usage of key retention and advancement programs within an organization.

“The nonprofit companies selected by NAFE represent what is best about the leadership of organizations who have set themselves up to move women through the pipeline,” said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media and CEO of NAFE.

According to a report from Working Mother Institute, women hold 38 percent of the executive positions at the NAFE Top Nonprofit Companies, while 48 percent of health system executives are women. The report also found that women hold 27 percent of all board seats at the NAFE Top Nonprofit Companies, compared to 16 percent across the Fortune 500. Women represent 80 percent of those who receive management and leadership training at the VCU Health System.

Advocacy award honors School of Pharmacy

VCU School of Pharmacy students holding up their 2012 NACDS RxIMPACT 'U' Advocacy Award plaque

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) named the School of Pharmacy the recipient of the 2012 NACDS RxIMPACT “U” Advocacy Award. The award is presented annually to pharmacy school students and campuses in recognition of their active engagement in pro-patient and pro-pharmacy grassroots advocacy.

The winning School of Pharmacy team was helmed by students Catherine Floroff, Bradford McDaniel and Natalie Nguyen and faculty adviser Gary Matzke, Pharm.D., FCCP, FCP, associate dean for clinical research and public policy. The team planned and implemented a seven-part Student Pharmacist Policy and Advocacy Forum that featured guest speakers and discussion topics such as patient-centered care, proposed health care-related bills in the commonwealth and how to lobby for issues when meeting with legislators.

Critical Care Hospital receives design award

The Critical Care Hospital earned a VISTA award from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the American Hospital Association. The VCU Health System, HKS Architects, Jones Lang LaSalle and the W.M. Jordan Co. were presented with the award, which recognizes teamwork in the design and construction of the health care environment and honors teams that have worked together to develop and maintain safe, quality health care settings.

Highlights of the hospital’s innovative construction process include the erection of a bridge to relieve traffic and enhance safety measures within the tight historic urban campus, and extensive infection control, noise mitigation and air filtration.

Working Mother magazine ranks VCU Health System in top 100

Ifey Utah, a resident in VCU's Department of Psychology, eating with her family

The VCU Health System offers a wide array of progressive workplace programs that train, support and nurture working mothers, earning it a spot in Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies of 2012 for working mothers. The prepaid education assistance program, flexible work hours and comprehensive Family Care Center, which provides on-site child and adult day care, are just a few of the benefits that have helped place the health system on this prestigious roster for the eighth time.

Student organization earns excellence award

The School of Medicine’s Student Family Medicine Association won an American Academy of Family Physicians 2012 Program of Excellence Award for its outstanding activities in generating interest in family medicine. The Program of Excellence Awards recognize medical school organizations for their exceptional performance in family medicine, community service, promoting the value of primary care, exposure to family medicine and family physicians, professional development and measures of success.

Consumers pick medical center for quality care

VCU Medical Center received a Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corp. for providing quality health care services following a nationwide survey of hospital consumers’ perceptions of the local health care facilities they use.

Participants rated the facilities on a variety of factors, including overall quality of patient care, quality of doctors and nurses, and overall image and reputation.

“To receive this award for the second year in a row is gratifying because it means our patients and their families recognize and appreciate our resolute commitment to their care,” said Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H. “Our distinction as Virginia’s No. 1 hospital is enhanced by this award, which acknowledges the devoted efforts of our physicians, nurses and staff to provide extraordinary care every day.”

This is the eighth time and the second consecutive year the VCU Medical Center has received the award.