Children's Emergency Department is now located in Children's Tower: 1001 E. Marshall Street.

Safety at the center: New weapons screening process to begin at CHoR and VCU Health
August 28, 2023
Mother and her two children hold hands and smile as they walk through CHoR building

    New safety screenings to begin at CHoR and VCU Health

    When you arrive for your child’s next appointment, you may notice added measures to keep our patients, families, visitors and team members safe. Weapons screening systems, similar to what you see at public places like sporting events and entertainment venues, are being installed at VCU Health locations including our NICU, Children’s Tower, Children’s Pavilion, Brook Road Pavilion and Virginia Treatment Center for Children.

    Weapons are not permitted at VCU Health, and this new screening is an important step in ensuring a safe environment for everyone. We expect the process to be quick, but please allow a few extra minutes for your family to get to your appointments as this system is put in place.

    When and where will the new safety screenings begin at CHoR?


    Screening starts

    Critical Care Hospital – NICU

    August 28

    Children’s Pavilion – Ground lobby

    September 5

    Children’s Pavilion/Children’s Tower – Level 1, Sky Lobby

    September 5

    Children’s Tower – Ground level, ED entrance

    September 5

    Brook Road Pavilion – Main entrance

    September 7

    Virginia Treatment Center for Children – Outpatient entrance

    September 7


    Frequently asked questions about the new safety screening process

    Will there be a long wait to pass through the screening station?

    There could be a brief wait, but our goal is to keep things moving as quickly as possible. Equipment and locations were determined to best accommodate the number of people who pass through those buildings on a routine basis. Consider arriving a few minutes early if you have an appointment around the time of screening launch as we work to make processes more efficient.

    Will I have to remove my diaper bag/purse every time I pass through the screening station?

    Not necessarily. If there are no perceived prohibited items in your belongings, you’ll be able to carry them through the screening station. If an alert is triggered during your initial pass-through, you’ll be asked to remove your bag so a security officer can screen it with a manual wand.

    Will any of my belongings need to be placed on a conveyor belt for x-ray imaging?

    No, we’re not using x-ray imaging. You’ll be able to pass through the screening station with your belongings. You won’t be asked to remove them unless the screening device triggers an alert.

    Will I need to remove anything from my diaper bag/purse/backpack to avoid setting off the alert?

    These screening units are non-invasive and fast moving. Everyday items such as cell phones, keys, wallets, etc. will not need to be removed. Items that will likely need to be removed and passed to the security officer include laptops, tablets and large metal drink containers.

    Will I need to remove any clothing or accessories (i.e. shoes, belt, etc.)?

    No, we won’t ask anyone to remove anything they’re wearing. Manual wands will be used for targeted screening if needed and you’ll be able to tell the security guard if there are specific things the sensors may be picking up.

    My child has special needs. Is there anything I can do to prepare them for the screening?

    The process is quick and there is no touching involved. Stay tuned for a short video of the screening process to share with your child as you prepare for their visit.

    Learn more about the phased approach to increased safety and security at VCU Health.


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