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VCU Health Strategic Master Facility Plan Update

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dear University and VCU Health Colleagues,

We are pleased to inform you that the VCU Health System Board of Directors approved the next phase of the comprehensive strategic facility and capital funding plan to realize our vision of VCU Health as the premier academic health center on the East Coast.

Last fall we communicated the need to reinvent our physical landscape to provide the best patient experience and environment for clinical care, education and research. We said that planning must address the need to beautify the downtown medical campus, improve traffic flow and enable easier access for patients, families and visitors to get to their point of service. If we are to be premier, we must be able to attract and support the market share and talent pool necessary to drive the missions of a premier academic health center.

A rapid cycle strategic and master facility planning process conducted over the past 12 months resulted in a conceptual framework for developing the initial phases for the actual design of facilities for future programs and services. The board has given the go-ahead in the fiscal year 2017 capital budget for preliminary design work related to the plan and for a staff parking deck, the location of which is to be determined.

Many of our facilities are decades old and must be replaced, such as North Hospital, which was commissioned in 1956. At this point, plans for new facilities include, in part, dedicated in-patient facilities for children and women, new inpatient and outpatient facilities for cancer and other clinical areas, and ambulatory care areas with modern spaces for multidisciplinary care collaboration and inter-professional education and research. Many of you will be pleased to know that parking for patients, visitors and staff are a priority.

Complementing the development and construction of clinical care facilities, the university will be building facilities to address the needs of our academic missions for education and research. One such facility is the new School of Allied Health Professions.

The plan framework is built on measured growth and calculated feasibility – a phased implementation over six to 10 years. We will be responsible with our resources, aligning each phase with identified funding to ensure we sustain quality, safety and service. Details on each phase will be forthcoming as the health system board approves specific projects along the way.

We know team members are excited about plans for the future of the downtown medical campus. Because we are just beginning the initial design phase, there are not yet many details. We will make sure you are updated on a timely basis as more information is available. Additionally, a strategic master facility plan web site is in development now that will be a primary information source.

Thank you for your collaboration and enthusiasm as we embark on this exciting and ambitious journey together to place VCU Health at the forefront of the nation’s academic health centers.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health System

Marsha Rappley, MD
CEO, VCU Health System and Vice President, VCU Health Sciences