About the Office of the
Senior Vice President
for Health Sciences
Located on Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus in Richmond, and in partnership with the VCU Health System, the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences oversees the five health sciences schools (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy) as well as the Massey Cancer Center. Areas of responsibility include academic affairs, academic and research space management, and financial and administrative affairs.
Under the leadership of Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H., VCU’s senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of VCU Health System, more than 4,400 students each year participate in more than 50 degree programs offered at the undergraduate, graduate and first-professional levels as well post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs.
As a growing academic health sciences center, VCU Health Sciences maintains an aggressive research portfolio. Total research awards amounted to approximately $147.3 million in fiscal year 2011, which represented approximately 58 percent of the university’s total research awards.
VCU Health Sciences is committed to educational programs directed toward providing graduates capable of meeting the commonwealth’s health care needs. Programs are dedicated to maintaining and updating the competency of health professionals in addition to preparing graduates to enter health professions. The educational programs are supported by an institutional commitment to effective teaching and by the 865-bed teaching hospital. We are committed to providing the very best in education, research and practice for the expansion of science and health care for Virginians and our growing global community.
VCU traces its roots back to Nov. 5, 1838, the founding date for the medical department of Hampden-Sydney. The first dean was Dr. Augustus Warner, who left the University of Virginia’s medical school to begin a new medical school because he did not agree with Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that professors shouldn’t corrupt their teaching by making money caring for patients.
There were 46 students in the first class and tuition was $20 for each of the six courses. The term of medical study was four months. The Old Union Hotel was converted into medical classrooms.
The School of Medicine is the only medical school in the South still in existence today that graduated a class during all four years of the Civil War.
For more information about the history of the VCU Health Sciences schools and the MCV Campus, visit VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.
Senior Vice President
Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H.
CEO, VCU Health System
Dr. Retchin is Senior Vice President for Health Sciences of Virginia Commonwealth University and Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. As Senior Vice President of Health Sciences for VCU, he has responsibility for five health science schools: Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Health. The five schools have a total enrollment of more than 4,400 undergraduate, professional and graduate students. As CEO of the VCU Health System, he directs MCV Hospitals, a teaching hospital of 865 licensed beds with more than 650 post-graduate trainees in all medical and surgical specialties; the faculty practice plan, MCV Physicians, which includes approximately 650 faculty physicians; and a provider-sponsored Medicaid Health Maintenance Organization, Virginia Premier Health Plan, with about 150,000 members statewide.
View Dr. Retchin's Bio and Vitae >