On November 9th, the William and Mary MBA Healthcare Club toured the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. The VCU Medical Center is located in the heart of downtown Richmond and employs over 8000 people. Founded in 1838, the facility has grown over the past 174 years to 825 licensed beds and serves as Central Virginia’s only level one trauma facility. Over the years the hospital has garnered numerous awards — just this past year U.S. News and World Report named it the number one hospital in the state of Virginia.
The Club was greeted by the Director of Support Services, who explained that the facility was unusually busy for a Friday afternoon; the weekends are typically slower as people tend to avoid hospitals on the weekends whenever possible. We were led to a conference room where several directors gave an informative presentation usually reserved for the Master of Health Administration students at VCU. The presentation contained several examples of VCU’s unwavering commitment to excellence. For instance, during the past several years the Environmental Services department has experimented with expensive new cleaning materials. Despite their higher cost, these materials actually cut the number of infections patients developed during their stay by over 35%. This is a prime example of why VCU is one of the best hospitals in the nation – patients’ wellbeing is the top priority in every way. At the end of the presentation, we toured the Gateway Building, which serves as the entrance to the hospital and is effectively its central hub.
We were only able to see the Gateway Building due to VCU’s sheer size, but we were certainly not at a loss. The highlight of our trip was the journey to the penthouse. The top floor of the VCU Medical Center serves as the helipad for its level one trauma center and boasts one of the most scenic views in the Capital City. Needless to say, the club’s members took full advantage of the photo opportunity.
The trip provided on-premises insight into hospital operations, but was also a productive way for students from outside Virginia to experience Richmond by touring one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world. We can’t thank our hosts enough — it was a fantastic day.
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