Advancing Children's Health

Time to Brush Up: 11 Healthy Dental Habits for Children

11 dental tips
Feb 27 2015

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Now is a great time to “brush up” on the important tips our specialists recommend for proper dental care for children. Your dental health matters too. From daily brushing and flossing to keeping up with regular visits to your dentist, always set a good example with your own dental care habits! 1. The magic number is “2.” Be sure your children brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes (or that you help them brush for this amount of time). 2. Brushing with a toothbrush begins when a child’s first tooth emerges in the mouth and all children should use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste... View Article

Pediatrics – the career path of caring, questioning and smiling

Feb 25 2015

Dr. Stefanie Reed is a pediatric chief resident at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. I was recently out to lunch with some friends and the topic drifted to alternative careers – ‘the fallback plan’. Everyone else had ideas – from a chef or event planner – to an author. When it was my turn I thought really hard. I enjoy a lot of hobbies, but I honestly couldn’t name a single career I would rather have than being a doctor. That’s because I’m already living my dream job. You see, since I was able to talk, I’ve been telling people that I wanted to be a doctor. That’s not to say that I didn’t try my hand at a... View Article

Heart month: Celebrating big changes for tiny hearts

Feb 19 2015

Last week on Facebook, we introduced you to 5-month-old Kaylee, a CHoR heart patient who was able to return home four days after undergoing surgery to repair a hole in her heart – just in time for Valentine’s Day. As we celebrate this heart-themed month, and heart patients like Kaylee, we also celebrate the $28 million gift Children’s Hospital Foundation has pledged to advance pediatric heart surgery in Central Virginia through the development of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center at CHoR. The center’s director, Dr. Thomas Yeh, is a senior board-certified pediatric heart surgeon with nearly 20 years of surgical experience, including thousands of successful pediatric heart surgeries. He was recruited specifically for his experience, surgical outcomes and impressive... View Article

Handmade Hearts Help Little Hands Develop

Feb 9 2015

For hands-on, heart-shaped fun this Valentine’s Day, try getting creative with items you already have at home. Encourage children to design their own handmade cards using heart-shaped stamps made of empty toilet paper rolls! In addition to creative fun, this type of project helps children develop important fine motor skills and shows how you can reuse household items in an environmentally friendly way. Directions and ideas are listed below, along with details about how this particular project helps children develop and practice skills. Heart stamp “how-to” Materials needed: Empty toilet paper rolls Paint or ink pad Paper plate Construction paper or card stock Holding the toilet paper roll with one open end facing you, lightly press in the top portion... View Article

Stomach Flu – Dr. Romesh Shares What You Need to Know

stomach bug
Jan 30 2015

Central Virginia news sources are reporting an increase in cases of gastroenteritis (the “stomach flu”) in the area. Earlier this week, more than 400 cases were reported at Hampton-Sydney College, causing school officials to cancel classes and athletic activities through the weekend. Doctors in Short Pump have seen a spike in patients with this condition, according to, and cases have also been popping up in Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico. Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) interim chief of general pediatrics, Dr. N. Romesh Wijesooriya, shares what parents need to know about this easily spread illness: What is gastroenteritis? Though it is commonly referred to as the “stomach flu” and has some similar symptoms to the respiratory flu, gastroenteritis... View Article

Flu Season is in Full Swing: Protect Your Loved Ones

flushot post
Jan 27 2015

Flu season typically peaks in January or February and early data shows that this year’s flu season could be severe. Children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with health conditions and disabilities are at increased risk of getting the flu and of complications. Here’s what experts have to say about this year’s flu and how to best protect your family. An overview of the flu Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. According to, most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can... View Article

How to Raise Healthy Eaters in an Unhealthy World

children table
Jan 13 2015

The older our kids get, the harder it gets to change eating behaviors. Fostering positive eating attitudes and behaviors from a young age can help prevent eating problems down the road. Dr. Melanie Bean,director of clinical and behavioral services for CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center, recommends fostering healthy eating behaviors as early as possible: “If you help children develop healthy eating habits at a young age, when they venture out into the world – which has far more pressure to be unhealthy than it does to be healthy – they are well-equipped to make better choices.” Dr. Bean shares her favorite tips, techniques and considerations for raising healthy eaters below. In general, limit eating to three meals and one or two... View Article

Clinical experience leads to career decision (and a pie in the face!)

Dec 31 2014

by Nicholas Klaiber, MD Pediatric resident The amazing array of patients I encountered, in combination with the sagacious but never ostentatious tutelage of so many experienced senior practitioners, made my intern year at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) immensely enjoyable and instructional. The months passed quickly and before I knew it, my second year arrived bringing a new set of clinical challenges, responsibilities and career decisions to be made. Chief among these, for me, was the choice of which fellowship I would enter following residency. I started residency with the firmly entrenched notion that hematology and oncology was the clinical area that would suit me above all others. Close interactions with multiple subspecialties throughout the year made me... View Article

What Does Bedside Manner Mean to You?
CHoR Providers Named Among Best for Bedside Manner

our health
Dec 26 2014

Medical expertise and compassionate care should always go hand-in-hand when it comes to treating patients. Going to the doctor or health provider can be an unnerving experience for many people. Professionals who incorporate The Golden Rule into their practice philosophy are ones that stand out in people’s minds for the better. The 2014 Best Bedside Manner Awards, presented by OurHealth Richmond magazine, honor medical providers who were voted by the local community for their kindness, empathy and attentiveness – attributes that go a long way in gaining a patients confidence.* Please join us in congratulating the following CHoR team members who were named in the 2nd Annual Best Bedside Manner Awards: First place winners were asked to provide a quote... View Article

Tis the Season of Giving: CHoR Receives $28 Million Gift to Develop Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center

heart center
Dec 16 2014

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (CHoR) on Tuesday announced an unprecedented $28 million gift from Children’s Hospital Foundation, the single largest gift to pediatric health care in VCU’s history and one that will establish a pediatric cardiac surgery program in Richmond. The gift advances pediatric heart care in Central Virginia through the development of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center at CHoR. “This is another example of how VCU is helping to ensure that the children of the Richmond region have access to world-class health care in their own backyard,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. “We have committed again and again that we will help the people who need us, including... View Article