Foundation’s Irby Award Honors Dr. Hundley for Community Outreach and Advisory Board

Talented clinician, innovative researcher, thoughtful and thorough teacher — the accolades for Greg Hundley, M.D., director of the VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, are plentiful.

Greg Hundley, M.D. Photo: Daniel Sangjib Min, MCV Foundation

And many who know him explain that one of his greatest strengths is an innate sense that Virginia’s top-ranked heart center is at its strongest when partnering with the community.

Dr. Hundley was the driving force in creating the Pauley Heart Center Advisory Board, which now is in its third year. He also has played a key part in expanding VCU Health cardiology services into Williamsburg.  

His efforts earned him the prestigious Irby Award from the MCV Foundation during its annual awards event on June 10 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Established in memory of Robert Irby, M.D., an MCV rheumatologist who was devoted to securing financial support for campus, this award is presented to a faculty member who has assisted with major fundraising efforts. 

“Beyond his role as leader and director at Pauley Heart Center, Greg realizes that to develop the institution that we all imagine, there has to be a significant connection to the community,” said Mitch Haddon, outgoing chair of the Pauley Advisory Board, who has been involved since its inception. Community, Haddon said, could mean anything from industry professionals and partnerships with other institutions, to current or future donors. 

Dr. Hundley has made a difference through his strength in cardiac imaging, but he’s also expanded that reach into the community, he’s expanded research and he’s expanded philanthropy.

George W. Vetrovec, M.D., MCV Foundation lifetime honorary trustee

It is why Dr. Hundley spends his evenings and free time talking to community groups and organizations of all kinds. He created summer programming that connects VCU Health with students interested in medical fields but attend colleges and universities without medical schools.   

“You’re talking about someone who’s a clinician, a researcher, a director and with all these things going on, he makes himself available to do things in the community,” Haddon said. 

Dr. Hundley receiving the Irby Award at the MCV Foundation Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Photo: Daniel Sangjib Min, MCV Foundation

Advisory Board member and Williamsburg resident Ginny Crone said Dr. Hundley’s efforts go well beyond promoting cardiology services. He engages the greater public by taking the time to help them understand why cardiac health is so important.   

“He has changed the whole fabric of cardiology care in Williamsburg and it’s absolutely transformational. He has a tremendous ability to translate what he does so specifically — it’s probably his best quality,” she said. “He can really make an academic concept come to life.” 

George W. Vetrovec, M.D., an MCV Foundation lifetime honorary trustee, knew Dr. Hundley as a student. He recalled how he tried to recruit the younger Dr. Hundley several times, saying that he saw a natural born leader and someone who could expertly translate science and research into digestible information. 

“Sometimes people are very bright, as he is, and very into research, as he is, but they aren’t communicative,” Dr. Vetrovec said. Dr. Hundley, however, “has that ability to take the complex science and describe it in ways that lay people understand and get excited about.”  

Since his arrival at VCU Health, “Dr. Hundley has made a difference through his strength in cardiac imaging, but he’s also expanded that reach into the community, he’s expanded research and he’s expanded philanthropy,” Dr. Vetrovec said.  

Haddon echoed those sentiments, saying that Dr. Hundley’s vision for the advisory board triggered a “force multiplier,” as board members take that vision and make connections that ultimately bolster not only the board, but Pauley Heart Center’s strength and capabilities.  

Haddon called it a best practice and something that serves as a model for other hospitals and health care systems.  

“He has a sense of what he wants to accomplish, he has a vision and he’s passionate about it,” Haddon said. Through the advisory board, “we are extending that message from downtown Richmond.”