Children's Hospital Foundation leader named Top 40 Under 40
Richmond is full of passionate go-getters who are working to make our great community even better. Each year, Style Weekly honors 40 of these change-makers with their Top 40 Under 40 awards. Among this year’s list is a leader near and dear to CHoR – Lauren Moore, president and chief executive of Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“We are so proud of Lauren Moore for earning this well-deserved honor. How fortunate are we to have one of Richmond’s movers and shakers leading the charge to generate support for our new children’s tower,” said Elias Neujahr, CHoR CEO. “We’re immensely grateful for the dedication of Children’s Hospital Foundation and our generous community in helping us make this vision a reality. Our new children’s tower is built for kids and built by you.”
Just who is Lauren Moore and what motivates her to tell the story of CHoR in support of kids and families in our community? Here, she answers 10 questions to help us find out.
1.How would you describe yourself?
Goodness, don’t make me talk about me! First and most importantly I am a mom to two great (and thankfully healthy) kids and a wife to a supportive spouse. Those who know me would call me passionate and I am one of those lucky people who has found a job that puts that passion to work. I don’t like a lot of attention, but I will do everything in my power to get Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU as much attention as possible working as an advocate, telling our story of impact and inviting people in our community to join this worthy cause.
2.How long have you been a part of the VCU and CHoR family?
I started work on the MCV campus in January 2012. Prior to coming to RVA, I worked at a children’s hospital in Minnesota and I always wanted to be working on efforts related to CHoR. In March 2019 I got the opportunity to lead the Children’s Hospital Foundation and support a three-decade-long dream of building a freestanding children’s hospital for the community. I also have the privilege of supporting the people and programs involved in caring of our community’s children.
3.Why do you love what you do?
I think we all want to see the impact of our work, but my job is impacting progress around the vision for our children’s hospital every day. Donors have made it possible for us to bring on more than 130 new specialists at CHoR, add and grow new programs in areas where our children need us, and ultimately improve the lives of the kids in our community (and their families!) with every dollar invested.
4. What does a good day look like to you?
A good day is spending time with a family who is considering a gift and telling them about how CHoR is changing the face of pediatric care in our region. Ten years ago, we knew we needed investment to make CHoR the best it could be for ALL kids. It’s also a good day when I am hearing “yes” and saying “thank you” because that means people are investing in CHoR.
5.Why is CHoR so important to you personally?
I became a mom (at VCU Health) on November 16, 2016 and again on December 27, 2018. I have been in the CHoR emergency department at 1 a.m. scared to know what was wrong with my child. Moreover, I have met with countless parents and grandparents whose children’s lives have been saved or made better because we have a full-service children’s hospital in Richmond and because our community said yes to moving the vision forward. I have also met with families who have lost children. All of these families need and demand our best – my kids, your kids our neighbors’ kids – and we have the opportunity to give it to them at CHoR.
6.What do you want the community to know about the new children’s tower and CHF’s campaign to help fund it?
Over the course of the last ten years the hospital’s growth – through private investment – has made it possible to care for more children and provide more expertise than ever before. That means that children who, at one time, had to leave Richmond to get the care they needed no longer need to leave their community for care. Their families can stay right here close to home and benefit from all the support that comes with that. We have this because people choose to give to CHoR and it will grow with further philanthropic support.
7.What is your role in this process?
I have the best job in the world telling the story of CHoR, although my CHoR colleagues will argue that they have the best job BEING the story of CHoR! There is nothing better than showing someone how their philanthropy can make a difference in our community. I love inviting people to join us.
8.What has this looked like amidst COVID-19?
Like everything, very challenging. My mantra with our team, borrowed from the chancellor at my alma mater, is to “Be creative. Be compassionate. Be flexible.” The pandemic has reminded us that over 100 years ago the children’s hospital began in response to the polio epidemic and this is not a new challenge. We must go on for the kids of our community!
9.Richmond hasn’t always been home, but it is now. What has been the draw to Richmond for you?
I love that Richmond is a big, small town. I like to say it is a place where you can get a James Beard level meal and will probably see someone you know out at the restaurant. It is also a generous community and that has made my work so fulfilling. After a short time my husband and I realized that what we thought would be a stop on the journey is now our home.
10.With this Top 40 Under 40 recognition, you join the ranks of many top folks around Richmond, including two of our very own – Drs. Crewe and Wijesooriya. What does this honor mean to you?
Well, Stephanie and Romesh are super stars so I’m not sure I deserve to share the ranks with them (or the many other young game-changers in RVA), but I am awfully proud to support the work that Dr. Crewe and Dr. Wijesooriya and their colleagues do every day. It is a great privilege and honor!