VCU’s Children’s Tower Opens

On the night she checked into Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s new Children’s Tower, Cheyenne Snell pointed a flashlight out of the window in her room. Below, on the downtown street, first responders flashed their lights back at the 12-year-old, who had been admitted to the newly opened facility to treat a brain tumor.

Snell, and the other children in CHoR’s facility, were the first to move into the new building that provides critical care for the youngest patients. It also offers something far less common—a built-in effort to make them feel less alone and the facility feel more like home.

Photo courtesy of VCU.

Treatment for broken arms to brain tumors is provided at the Children’s Tower, but needs that go beyond trauma care are also a priority. The kitchen serves food that kids love, like brick oven pizza and soft-serve ice cream. Hospital rooms are painted in cheerful colors, while a James River theme with animal mascots flows throughout the facility. They help patients and families differentiate floors and navigate the building’s nearly one million square feet. Other amenities like playrooms, a family gym, and family lounges are all designed to make the environment kid- and family-friendly. Staff are warm and approachable, dedicated to working with children in the most trying of circumstances.

The new Children’s Tower, which officially opened in April and was decades in the making, is a game-changer for pediatric medicine in the region. Already, CHoR has assembled world-class teams in departments like neurology and kidney care. “We look at this building as a promise to children and families, in Richmond, throughout the Commonwealth, and beyond,” says Shari Barkin, M.D., physician-in-chief of CHoR and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at VCU School of Medicine. “It is our collective commitment to providing the highest quality of care for every child, every time.” 

CHRichmond.org  

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