NORFOLK, Va. – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has received the American College of Surgeons’ highest level of certification for pediatric hospital surgical programs, one of just 15 centers nationwide to have earned this designation.

Dr. Robert Kelly, chief of surgery at CHKD, today announced the hospital’s surgical program, which includes the main hospital in Norfolk and surgery centers at Concert Drive in Virginia Beach and Oyster Point in Newport News, has been verified as a prestigious Level I center. The centers must meet rigorous criteria for staffing, training, facility features, and protocols for care in a program that aims to raise the level of children’s surgical care across the country.

The initiative began certifying centers in 2015 that could show continuous efforts to improve surgical quality, prevent complications, reduce costs, and save lives. The verification requires a site visit by a panel that includes an experienced pediatric surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse, which reviews the program for a multidisciplinary approach and a unique focus on each patient.

The center must also participate in a national data registry to track and compare its processes and outcomes and devise ways to improve them. The Level I centers must offer multiple medical and surgical specialties with procedures for major congenital anomalies and complex diseases.

“This has been a team effort, and we’re extremely proud to have achieved this distinction,” said Dr. Kelly. “It’s a reflection of the full commitment of every partner on the team, and a testament to the high level of care we provide to children throughout the region.”


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. 

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for surgical patients. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.