Romesh Wijesooriya is an Assistant Professor of General Pediatrics at CHoR. He has served as the Division Chair of General Pediatrics since 2014. Additionally, he serves as the Medical Director for the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic at CHoR, he is an Assistant Medical Director for Telehealth at VCUHS and is a founding Board Member of the Virginia Children's Care Network (VCCN).
Romesh received his BA in Religious Studies with a minor in Biology in 1999 from The University of Virginia where he was an Echol's Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar. After graduating, he spent one year working at a hospital and orphanage in Jos, Nigeria before returning to The University of Virginia for Medical School. He received his MD from U.Va. in 2004 and he completed his pediatric residency training at VCUHS in 2007. He served as Chief Resident for one year and subsequently joined the faculty of VCUHS in 2008. He has been board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics since 2007. Due to his interest in pediatric obesity, he pursued and received his certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine in 2015. In 2016 he attended the Harvard Leadership Development Program for Physicians in Academic Health Centers.
During his time as the Division Chair, the Division of General Pediatrics has expanded from 14 pediatric providers (MDs and NPs) in 2014 to 22 providers (MDs and NPs) in 2020. Additionally, since 2014, the division has seen steady and clear year over year growth in patient volumes (76% increase in patient volumes over 7 years), profit margins, new program development, program expansion, research funding and activity, and educational activity. This clear growth in clinical, educational and research activity and productivity within the division has led to many members of the division Wijesooriya, Niran Romesh 11 of 13 being appointed to leadership roles and responsibilities at the institutional, local, regional and national levels.
Romesh maintains a primary focus on clinical care of patients in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. His special interests include medical education of residents and medical students, family-centered care, access to quality health care for patients and families who exist in lower socioeconomic environments, obesity in the pediatric population, and telehealth.
As a general pediatrician who has practiced medicine (and lives) in an urban, low-income, and under-resourced community since 2004, Romesh has had to grapple with the reality and challenges of health disparities for low-income communities. He has come to recognize that these disparities are generational and systemic in nature. Romesh is committed to improving health outcomes by changing the systems (medical, financial, educational, social, law enforcement, etc.) that have created and perpetuate these disparities.
Romesh has also developed a niche interest in Telehealth. In 2019 he was appointed as the Assistant Medical Director of Telehealth at VCUHS and has been part of the team that helped to manage a 5000% growth in telehealth volumes at VCUHS during the COVID-19 crisis. Romesh believes that telehealth if managed and appropriated and wisely, has a unique opportunity to enable health care to be more patient-centered, cost-effective, collaborative and accessible.
Romesh is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Obesity Society, and Alpha Omega Alpha. He has been recognized for his excellence as a medical educator on numerous occasions including being voted the "Best Teacher" in the Pediatric Clerkship on 2 separate occasions. He has received a number of different accolades for his clinical work including being named to Richmond Magazine's "Top Docs" list annually since 2012. While Romesh has primarily been recognized for his work as a clinician, a medical educator and a physician leader, he has also been able to partner with leading researchers on numerous research projects. He has been invited to collaborate on grant-funded research projects evaluating topics including pediatric obesity, medical education, telehealth, and maternal and infant microbiomes. The findings of these various research projects have been presented at national conferences and published in highly regarded peer review journals including Nature Medicine.
Throughout his career, Romesh has been actively involved in serving the Department of Pediatrics, the VCU School of Medicine, the VCU Health System and the University. He has served on a number of different committees since joining the VCUHS faculty in 2008. He has also repeatedly been invited to join strategic planning initiatives for the Department and the Health System. Most recently, he participated in CHoR Pediatric Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) Taskforce that resulted in the formation of the Virginia Children's Care Network (VCCN) in 2020. The VCCN is the first pediatric-focused CIN in central Virginia and the first CIN involving the VCU Health System. Romesh is currently serving as a founding board member for the VCCN.
Romesh is joyfully married to Lawson and they are the proud parents of 2 energetic Wijesooriya, Niran Romesh 12 of 13 boys. He lives in Church Hill in downtown Richmond. He has been and continues to be deeply committed to his neighborhood and the City of Richmond. He has participated and led a number of different community-based initiatives seeking to address economic and health disparities. From 2005 - 2015 he served as president of Urban Hope, an affordable housing non-profit in the city of Richmond committed to preserving affordable housing for economically challenged urban families in the City of Richmond. From 2011 - 2017 he served on the PTA committee overseeing the application and implementation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at the neighborhood elementary school (Chimborazo Elementary) that his children attended and recently graduated from. He is a founding member of East End Fellowship, a multi-ethnic, economically diverse Christian church located in the east end of Richmond that is committed to "seeking the welfare of the city".