President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.

The previous week was tragic for many in the commonwealth. Along with Dr. Marsha Rappley, I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones who have experienced loss. I am grateful for the first responders and healthcare providers who work together in the face of unimaginable tragedy to provide critically-needed care to those in need.

Following, is a message sent to VCU Health colleagues from Marsha Rappley, M.D., CEO, VCU Health System, Senior VP, VCU Health Sciences.

Dear fellow Team Members,

With heavy hearts, we recognize the tremendous loss and extend our condolences to the victims of the tragic shootings at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. We reach out to their families, friends, and community at large, to offer our empathy for their despair and grief. While these senseless and brutal acts of violence take a toll on us all, the families carry the greatest burden.

I want to extend our gratitude and applaud the efforts of our colleagues who responded immediately in this dangerous situation. All of those at Sentara, as well as Virginia Beach first responders, were ready and moved into action when needed.

This event and others, including the tragedy in Dinwiddie last week when four lives were lost and several injured in a horrific vehicle accident, bring home the importance of our health systems in meeting the needs of our people under dire conditions. We extend our compassion to these families as well and thank our local community responders and the VCU Health team who moved rapidly and competently to care for the injured.

Tragedies from any cause and at any scale are a constant.

In the aftermath, we have an opportunity to pause and consider the mission that binds us together – a mission grounded in service and compassion to all. As we reflect about Virginia Beach and other tragic events, please know the great appreciation and respect that I have for the work that all of you do. Every one of us makes it possible for all of us to stand ready and to react immediately to preserve life and restore health by assisting people when they need us most.

I share my thanks with each of you. Please share your thanks with one another.


Most sincerely,

Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.

CEO, VCU Health System,
Senior VP, VCU Health Sciences


Categories 21st-Century University, Health, News, To VCU
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