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

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Contact: Elizabeth Earley: Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org or (757) 668-9049

Baseball All-Star David Wright to Host Vegas-Style Event to Benefit CHKD

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Baseball All-Star David Wright will step up to the plate for CHKD as host of Wright Night, an evening event of casino gaming and cocktails in a Vegas-style setting.

The seven-time All-Star third baseman for the New York Mets will host the 10th annual event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on January 17 at 7 p.m. Wright, former third baseman and team captain of the Mets, is now a special advisor for the team. He recently was nominated to the 2020 Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Before the benefit, Wright will greet fans at a special VIP Meet and Greet gathering at 5:30 p.m. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit CHKD.org/DavidWright.

Born in Norfolk and raised in Chesapeake, Wright has been a longtime supporter of CHKD, dropping by the hospital to play games and talk baseball with children. In 2011, he hosted his first Vegas-style event, which has raised more than $1.5 million for CHKD.

Major sponsors of this year’s event include the David Wright Foundation, The New York Mets Foundation, Capital Group, Charles Barker Automotive, and more. To learn about additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kate Ryan, CHKD development officer, at (757) 668-9066 or Kate.Ryan@CHKD.org.

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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. Learn more at CHKD.org.

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Friday, November 22, 2019
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Local DQ Franchisee Recognized for Contributions to CHKD

“We are incredibly grateful for Mitch Sandlin’s commitment to CHKD’s mission and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen’s significant contributions to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters over the past 35 years"  said Jim Dahling, CHKD president and CEO.

NORFOLK, Va. – Area DQ franchisee, Mitch Sandlin, owner of Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen, a collection of 14 local DQ restaurants, has been awarded the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Maker Award for his contributions to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. 

This recognition is awarded annually by International Dairy Queen, Inc. to one U.S. DQ franchisee that represents the best of the brand when it comes to helping local kids. “Mitch Sandlin and his team have been stalwart supporters and champions for kids in Virginia for many years,” said Dan Kropp, Chief Operating Officer of International Dairy Queen, Inc. “We’re proud to be able to recognize him and his team for their ongoing contributions.”

This year alone, Sandlin’s stores are on pace to contribute more than $200,000 to the children’s hospital.  These contributions raised by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen support programs like child life, Buddy Brigade pet therapy, art and music therapy, cultural language services, and other services that aren’t covered by insurance. Our child life specialists work with patients and families to help children feel more comfortable and more in control of their hospital stay. Using age-appropriate interventions, they help children understand their illnesses and medical procedures and develop positive coping skills.

“DQ fans and my team at Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen deserve all the credit,” Sandlin says. “They make the commitment every day to making our restaurants places that give back to our community, and we’re proud of that.”

“We are incredibly grateful for Mitch Sandlin’s commitment to CHKD’s mission and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen’s significant contributions to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters over the past 35 years," said Jim Dahling, CHKD president and CEO. "We extend our warmest congratulations to him on this well deserved award in honor of his dedication and support of our children."

“I am thrilled to congratulate Mitch Sandlin on receiving Dairy Queen’s Miracle Maker Award in recognition of his tireless efforts to support the patients and families at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.  For 35 years, Mitch has lived up to this title, making miracles for our patients at CHKD, through fundraising events, Blizzard donations, and hospital visits. Mitch has always made CHKD a priority, and we’re delighted that he’s being recognized for his commitment," said Kathryn Ryan, CHKD development officer.

Sandlin first got started with DQ in 1965 and began his own business in 1972. He now owns 14 locations in and around Norfolk. He credits the DQ brand’s commitment to community as one of the main reasons he chose to get started with the popular food and treat brand 54 years ago.

In addition to the work Sandlin does for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, he also spearheaded an annual Veteran’s Day promotion that rewards local veterans with a free Blizzard® Treat at participating DQ locations across the country.

If you would like to help, all Mid-Atlantic DQ locations will be accepting round up donations at the register for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters through the end of December.

For more information, contact Matthew Bean, director of marketing with Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen LLC at (757) 346-8632.

About Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen LLC

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen LLC is locally owned and operated out of Franklin, VA.  Owners include Mitch Sandlin, Tom Morrisette, and Dairy Queen of Virginia. Operating 14 stores in seven cities, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen employs over 300 people and has been serving Hampton Roads for nearly 50 years. Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen strives to give people excellent service and a lasting memory with the DQ brand.

About CHKD

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.

About IDQ:

International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. Through its subsidiaries, IDQ develops, licenses and services a system of more than 6,800 locations in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffet, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire. For more information, visit DairyQueen.com.

News Release DQ Miracle Maker

DQ Miracle Maker Award Winner Mitch Sandlin is on the right, photographed with Matthew Bean, director of marketing with Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen, and Mark Pierce, DQ area supervisor. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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94.9 The Point's Radiothon for CHKD Surpasses Donation Goal

NORFOLK, Va. – The 18th annual Radiothon to benefit CHKD surpassed its donation goal, raising more than $390,000 in a three-day campaign that featured patients and families who shared stories of courage and hope.

94.9 The Point morning show hosts Mike Powers and Woo Woo broadcast live from CHKD’s TowneBank Atrium, the hospital’s main lobby, November 6, 7, and 8, showcasing patients, their families, and a host of CHKD professionals who provide everything from surgery to therapy dogs.

Volunteers from companies and organizations across the community handled calls to the phone bank from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Special thanks to major corporate partners STIHL, GEICO, Virginia Equipment and Development, Langley Federal Credit Union, Atlantic Coast Mortgage, and Queen of Virginia Skills and Entertainment.

We also had visits from Norfolk Sheriff Joseph Baron, Delegate Jay Jones, Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse, STIHL President Bjoern Fischer, Norfolk Vice Mayor Martin Thomas, along with representatives from Blue Bell Creameries, Jersey Mike’s, Panda Express and Jimmy John’s.

Since its beginning 18 years ago, 94.9 The Point Radiothon has raised more than $5 million to purchase equipment, fund research, support patient care programs, and expand our mental health program. 

It’s never too late to donate! Text ‘CHKD’ to 51555 or give online at CHKD.org/Give. You can also still participate in Jean’s Day, sponsored by the City of Norfolk, by clicking:  TeamCHKD.org/Jeans.

News releases Radiothon 2019

 94.9 The Point radio hosts Mike Powers and Woo Woo feature the story of Dalton Fox, a CHKD cancer patient from Virginia Beach, during the 2019 Radiothon.

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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. 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Contact: Elizabeth Earley - (757) 668-9049 (office) or Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org

Renovated Rehab Unit at CHKD Opens with "ZeroG" Technology

NORFOLK, Va. – The state’s only inpatient pediatric rehabilitation center will unveil a major renovation this week that features “ZeroG” technology, a robotic body-weight support device that will help children at CHKD gain the balance and strength to stand and walk after injuries and illnesses.

That’s just one feature of a year-long, $3.7 million renovation project that brings leading-edge technology to patients who are recovering from conditions such as traumatic brain injury, strokes, car accidents, and spinal injuries. The device will also help patients recovering from surgery and those with chronic conditions like cerebral palsy and developmental delays.

The ZeroG system, developed by Aretech, will hold and support patients from a robotic device that glides across an overhead track the length of a therapy gym ceiling, allowing patients to practice walking, going up stairs, and going from sitting to standing, without fear of falling. The system also can be adjusted to allow gradually more weight to be borne by the patient as they regain strength.

The “Soar” theme of the renovated unit includes U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” plane formations on the walls, and nurse stations that look like aircraft hangars, along with “runway” hallways with markers to motivate patients to walk and wheel themselves greater distances.

Navy pilots and former rehabilitation patients will join current patients, staff, and CHKD officials to celebrate the grand opening at noon on Thursday, October 17.

The rehabilitation inpatient unit treats more than 100 patients a year, who stay an average of three to four weeks. People come from all over the commonwealth and neighboring states. The renovated unit has eight private rooms with patient lifts that are attached to the ceiling and move along a track to the bathroom, for the safety of patients and staff. Patients began moving into the rooms in late August, but the therapy gym was only recently completed.

A suite of rooms simulates a home-like setting where patients can learn how to do daily activities like cooking, laundry, and dressing. One of the bathrooms looks like one you’d find in a regular house instead of a hospital so patients can prepare to transition home.

“The state-of-the-art technology on the unit aims to optimize functional recovery and independence for our patients,” said Dr. Katrina Lesher, medical director of CHKD’s physical medicine and rehabilitation program.

Members of the media are invited for tours of the unit during the grand opening. Please call or email Elizabeth Earley, elizabeth.earley@chkd.org or (757) 477-7286 in advance, if you will be attending, to meet in the lobby for an escort to the unit.

News Releases_Renovated Rehab Unit

CHKD Physical Therapist Michael Graham guides 5-year-old Lucas Guinn through a physical therapy session using ZeroG technology at CHKD's newly renovated therapy gym. The CHKD patient is relearning to walk after suffering a stroke in September.

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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. Learn more at CHKD.org.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Contact: Elizabeth Earley - (757) 668-9049 or Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org

CHKD to Launch Construction of $224 Million Mental Health Hospital

The 14-story facility will ease statewide shortage of children’s psychiatric beds

WHAT: Groundbreaking ceremony for CHKD mental health hospital.
WHEN:
10:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
WHERE:
400 Gresham Drive, Norfolk.
SPEAKERS:
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam; Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox; Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander; CHKD President and CEO Jim Dahling; Eric and Michelle Peterson, mental health advocates; Lighting the Way Campaign Chair John Lawson II; and CHKD Health System Board of Directors Chair Chris Neikirk.

NORFOLK, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam will join state and local legislators, community leaders, and CHKD officials at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, September 17, to launch a $224 million mental health hospital expected to transform mental health care for children across the state.

The 14-story building on Gresham Drive 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.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist at CHKD before becoming governor, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony that will showcase plans for the mental health hospital. The 60-bed facility will offer a new level of care, standing out among the nation’s top pediatric mental health hospitals, with innovative patient- and family-centered design, research-based treatments, academic training programs for the next generation of child psychiatrists, and unparalleled support and community involvement. All inpatient rooms will be private, with sleeping accommodations for a parent. 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 facility, scheduled to open in 2022, will also provide outpatient therapy and a “partial hospitalization” program that provides intensive care to children who will spend most of the day at the hospital, but still reside at home.

Nationally, 20 percent of children have a diagnosable mental health condition. At CHKD, the number of outpatient therapy visits and mental health consultations increased by 300 percent over a recent three-year period. Virginia's only state mental health hospital for children, Commonwealth Center for Children & Adolescents in Staunton, has seen an alarming increase in demand. An increasing number of children who turned to CHKD for care waited days for a bed or even left the state to find care.

CHKD will focus programming on children who have the hardest time finding treatment, including children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders as well as children with eating disorders, chronic medical and co-occurring mental illness, and children ages 2 to 5.

CHKD has a long history of stepping in to close gaps in the care of children in this community. The mental health crisis facing our community is no different. As daunting as it is to create a new system of care for these children in need, CHKD is committed to lighting the way toward healing, not just in our community, but for children everywhere.

“This is what CHKD has done throughout its history,” CHKD President and CEO Jim Dahling said. “Identify needs, and craft visionary solutions that make this health system a true champion of the children.”

News Releases_MH Groundbreaking

Artist’s rendering of the exterior of CHKD’s new mental health hospital.
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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.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019
Contact: Elizabeth Earley - (757) 668-9049 or Elizabeth.Earley@CHKD.org

CHKD Welcomes New Psychiatrists to Mental Health Staff

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters is pleased to welcome two new psychiatrists, Dr. Anisha Garg and Dr. David Meyer, to its mental health program during a time of unprecedented growth in demand for psychiatric services.

Dr. Anisha Garg earned her medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Cupecoy, St. Maarten. She did her residency at Temple University in Philadelphia, and her fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Va.

From a young age, Dr. Garg was interested in helping children. Throughout medical school, she was torn between specializing in pediatrics or psychiatry. Finally, she decided to combine the two. She enjoys working with children and their families and using a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to mental health care.

Dr. David Meyer earned his degree in osteopathic medicine from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. He did his residency in family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Va. He completed a residency in psychiatric medicine at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va., where he also completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Meyer was previously a psychiatrist at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents in Staunton, Va., and at Augusta Psychological Associates in Fishersville, Va. His clinical interests include autism spectrum disorders, childhood psychosis, mental health issues in athletes, eating disorders, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

News Releases_Garg  News Releases_Meyer
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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.

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(757) 668-6960