NORFOLK, Va. – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has received a $2.5 million donation from Norfolk Southern Corporation for Children’s Pavilion, which opened its doors to inpatient mental health care last month.

The company’s generous support is recognized in the facility’s new education center, where CHKD has a conference center to conduct professional training, educational opportunities, and research centered on improving children’s mental health. The education center is on the second floor of the $224 million facility, which now provides both inpatient mental health care and a robust outpatient care program.

“Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters plays a vital role across the Commonwealth, directly caring for our youngest citizens,” said Alan Shaw, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern. “Hampton Roads is home to many of our colleagues, and together we are committed to supporting the hospital to provide mental health services for children in need.”

The  mental health  facility at 401 Gresham Drive brings together aspects of the best pediatric psychiatric facilities in the country, including inpatient rooms with sleeping accommodations for a parent, a rooftop recreation area where hospitalized children can get exercise and fresh air, and therapeutic rooms for art and music therapy. 

“Norfolk Southern has been a long-time supporter of CHKD, and this gift is a testament to the deep roots of the company in the Hampton Roads region and the commonwealth of Virginia,” said CHKD President and CEO Jim Dahling. “This gift will be a legacy in supporting the most vulnerable members of our community, and contribute to a better understanding of improving mental health in children across the country.”

The 14-story facility is expected to ease a statewide shortage of psychiatric beds for children, and will also provide a “partial hospitalization” program that provides care to children who will spend most of the day at the hospital, but still reside at home.  

The building is opening at a time when 20 percent of the nation’s children have a mental health condition. The pandemic also heightened anxiety in children experiencing isolation, along with insecurity created by deaths and job losses within their families.

Children’s Pavilion opened to outpatient mental health care, a primary pediatric practice, sports medicine, and laboratory and radiology services in April. The first 12 inpatient psychiatric beds opened Oct. 11, with the remaining 48 beds to open in phases through mid-2023. The goal is to provide an environment that integrates access to mental health services into other routine services in order to de-stigmatize the identification and treatment of psychiatric conditions within the pediatric population.

Once fully operational, Children’s Pavilion will employ 400 doctors, nurses, therapists, and other mental health professionals who will treat children across the state and beyond. In a far-reaching aspect of the initiative, a fellowship training program for child and adolescent psychiatrists also is being developed to train mental health providers. This critical program will improve access to care in Hampton Roads and also help address the extreme shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists across the country.


About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country’s population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting

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 hospital and outpatient center on its campus to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. The new tower on CHKD’s campus in Norfolk opened to outpatient services in April 2022, with the first inpatient beds opening in October 2022. Learn more at