The Virginia Heart Institute, with a clinic on North Hamilton Avenue in Richmond, filed a four-line legal notice in the Richmond Times-Dispatch yesterday: “Virginia Heart Institute. Termination of Medical Services: July 30, 2010. Contact VHI for medical records.”
VHI’s President Anne Baird was abrupt when reached by phone, saying only, “Long story and many different variables and don’t have time to go into it.”
When pushed further to explain the nature of the legal ad, Baird said, “I am not required to comment further.”
VHI was founded in Richmond in the early 1970s by the late Charles Baird as the first freestanding outpatient cardiac catheterization clinic in the nation. Baird died in 2008.
A few years, later the facility, formerly located on Berrington Street, was completely destroyed in a fire, according to VHI’s website. It was rebuilt a few blocks away on North Hamilton Avenue in 1977.
Not much else is known about VHI except that between 2007 and 2008 it paid now-defunct local firms more than $30,000 to lobby on its behalf, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Nancy Walsh from the Virginia Board of Medicine said legal notices alerting the public to a termination of medical service must by law be filed when a doctor closes a practice or a medical facility closes.
VHI board member Pete Sowers, who is also chief executive and founder of Richmond-based Patient First, said by phone yesterday that he hasn’t kept in contact with VHI and that he was not aware of the legal notice or the circumstances surrounding it.
Michael Schwartz is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected].