Lee J. Sutton Jr., Ph.D., was the first full-time professor of pediatrics at the then Medical College of Virginia. During his tenure from 1928 to 1959, there were sweeping changes in medical and pediatric care. The philosophy of total care by the pediatrician for the physical, intellectual and emotional well-being of the child developed. In 1973, the Department of Pediatrics opened an adolescent unit, underlining its commitment to serve infants, children, adolescents and young adults. During the 1980s under Harold Maurer, Ph.D., new programs in child neurology, pediatric infectious disease, critical care, gastroenterology, child psychiatry and pediatric pulmonology flourished. A pediatric primary care residency track was created in 1978. To provide housing for the families of our patients a Ronald McDonald House was opened in 1980.
In 1982, all pediatric inpatient services at the VCU Medical Center relocated to the new Main Hospital. The Board of Visitors of VCU approved the creation of the Children’s Medical Center in 1985 to encompass all programs directed by the Department of Pediatrics and affiliated pediatric subspecialty services. A combined medicine/pediatrics residency program, which began in 1988, has grown into a strong and challenging residency program.