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Christine Neikirk Elected Chair of CHKD Health System Board of Directors

Elizabeth Earley - (757) 668-9049 or

NORFOLK, Va. – Christine Neikirk, an executive administrator with 30 years of experience in nonprofit governance, was elected Chair of the CHKD Health System Board of Directors beginning July 1, 2019. The CHKD Board of Directors has authority over Children’s Health System and CHKD.

“Ms. Neikirk’s extensive experience in management and organization will serve us well as we take on our next phase of development, a critically needed mental health initiative,” says Jim Dahling, president and CEO of CHKD Health System. “We are extremely fortunate to be able to bring her intelligence, her business acumen, and her passion for the community to the table as we continue our mission to care for the full scope of children’s health needs.”

Neikirk is part owner of Smartmouth Brewing Company, where she oversees community engagement, event planning, and a variety of administrative duties. Besides her experience in marketing and communications, nonprofits, and startup ventures, Neikirk has volunteered on various boards, including The King’s Daughters Board of Directors, Friends of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation, the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, and the Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

“I’m honored to work with the talented members of the board, the dedicated management of the hospital, and all the physicians and nurses who work each day to care for the children of the community,” says Neikirk. “That becomes even more imperative as we seek to close a critical gap in mental health services for children.”

Neikirk succeeds Edward A. “Buzz” Heidt, chair and CEO of The Penrod Company, who will remain on the board.

News Releases_Christine Neikirk


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.