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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, 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

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

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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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Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

Costco Wholesale Raises Funds in September to Help Kids at CHKD

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Costco stores in Norfolk and Newport News are conducting their annual fundraising campaign to benefit CHKD throughout the month of September. 

Make a donation when checking out at Costco stores located at 850 Glenrock Road in Norfolk and 12121 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News and support the kids at CHKD. For 32 years, Costco has been a partner with Children’s Miracle Network, which raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals, including CHKD. 

Since 1995, Costco employees and members have donated more than $700,000 for kids treated at CHKD.

Children and their families are being affected directly and indirectly by the coronavirus pandemic. We know we can address the most challenging health issues of today while preventing and preparing for those to come. But we can’t do it alone. 

Thank you for donating today. When we change kids’ health, we change the future – for all of us. 

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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.

CostcoWholesale Corporation has raised more than $240 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® since 1988. Currently, over 600 Costco locations in participate in a fundraising campaign for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support and learn about your member hospital at ChildrensMiracleNetworkHospitals.org and  Facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

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Monday, August 31, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

CHKD Welcomes Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

 

NORFOLK, Va. – CHKD is pleased to welcome Dr. Edward Weston Santee, a pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who will treat children with cleft lip and palate conditions and other craniofacial differences.

Dr. Santee joins the plastic and oral maxillofacial surgery program at CHKD, where he will offer a full scope of surgical procedures for conditions that affect the mouth, face, or jaw of children, such as cleft lip and palate and craniosynostosis. This position is a new one for CHKD and expands the services we will be able to provide children in the community.

He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and did his residency at University of Michigan Hospital. He completed a fellowship focused on cleft and craniofacial surgery at El Paso Children’s Hospital in Texas. 

Join us in welcoming Dr. Santee to CHKD.

Dr. Edward Weston Santeer.

Dr. Edward Weston Santee

 

 

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Monday, August 24, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

Hampton Roads Health Systems Urge Public to #MaskUp757

 MaskUp757

As COVID-19 rates spike in our region, we must unite in our efforts to protect ourselves and one another from a virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure. At this time, the best possible weapons in stopping this invisible threat are wearing a mask, following social distancing guidelines and washing your hands.

In Hampton Roads, the spike in positive COVID-19 cases is a cause for concern. The Commonwealth of Virginia is holding steady around a 7 percent positivity rate, while in Hampton Roads, cities are wrestling with positivity rates at or above the state’s average. While it is difficult to pinpoint specific events or sources leading to the latest spikes, we do know that masks are working to lower the percentage of positive cases in other parts of the country.

Peer-reviewed studies in medical journals like The Lancet and Health Affairs have shown that wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. Results show that mask mandates contributed to a slowdown in the daily COVID-19 growth rate over time. Health Affairs data suggested the first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percent compared to the five days prior to the mandate, and at three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percent. Internationally, countries that have embraced or mandated wearing masks have had a significantly lower death rate due to COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for wearing a mask:  

  • Be sure your mask fits properly, extending from the bridge of the nose to the chin, with no gaps along the sides.
  • Wear a mask whenever you visit a public indoor space.
  • Wear a mask when you’re outdoors and unable to maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet from other people.
  • Masks with valves do not protect others. The valve allows virus droplets to escape into the air and infect others. Cloth or medical procedure masks are better choices.
  • Most children age 2 and older can wear a mask safely.

As clinical leaders of the major health care systems in Hampton Roads, and on behalf of all of our community’s essential medical workers, including the thousands of doctors, nurses and employees who’ve shown their commitment to our safety, health and well-being throughout our health systems—we urge you to wear a mask to help keep our communities safe and reduce the painful scenes we witness in our facilities each day due to this awful virus.

Save a life and #MaskUp757. Together we can overcome COVID-19.

- Anhtai H. Nguyen, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Hampton Roads
- Christopher Foley, MD, FAAP, Chief of Medicine, CHKD
- Amber Egyud, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing and Chief Operating Officer, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
- Margaret Baumgarten, MD, Chief Quality Officer, EVMS Medical Group
- Captain Lisa Mulligan, Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Center of Portsmouth
- Mike Dacey, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer, Riverside Health System
- Jordan Asher, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Sentara Healthcare

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Thursday, August 20, 2020
Contact:

CHKD Medical Group Welcomes New Pediatrician

 

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The pediatricians of CHKD Medical Group are pleased to welcome Dr. Kristen Simon to General Booth Pediatrics. 

Dr. Simon grew up in Chesapeake, and graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She earned her medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, where she also received a master’s degree in public health.

She completed her residency in pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, N.C., and then joined General Booth Pediatrics in Virginia Beach.  

During her residency, she developed tools and resources for providers to address weight management for children during outpatient visits, which continues to be one of her clinical interests.

“I absolutely love partnering with families throughout every step of a child’s life,” Simon said. “It is such a wonderful opportunity as a pediatrician to support and encourage kids of all ages.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Simon to General Booth Pediatrics. 

 

Dr. Kristen Simon

Dr. Kristen Simon

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

CHKD Welcomes New Doctor to Child Abuse Program

 NORFOLK, Va. – CHKD is pleased to welcome Dr. Hayley Sooknarine to the child abuse program at CHKD, which provides services for children across the region suspected of being abused or neglected. 

Dr. Sooknarine graduated from the University College Dublin School of Medicine and did her residency at State University of New York in Buffalo. She completed a fellowship at Emory University. 

Originally from the Caribbean, Dr. Sooknarine spent several years during her fellowship working in the field of child abuse in Trinidad and Tobago. She continues to mentor and coordinate training for Trinidadian doctors who work with mistreated children.

The child abuse program at CHKD was established in 1998 to provide an integrated response to child abuse through a multidisciplinary team of doctors, forensic interviewers, social workers, psychologists, and community outreach workers. In addition to forensic interviews, the program provides case management, family advocacy, medical care, and specialized mental health treatment.

Dr. Sooknarine will be the second doctor in the program, joining Dr. Michelle Clayton, who is medical director of the program.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Sooknarine to CHKD.

SooknarineHayley2020_Web

Dr. Hayley Sooknarine

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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, August 11, 2020
Contact:

Topping Off Ceremony Marks Milestone For CHKD Mental Health Hospital

NORFOLK, Va. – Today marks a significant step toward bolstering children’s mental health care in Virginia as CHKD celebrates the placement of the highest beam on a 60-bed, 14-story mental health hospital and outpatient center.

The “topping off” ceremony marks the symbolic completion of the structural phase of the $224 million building located on the same campus as CHKD’s main hospital. When the building opens in 2022, it will be the centerpiece of a bold new initiative that will provide a full spectrum of mental health care for children, filling a critical gap in a statewide shortage of pediatric mental health services.

The building, constructed by W.M. Jordan, is rising at a time when 20 percent of the nation’s children have a mental health condition, and in the middle of a pandemic that is already having an impact on the minds of the community’s children. Already, reports are showing heightened anxiety in children experiencing fear about COVID-19, insecurity created by job losses within their family, and loneliness from social distancing. Fallout from these issues will unfold in the months and years to come.

Even before the pandemic, this community simply did not have the capacity to meet the crushing need. Community pediatricians are overwhelmed with mental health needs of their patients, and children are spending too much time waiting in our emergency department for proper inpatient placement at other facilities.

While the tower is going up with concrete and iron, the mental health program is also building human capital. More psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and mental health administrators have been hired and are already treating the community’s children, creating a program with the most innovative, research-based treatments. Since the groundbreaking in September 2019, CHKD has recruited six new psychiatrists, three psychologists, and two licensed therapists.

The facility will have features that put it on the forefront of pediatric mental health care, including 60 private inpatient rooms with sleeping accommodations for a parent. Children will also receive outpatient therapy in an environment that supports their families and community. A “partial hospitalization” program will enable children to spend most of the day at the hospital, but still reside at home. Other facility highlights include an outdoor recreation area, an indoor gym, a music room and recording studio, a rooftop garden, a soothing multi-sensory room, and family lounge areas.

The CHKD mental health hospital will employ 415 doctors, nurses, therapists, and other mental health professionals who will treat children across the state and beyond.

For a video of the topping off ceremony, click here.

News Releases_Final Beam Topping Off

Final beam raised during topping off ceremony of the new CHKD mental health hospital and outpatient center.

News Releases_CHKD officials celebrate topping off of the new mental health hospital at CHKD.

CHKD officials celebrate topping off of the new mental health hospital at CHKD.

From left to right: Jim Dahling, president and CEO of CHKD Health System; Akhil Jain, chair of the CHKD Health System Board of Directors; Dr. Carl Peterson, chief of psychiatry at CHKD; John Lawson II, chair of the Lighting the Way Campaign Cabinet.

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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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(757) 668-6960