dinner with the docs

The annual Discovery Society event brings together leading physicians for dinner and conversation with supporters in Williamsburg, Va. Photos: Daniel Sangjib Min, MCV Foundation

dinner with the docs
dinner with the docs
dinner with the docs
dinner with the docs

Dinner with the Docs: Sparking Healthy Dialogues

More than 20 leading health care experts from VCU Health traveled to Williamsburg, Va., this month to share their insights and advice with nearly 150 of the MCV Foundation’s close friends. 
It was the second annual Dinner With the Docs event, which began last year to celebrate the Discovery Society’s impact on health care, research and education. The Discovery Society unites people from the greater Williamsburg area who share a common goal of saving and improving lives through philanthropy at VCU Health. 

Among the physicians in attendance was Arturo Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine, who provided brief remarks.  

“When I was in medical school, if I had told my professors that I could replace major surgery with three weeks of antibiotics, or treat lethal cancers such as leukemia with a tablet, or that HIV would no longer be a lethal disease, I would have been asked to leave the classroom — but those interventions are where we are today, just 30 years later,” he said. “I want you all to think about something very personal to you — it might be your own health, or it might be the health of someone you love. Now imagine if that problem no longer exists. I’m here to tell you that in the next 30 years, many of the things you all just thought about will be solved.” 

The evening included a reception and dinner that grouped attendees with researchers and care providers. Attendees ranked their health care interests ahead of time, then were assigned to small dinner tables hosted by experts in fields ranging from cardiology and oncology to orthopaedics and psychiatry. 

It was an opportunity for society members to have an intimate dinner with experts who are nationally and world-renowned in their fields, and to ask a wide range of questions. 

The Discovery Society arose from the similarly named Discovery Series, which is an ongoing 10-year-old event series featuring panel discussions with VCU Health researchers and care providers. The society began in 2016 to recognize and thank Discovery Series attendees for their support of VCU Health. 

Since that time, society membership has grown to more than 260, while more than $9 million has been raised for important projects in research, patient care and education on the MCV Campus at VCU Health.  

And it’s this support from donors like Discovery Society members that will help achieve a brighter, healthier future. 

“Those dreams, those things that seem to be science fiction — those are the things that all of these physicians who you’re spending time with today are working on every day,” Dr. Saavedra said. “Ask these physicians what their favorite miracle is, and that’s the miracle that drives their careers, their passions, and their incredible care for patients — it’s why we can build something better together.” 

To learn more about the Discovery Society or the Discovery Series, contact Brian Thomas, the MCV Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer.