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Richmond Community Hospital Foundation provides $1.3 million to Virginia Union University for Scholarship Program

RICHMOND, Va. (June 19, 2009) – Bon Secours Richmond Health System and Virginia Union University today announced a generous gift of $1.3 million from Richmond Community Hospital Foundation, to be used towards a scholarship and internship program for Virginia Union University students.

“On behalf of the University, I thank Richmond Community Hospital Foundation for serving the healthcare and educational needs of our Virginia Union community,” said Claude G. Perkins, Ph.D., Acting President, Virginia Union University. “We are grateful to the Foundation for its vision to support this leading black institution of higher education through this exciting philanthropic partnership. Together and with this endowed scholarship program, we will transform the lives of deserving students.”

Under the guidelines of this gift, Virginia Union University will establish an endowment – the Richmond Community Hospital Foundation Scholarship Fund – to provide scholarships to students who, for one year prior to applying for the scholarship, reside in the Greater Richmond area, which includes the City of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, New Kent and Charles City. In awarding scholarships, special consideration will be given to students expressing an interest in health or medical sciences, health care administration and related areas of study.

“Richmond Community Hospital and Virginia Union University share a strong history of serving the needs of Richmond’s African-American community,” said Michael Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. “The hospital and university first came together in the 1930s, when the university donated land to the hospital for the purpose of building Richmond’s first African American hospital. The hospital eventually moved to our existing location on Church Hill, but that building remains part of the Virginia Union campus. Today, we are delighted to extend this hospital’s legacy of serving the Virginia Union community by enhancing educational opportunities students, particularly in the areas of health and medicine.”

In addition, Bon Secours will work with Virginia Union University to select students to participate in an internship program at area Bon Secours facilities.

Richmond Community Hospital was established in 1903 as Richmond Hospital Association in the city’s Jackson Ward area. In 1932, the hospital moved to a new location – which is on today’s Virginia Union campus – where land was donated by Virginia Union University for the purpose of building the first African American hospital in a segregated environment. Richmond Community Hospital remained there until moving to its current location in Church Hill in the early 1980s. Today, Richmond Community Hospital is a 104-bed hospital located in Richmond’s Church Hill area serving all residents in Richmond’s East End and eastern Henrico County.

Virginia Union University, founded in 1865, is one of the oldest of the historically black colleges and universities in the South. The university’s academic enterprise is comprised of five major units: the Sydney Lewis School of Business; the School of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Basic, Applied Sciences, and Technology; and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology.

Bon Secours Richmond Health System ( is made up of four acute-care hospitals – St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center – as well as Bon Secours HealthSource, comprised of more than 38 physician practice groups, Home Health, Hospice and assisted living facilities.

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