Building A Hospital Just For Children
Together in Richmond, Virginia

Pediatricians Associated to Care for Kids (PACKids) is a grassroots organization in Central Virginia working to build a hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children. We are physicians (pediatricians, pediatric sub-specialists and surgeons) who care for children and know the ideal way to care for children is in a hospital which only treats children. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!


Richmond is fortunate to have great health care providers,” says Melissa Nelson, MD, a Richmond pediatrician and mother of four, “but as a pediatrician, I don’t have one place I can tell families to take their children for everything. I’m sending them all over town.”

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Anne Maliff takes a stand for children as she tells her personal story of her child who has been seen by specialists all over the Richmond region. This powerful presentation will open your eyes to the fact that we need a children’s hospital…

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All physicians who provide pediatric healthcare are invited to join one another in the PACKids Virtual Doctor’s Lounge. We are building a secure listserve discussion group and an information sharing network for verified physician members.


An Open Letter from PACKids Leadership

May 30, 2015
Dear Colleagues,

We were shocked, surprised and disappointed by the VCU and Bon Secours decision to abandon plans to build a new children’s hospital in collaboration with the Virginia Children’s Alliance board. The board had hired Kaufman Hall, a Chicago firm specializing in brokering complex hospital negotiations, to work through existing obstacles and to craft an agreement leading to a free standing pediatric hospital. $8 million was raised from the community to fund this process. There appeared to be real momentum toward meeting each systems “core principles” and requirements, including location. The Alliance leadership and the Goodwin family were informed less than 24 hours before the VCU/Bon Secours joint press conference to announce their decision to abandon plans for the new hospital. Alliance board members were surprised and upset, but ultimately are strongly motivated to continue their work.

It is hard to even think about squandering the largest philanthropic gift in the history of Children’s Hospitals. While VCU and Bon Secours are not able to make an ongoing commitment to having a new children’s hospital at this time, the donor community, the Virginia Children’s Hospital Alliance board, physician leaders and an army of parents have NOT abandoned the quest for transformative change in the healthcare of our region’s children. The Alliance and the philanthropic community are still engaged and motivated to move forward with us. Pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are once again called to raise our voices and speak for the children.

As the PACK, we were asked to step back due to the “sensitivity” of the negotiations over the last ten months and curtail our public opinions. We had very little information to disseminate to you. We will no longer be in this position as the process continues. We have re-energized our web site and will continue updates through that medium, as well as Facebook and e-mail updates so that members are kept well informed. Your opinions and ideas will be solicited and encouraged as well.

Colleagues: We need your thoughts immediately to post on our website and Facebook page. We need to show the Richmond area our support for the excellence that will come in a freestanding, independent Children’s Hospital. Remember, APATHY MEANS APPROVAL of the status quo. When you voice your opinion, together we will all speak for the children.

Let your voices be heard, and write a letter. Please send responses to today.


Keith A. Derco, MD Chairman, PACKids

Melissa Nelson MD, Vice Chairman, PACKids

Our Story

We envision a freestanding children’s hospital in Central Virginia where:

  • Any child, regardless of the ability to pay, may come for his healthcare needs.
  • Both routine and highly-specialized pediatric healthcare is offered in one campus location.
  • Patients meet an interdisciplinary team of both health professionals and staff who are specifically trained and love to care for children.
  • Patient outcomes and safety are optimized through physician collaboration and increased patient volumes.
  • The entire facility is designed specifically around the needs of children and their families.

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Our Promise

Our promise is to:

  • Be a catalyst to build a children’s hospital in Richmond, Virginia, which will consolidate, under one roof, the talents of healthcare providers from across the region and improve the care and outcomes for pediatric patients.
  • Support a collaborative approach to innovation and research to better understand prevention, causes and treatments for conditions affecting children.
  • Attract top tier doctors to a state-of-the-art facility in which the next generation of pediatric physicians and surgeons, as well as allied health professionals who treat children, will be trained.
  • Transform the current way of providing pediatric healthcare in Central Virginia to include embracing diversity and providing advocacy in a “collaboration hospital” which will meet the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of children and their families.
  • Unite our community around the priority of children’s healthcare and ensure that Central Virginia sees the critical value of a freestanding hospital which treats just children.


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