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May 22, 2015

Va. Groups Nix Hospital Plan Despite $150 Million Pledge

After a year of talks, two big Richmond, Va., health organizations unexpectedly pulled out of efforts to develop a new regional children's hospital Thursday, leaving a promised $150 million donation for the project on the table, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and Bon Secours Richmond Health System said they concluded that building a freestanding hospital that neither would own was too financially risky amid uncertainty over major health-care issues such as Medicaid expansion and the fate of the Affordable Care Act. They will collaborate instead on a number of pediatric care efforts in areas such as obesity and asthma.

The proposed hospital had been in the works for eight years and drew a $150 million pledge from prominent Richmond businessman William H. Goodwin Jr. and his wife, Alice. Mr. Goodwin said the couple is "very disappointed and very devastated" but by hospitals' decision. "Alice and I put eight long years into this effort, but clearly Bon Secours and VCU health systems have made a statement."