Dr. Marsha D. Rappley, MD, Vice president, VCU Health Sciences and CEO, VCU Health System, speaks at the dedication ceremony of the new Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, VA Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

The head of Virginia Commonwealth University's health system is retiring.

Marsha Rappley, the CEO of the VCU Health System and senior vice president for health sciences at VCU, announced Tuesday that she planned to retire Jan. 2, 2020. Rappley has led the system since August 2015.

"I have loved every day that I spent with VCU Health and VCU. The challenges have been great and they are shared across the nation," she wrote in an email to university staff and students. "What drew me to Richmond is the way in which the people of VCU Health embrace the mission of providing for and restoring the health of all people of Virginia and beyond."

VCU President praised Rappley in a statement, specifically highlighting her work on a new inpatient children's hospital that's set to open in 2022.

“Marsha set the vision for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU to be a top children’s hospital in the country, a legacy of her leadership at VCU Health,” Rao said.

In a statement, Rao said an interim CEO and vice president will be named soon. A national search is planned for Rappley's successor.

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