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CHKD News Releases

View our archive of past news releases. Media inquiries can be made by calling (757) 475-8839.

Recent News Releases and Stories

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Welcomes Infectious Disease Specialist

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – CHKD is pleased to welcome Dr. Parvathi Kumar to our team of infectious disease specialists.

Dr. Kumar received her medical degree from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, in India. She did her residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at CHKD.

Dr. Kumar trained in India and brings experience in infectious diseases frequently seen in tropical countries and developing nations.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Kumar.

News Releases - Dr. Parvathi Kumar

Dr. Parvathi Kumar

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. Learn more at CHKD.org.

 

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Monday, October 19, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Collaborates with CATS To Refurbish Adaptive Devices for Children

NORFOLK, Va. –  Whether it’s a device that helps children communicate with friends, or a stroller that makes it easier to play with family on the beach, adaptive devices help children with disabilities live life to the fullest.

CHKD announced today a new collaboration with Children’s Assistive Technology Service, an organization that refurbishes adaptive devices and other medical equipment for children with disabilities. Sometimes the child’s family doesn’t have insurance, or, more commonly, the insurance companies don’t consider the device medically necessary. Some can cost thousands of dollars, so CATS cleans and refurbishes gently used devices and either gives or loans them to children for free.

CHKD has supported the organization since it started operating in Hampton Roads in 2016. The hospital system recently entered an agreement with the organization to create a partnership in which CHKD picks up equipment for CATS and provides space in CHKD’s adaptive seating clinic for the devices to be cleaned and refurbished. 

Beth Beach, an occupational therapist at CHKD, helped start the CATS operation in Hampton Roads. Roanoke and Richmond also have CATS programs. “Technology has come such a long way in designing equipment that can help children with disabilities do so many more activities, but they can be expensive,” said Beach, who has been an occupational therapist for more than 30 years.

For instance, Macie Leiphart, a 7-year-old Virginia Beach girl with cerebral palsy, has most of her medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, covered by insurance. But when her family filed for insurance to cover a special device that helps her stand up, the company said it wasn’t medically necessary. The $3,000 cost was steep, especially since she can outgrow the device fairly quickly.

CATS was able to provide a device when she 3, and another one last year when she outgrew the first one. She can stand at the counter to do arts and crafts, dye Easter eggs, and help her mom cook. “It really expanded the different activities she can do,” said her mother, Laura Leiphart. “She also uses it at school, so she can stand up in class like the other kids.”

Chesapeake 5-year-old Christian Farley also had his horizons expanded by CATS.  Christian has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and is also blind. He loves the water, so his family applied for a beach stroller through CATS so he could go to the beach. “I’ve lived in Chesapeake my whole life, so I grew up going to the beach,” says his mother, Jessica Farley. “We really wanted to make memories like that for Christian, too, since the water is his absolute favorite thing in the world.”

Macie and Christian are just a few in a growing number of local children who have been helped by the organization. In 2019, 452 items were provided to 432 children throughout Hampton Roads.

More information about the program can be found at the CATS website.

 Macie Leiphart   Christian Farley in Beach Chair

Left: Macie Leiphart, 7, enjoys a higher view in the family kitchen in Virginia Beach, thanks to an adaptive device that helps her stand. 

Right: Five-year-old Christian Farley of Chesapeake enjoys beach time with his family in an adaptive beach stroller he received from CATS.

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. Learn more at CHKD.org.

Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS) provides for the re-use of pediatric rehabilitation equipment and assistive technology devices in Virginia.  CATS serves as a no-cost resource for children with disabilities who need adaptive equipment and whose families have limited resources. 

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Mental Health Hospital Receives $1 Million Grant from Hampton Roads Community Foundation

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters to support the health system’s new 60-bed mental health hospital and outpatient center for children and adolescents.

The grant is one of the most generous the foundation has awarded in recent history.

The mental health crisis facing our children has surfaced at every level of CHKD’s regional care network for children, from our primary care pediatricians and outpatient clinics to our mental health therapists and emergency department. CHKD launched a bold initiative in 2015 to answer the community’s need for more mental health services.

The centerpiece of this transformational response is a 14-story facility, currently under construction on the same campus as CHKD’s main hospital. The $224 million tower is scheduled to open in 2022, and will provide a full spectrum of mental health care for children, including outpatient therapy, inpatient rooms with sleeping accommodations for a parent, and a “partial hospitalization” program in which children will receive treatment during the day, and return home at night.

Children’s mental wellness is a civic leadership initiative of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, which is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. In 2019, for example, the organization partnered with CHKD on a forum featuring renowned child psychiatrist Gregory Fritz, M.D., to engage the community in conversation about the challenges and opportunities for all youth to have good mental health.
The foundation recognizes that the mental health needs of the region’s children have become even more imperative during the pandemic as children’s social and educational foundations shift, and their families endure financial and health hardships.

“CHKD’s newest facility will help meet the needs of pediatric patients grappling with mental health issues,” said Deborah DiCroce, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. “The hospital – coupled with broad community support for it – will have a transformational effect on the lives of children and families in the region and state. The community foundation enthusiastically supports this effort.”

Even before the pandemic, this community did not have the capacity to meet the crushing mental health needs of children. Community pediatricians are overwhelmed with mental health needs of patients, and children are spending too much time waiting for openings for care.

“We are so grateful to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for recognizing the critical need for more mental health services for children in our area,” said CHKD President and CEO Jim Dahling. “The foundation’s leadership and support of our mental health initiative serves as a rallying cry for the community, as individuals, organizations, and businesses work together to bring these desperately needed services to our children.”

John Lawson II, chair of the Lighting the Way Campaign that is raising philanthropic support for CHKD’s  mental health initiative, said decisions made by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation truly set the stage for the most important priorities in our region. “This historic gift signals the critical investment necessary to address the gaping holes in mental health services, not just for children here in Hampton Roads, but throughout the commonwealth and beyond.”

News Releases - Artist's rendering of CHKD mental health hospital and outpatient center

Artist’s rendering of CHKD mental health hospital and outpatient center.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Welcomes Specialist in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – CHKD is pleased to welcome Dr. Carlos Sendon to our pulmonary and sleep medicine practice.

Dr. Sendon received his medical degree from the University of San Martin De Porres in Lima, Peru, and did his residency in pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He completed a pediatric pulmonary fellowship at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and a sleep medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Dr. Sendon’s clinical interests include asthma, chronic cough, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, recurrent pneumonia, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and technology-dependent and sleep-breathing disorders.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Sendon.

News Releases - Dr. Carlos Sendon

Dr. Carlos Sendon

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. Learn more at CHKD.org.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Medical Group Welcomes New Pediatrician

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – CHKD Medical Group is pleased to welcome Dr. Rachel Mayer to Liberty Pediatrics in Newport News.

Dr. Mayer grew up in Chesapeake and attended medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She completed her residency at CHKD. Her clinical interests include mental health, breastfeeding, and teaching future physicians. 

Join us in welcoming Dr. Mayer to CHKD Medical Group.

News Releases - New Pediatrician Dr. Mayer

Dr. Rachel Mayer

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CHKD Medical Group is part of the not-for-profit CHKD Health System, which operates Virginia’s only freestanding children’s hospital, along with surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. CHKD Medical Group operates 20 pediatric practices in 31 locations. For more information, visit CHKD.org/Pediatricians.

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Friday, September 18, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Welcomes New Infectious Disease Specialist

NORFOLK, Va. – CHKD is pleased to welcome Dr. Andres Alarcon, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has put infectious disease in the forefront of our community.

Dr. Alarcon received his medical degree from Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, and did his residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. He completed his fellowship and master's degree in public health at George Washington University.

He’s participated in clinical trials of pediatric infectious disease, and plans to continue taking part in community and global public health initiatives.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Alarcon to CHKD’s team of infectious disease specialists.

News Releases - Dr. Andres Alarcon

Dr. Andres Alarcon

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. Learn more at CHKD.org.

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Friday, September 18, 2020
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CHKD Welcomes New Orthopedic Surgeon and Nephrology Specialist

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – We're pleased to welcome an orthopedic surgeon and a nephrology specialist to CHKD.

Dr. Peter Moskal, a pediatric orthopedic spine surgeon, received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and did his residency at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.

Dr. Moskal Joins the orthopedic and sports medicine program at CHKD. His clinical interests are pediatric orthopedic injuries and conditions, such as scoliosis, spinal deformity, fracture care, foot and ankle deformities, and sports medicine.

Dr. Alexandra Idrovo, a pediatric nephrology specialist, received her medical degree from the University of Guayaquil. She did her residency at John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, and completed a fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Idrovo joins the nephrology program at CHKD, treating children with kidney disease and its associated disorders.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Moskal and Dr. Idrovo.

News Releases - Dr. Peter Moskal  News Releases - Dr. Alexandra Idrovo

Dr. Peter Moskal, Dr. Alexandra Idrovo

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. Learn more at CHKD.org.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Contact: Contact: Elizabeth Earley at (757) 668-9049 or Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org

CHKD Opens Redesigned NICU

Private Rooms Promote Individual and Family-Centered Care

NORFOLK, Va. – When CHKD opened the region’s first neonatal intensive care unit in 1972, the tiny babies shared a 20-bed unit in a single, large room with older children who also needed intensive care.

Over the years, the NICU has gained its own space, more beds, more sophisticated technology in “pods” of six to nine babies, making it the highest level NICU in the region, caring for the sickest, smallest babies. This month brought the completion of the most recent renovation of the unit, bringing the latest in NICU features and advancements.

The NICU now has 50 private rooms, and 10 rooms with two beds each. The number of children who can be cared for is the same, but all 70 beds have space for a parent to rest, along with private space for bonding. Sliding glass doors and the latest technology in monitors allow NICU staff to easily see how babies are doing, and provide the latest in treatments. “These tiny babies really need more space than you would think,” said Dr. Jamil Khan, a neonatologist who is medical director of the NICU.

The trend in NICUs across the country is moving toward a more individualized environment so levels of light and noise can be adjusted to meet the babies’ needs, and parents can spend quality time with their infants. A tiny, premature baby, for instance, may need a quiet, dim environment, while older babies benefit from more stimulation, such as more light, and more talk and touch from caregivers.

Because of COVID-19 pandemic visitor restrictions, we’re not able to allow media or the public to tour the state-of-the-art facility, but video and photographs are available for use at this link.

This renovation was five years in the making, with the first wave of babies moving in October of 2019, and the final 48 babies being transferred to the new unit September 9 and 10. Because of the delicacy of the infants, a single transfer took up to eight staff members, including doctors, respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, nurses and others, rolling babies in incubators and cribs from the seventh floor to the fourth.

Penny Hatfield, a NICU manager, has worked at CHKD more than four decades, and has been in the NICU from the beginning. In the early years, the smallest patients were 28 weeks of gestation, and weighed around 2.7 pounds. Today, the smallest survivors push into the world as early as 22 weeks, weighing around 12 ounces.

“It’s amazing when you think about the type of patient we took care of at the start, and what we can do now,” Hatfield said.

The unit admits 500 to 600 babies a year, with an average length of stay of 41 days. The tiniest babies, those weighing less than 2.3 pounds, stay an average of 87 days.

The renovated unit has a whimsical oak tree in the lobby, with a squirrel peeking out from a knothole. A family lounge area has a kitchen, room for classes on care of babies, and a store where parents can “buy” books and clothing with “NICU bucks” they earn by attending classes that prepare them to take their babies home.

Dr. Khan, who has treated babies at CHKD’s NICU since 1988, said the unit is a tribute not just to the advances in care of the region’s smallest babies, but also to the commitment of the community: “We certainly wouldn’t be able to have this expansion to this state-of-the-art NICU without a lot of commitment from the hospital, and the people in the community who have supported the hospital over the years. Someone has to watch out for the children, and in Hampton Roads, it’s CHKD.”

News Releases - NICU Move     Cameron photo of NICU

Pictured left: CHKD staff members move one of the hospital's smallest patients to newly renovated NICU last week.

Pictured right: Anna and Nick Glandon with their son, Cameron, in one of the NICU's private rooms.

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CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout its service region. In 2019, CHKD broke ground on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower being built on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk is scheduled to open in 2022. 

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Thursday, September 10, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Medical Group Welcomes New Pediatricians

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – The pediatricians of CHKD Medical Group are pleased to welcome Dr. Andria Wallen and Dr. Charisse Carter to practices in Chesapeake and Norfolk.

Dr. Wallen returns to her home city and the practice she went to as a child, Chesapeake Pediatrics, an experience that inspired her to become a pediatrician. She attended Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., and completed her residency at CHKD, serving as chief resident. 

Dr. Carter also received her medical degree at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. She did her pediatric residency at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond. Dr. Carter, who will be practicing at Norfolk Pediatrics, enjoys taking care of children of all ages, but especially loves seeing newborn patients develop. She hopes to guide each of her patients through adolescence as they become responsible for their own health.

 Join us in welcoming Dr. Wallen and Dr. Carter to CHKD Medical Group.

Dr. Wallen     Dr. Carter

Dr. Andria Wallen, Dr. Charisse Carter

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CHKD Medical Group is part of the not-for-profit CHKD Health System, which operates Virginia’s only freestanding children’s hospital, along with surgical practices, multi-service health centers, urgent care centers, and satellite offices throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. CHKD Medical Group operates 20 pediatric practices in 31 locations. For more information, visit CHKD.org/Pediatricians.

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(757) 668-6960