The M C V campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
The COVID-19 Response Fund will be used exclusively to deal with COVID-19 issues facing Richmond and Central Virginia. (File photo)

Richmond donor gives $1M, issues challenge to support COVID-19 response

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Virginia Commonwealth University announced today that an anonymous donor has made a $1 million gift to support the VCU Health System.

In making the gift, the donor challenges others in the community to make an additional $1 million in donations to support the VCU COVID-19 Response Fund. 

“This extraordinary generosity provides critical funding to assist our academic health system in meeting the needs of our community,” said Peter F. Buckley, M.D., interim CEO of VCU Health System and senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences. “But just as importantly, this donor has come alongside our health care providers as partners in an unprecedented situation. Our staff has been working tirelessly to care for our patients and prepare for what’s to come. They’re serving on the front lines, facing a public health crisis that is bigger than all of us. And today we take heart in this tangible example of our community’s respect and the extent to which they’ll aid us in our work.”

During this national crisis period, VCU is focused, as always, on providing exceptional services to patients and students. As Central Virginia’s COVID response team, researchers and caregivers are working around the clock to provide resources and care to fight this pandemic.

The COVID-19 Response Fund will be used exclusively to deal with COVID-19 issues facing Richmond and Central Virginia. Specifically, the fund provides unrestricted resources to address the critical needs related to:

  •  Patient support: Diagnostic and treatment efforts, care, equipment and facilities, home monitoring and transportation.
  •  Research: Clinical trials, inpatient testing and participation in national efforts as well as research related to creating our own equipment and devices to save lives threatened by COVID-19.
  •  Medical staff and health sciences student support: Rooms for hospital staff working in COVID-related areas who can’t return home and put their families at risk, increasing child care alternatives and supporting our health sciences students displaced by the COVID-19 crisis.

“The VCU Health System is on the front lines of this historic and unprecedented fight, and I am grateful for this generous support of our courageous and committed care providers,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and the VCU Health System. “This will enable and empower us to find solutions to one of humanity’s most pressing problems and allow those we serve to know they are in the very best hands.” 

To support the fund, visit