On March 20, the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for public service to its citizens. Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has provided medical care to nearly 70 St. Vincent children since 2002, and over 75 percent of the cases were for treatment of pediatric heart conditions. Beyond these cases, medical teams have traveled to St. Vincent to provide thousands of medical and surgical screenings.
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU provides care to St. Vincent children through a partnership with World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit organization founded and based in Richmond, Va., that provides surgical and diagnostic care to Central American and Caribbean children. Dr. William Moskowitz, professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at CHoR and vice chairman of the VCU Department of Pediatrics, was one of the first World Pediatric Project volunteers, and he continues to screen hundreds of children in St. Vincent every year.
“Many public health concerns Americans consider rare are common in other countries,” said Dr. Moskowitz. “Our rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease prevention program has a dramatic effect on public health in St. Vincent, and our clinical teams gain invaluable experience when they provide care to children who would otherwise go untreated.”
The medal, presented by His Excellency Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and an official representative of Queen Elizabeth II, acknowledges exceptional public service and is the only medal the country has awarded to a non-citizen.
“It’s amazing to treat a child here in Richmond, knowing it will change their life in St. Vincent,” said Dr. Scott Gullquist, with the division of Pediatric Cardiology at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “In fact, some of our patients in St. Vincent are not only doing well, they’re all grown up.”