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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, VCU Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center

VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Maternal-Fetal Medicine

The Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Division in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Medical College of Virginia, within the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, is dedicated to incorporating the latest advances in prenatal care to the management of complicated pregnancies.

MFM physicians provide care to women with pregnancies complicated by:

HypertensionHepatitisMultiple gestations
DiabetesHIVIncompetent cervix
Kidney diseaseClotting disordersPoor fetal growth
EpilepsyPreterm laborBirth defects
Heart diseasePlacenta previaHereditary condition in family

We also frequently see women with a history of a prior complicated pregnancy. Our role in your care can be quite varied. Examples include:

  • Consultant — We work with general Ob/Gyn physicians in our Department, along with certified nurse midwives. Your doctor or midwife will continue to take care of you, and we provide our advice and expertise to your care.
  • Second Opinion — We see women cared for in Central Virginia by community Obstetricians to help develop a plan of management, confirm a diagnosis, or perform specialized testing.
  • Primary care — We also follow our own patients that have pregnancy complications like those listed above.

The care provided for complicated pregnancies is typically a collaborative team approach. For example, our specific emphasis on prenatal diagnosis (defining potential hereditary or congenital problems that may arise in the baby) is a joint effort that is supplemented by the expertise of the Human Genetics and Pediatric Departments, with whom we work closely. We offer first and second trimester screening for birth defects, in addition to noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). If desired by the patient, our antenatal testing unit offers fetal chromosome and DNA assessment by such techniques as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling or fetal blood sampling.

When a baby is suspected to have a birth defect or chromosomal abnormality, the team approach involves other specialists that will assist the parents in making decisions on the care of their infant. These specialists include geneticists, neonatologists (specialists that manage babies with complications) and pediatric specialists such as heart doctors and surgeons all with special expertise in the management of babies with complications. In general, prior to birth, the parents will have the opportunity to meet with the doctors to learn and understand the potential outcome and how care will be provided for the baby.

Ultrasound technology is utilized extensively in the evaluation of complicated pregnancies. All five physicians in the Division and the antenatal testing ultrasound unit at the MCV Hospitals and at Stony Point Womenís Health Center are accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine. Accreditation by AIUM ensures that an ultrasound practice features well-qualified personnel, appropriate ultrasound facilities and equipment, adequate record keeping, quality assurance guidelines and that the practice meets nationally accepted standards of patient care, demonstrates consistent excellence and is current with the latest ultrasound technology.

All the members of our Division have had advanced subspecialty training, and are certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the subspecialty of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Practice Sites

Women’s Health at Nelson Clinic
11th and Marshall Streets, Suite 600
Richmond, Virginia 23298
Phone: 804-828-4409
Fax: 804-828-6084

Women’s Health at Stony Point
9000 Stony Point Parkway
Richmond, Virginia 23235
Phone: 804-560-8950
Fax: 804-560-7343


Patients can be seen for continuing care or for consultations at either of our two offices. One is in downtown Richmond at the Nelson Clinic at VCU Medical Center, and the other is at the Stony Point Medical Center. All five physicians in our Division perform ultrasound at both sites. Dr.ís Lanni, Rigby, and Peng see patients at the Nelson Clinic, and Dr. Ramus sees patients at Stony Point.

To make a clinical appointment, please have the following information available when you call:

  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Phone number

Physician Faculty

Susan Lanni, M.D. is an Associate Professor in the Division and the Medical Director of our Labor and Delivery unit at VCU. Dr. Lanni received her residency training at the Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center and her sub-specialty training in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Brown University, School of Medicine, Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Lanni is actively involved in clinical research and has special expertise and interest in the area of ultrasound. Dr. Lanni joined the faculty in 1999.

Lauren Vanner Nicely, M.S., C.G.C., is a Genetic Counselor and a member of our faculty. She was previously a member of the Dept. of Human Genetics for 16 years, prior to joining our Department in 2008. She received her Masters of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Ronald M. Ramus, M.D. is a Professor in the Department and Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He is also the Medical Director of Ob/Gyn Ultrasound. Dr. Ramus attended medical school at the University of Chicago. He received his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and then completed his fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He moved to Richmond in 2004 and joined the department in 2011.

Fidelma B. Rigby, M.D. is an Associate Professor in the Division and supervises medical student teaching in the Department of Ob/Gyn. Dr. Rigby attended medical school at the University of Virginia. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and her fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She joined the department in 2005.

Edward Springel, M.D. Assistant Professor, received a bachelorís degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He then attended the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia for Medical School and Residency. He completed his fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.