Get to know Drs. David Lanning and Tony Herndon
November 30, 2022
CHoR's Dr. David Lanning with a patient and Dr. Tony Herndon with a patient and parent

    Note: The above photos were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Two physician leaders provide a peek into their plans and passions

    It’s going to be an exciting year ahead for CHoR! As we continue to grow and prepare to open the Children’s Tower for inpatient, emergency and trauma care in April, two leaders have taken on new roles to help ensure we exceed our community’s expectations.

    Meet Dr. David Lanning, inaugural associate chief medical officer     

    Dr. David Lanning headshot

    David Lanning, MD, PhD has been selected as our inaugural associate chief medical officer to help guide inpatient operations, workforce planning, patient experience, and quality and safety initiatives. Dr. Lanning, a pediatric surgeon by background, joined CHoR in 2004 and most recently served on the executive leadership team as co-surgeon-in-chief. He also served as interim chief medical officer for VCU Medical Center for 26 months, navigating the health system through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Why did you choose to become a pediatric surgeon?  
    There isn’t anything better than being able to give a baby or child an operation that cures their surgical problem and gives them decades of happy and healthy life. Not only is the patient happy but so are the parents, grandparents, etc.
    What’s your favorite part about your job?  
    While I enjoy taking care of children clinically, I also find it very rewarding to provide support from an administrative standpoint and be part of a team that makes decisions that have a positive impact on many children for years to come.
    What does the role of associate chief medical officer mean to you?  
    It is a great honor to be the associate chief medical officer and be part of the leadership team for CHoR that will help chart our course as we enter the new Children’s Tower and beyond.
    What do you want families to know about the team at CHoR?  

    The team is made up of extremely dedicated people who want to ensure we are providing the best and safest care possible to our patients while also providing cutting edge research and education

    What are you most looking forward to about the new Children’s Tower?  

    Having a building that is completely dedicated to the care of children will be an amazing next step for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. It will also allow us to join our outpatient Children’s Pavilion with the inpatient tower and provide seamless care in those environments. However, we will still be connected to the medical center by a bridge that will allow us to continue leveraging that positive partnership in many ways.

    What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at the hospital?  

    Spend time with my family and friends.


    Meet Dr. Tony Herndon, lead surgeon-in-chief

    Dr. Tony Herndon headshot

    Tony Herndon, MD has been promoted to lead surgeon-in-chief. In this role, he directs all pediatric surgical services on the downtown VCU Medical Center campus, as well as at ambulatory surgery centers throughout the community, including the Short Pump Pavilion and Brook Road Pavilion. Dr. Herndon joined CHoR in 2016 as chief of urology and co-surgeon-in-chief.
    Why did you choose to become a pediatric specialist?

    In medical school I was drawn to pediatrics in part because children are more vulnerable when compared to adults. With respect to pediatric urologic surgery, it was more that I could make a big impact on the trajectory of the child's life when certain conditions are diagnosed and addressed at a very early age. 

    How do you approach care when you’re meeting a new patient/family?

    My approach to the child/family is unique for every patient. The support systems, resources available and general medical knowledge differ with everyone. The overarching message is the same though in that your child will be the center of our attention when we are caring for them.

    What does the role of surgeon-in-chief mean to you?

    Being selected as surgeon-in-chief is a great honor and I value deeply the confidence of leadership in me to carry out the duties required to achieve our mission. It is very exciting to lead the children's surgery program as we open the Children’s Tower in the spring. Our vision is to be the leader for the mid-Atlantic in comprehensive surgical care of the pediatric patient and to be a destination hospital for the Commonwealth for tertiary and quaternary care. Integral to this is maintaining strong relationships with our community throughout Richmond as well the surrounding markets. 

    What do you want families to know about your approach to overseeing surgical care at CHoR?

    Their child will be at the center of all decisions regarding resources needed to make CHoR the safest location for surgical care, be it minor outpatient procedures or multi-team complex surgical interventions. In addition, stakeholders involved in the care of your child will have pediatric competencies and timely communication will equally be a top priority. Our Level I Children’s Surgery Center verification underscores the team’s commitment to quality and safety, but it’s not a one and done achievement. We continue to focus on providing the best surgical care for every child, every day. 

    What are you most looking forward to about the new Children’s Tower?

    What I am most looking forward to is the consolidation of pediatric services in one location. This will streamline services and offer opportunities to enhance quality improvement as we increase efficiencies by combining emergency, outpatient and inpatient services. Furthermore, it will allow for pediatrics to be the solitary focus in the delivery of care to our patients. 

    What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at the hospital?

    Spending time with my significant other, Suzanne, catching up with my adult children, Oliver, Sam and Katie, attending the Final Four to watch UNC play basketball and on occasion running the Boston Marathon. 

    Learn about the other members of our dedicated leadership team at CHoR.

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