Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia. The hospital treats infants, children, teens, and young adults aged 0–21.
On August 11th, 2020, the hospital raised a special beam during a “topping off” ceremony to represent a new milestone in the pediatric mental health project underway. The highest beam was put in place atop the 14-story structure symbolizing the completion of the new pediatric mental health addition.
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.
“We had an exponential increase in mental health [needs] among children,” said John Lawson with W. M. Jordan construction company.
He said he was on board with the project from the beginning because he knows how many people it could help.
“We have some psychiatry centers in our community but they’re very difficult to get access to, and the difference we are going to have here is, if you have a crisis you can sometimes get into one of those facilities. So, we are going to have a very robust patient program, so that parents can call and say ‘I need an assessment of my child done,’” said Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters CEO Jim Dahling.
About the Project
The 14-story, 60-bed facility will house outpatient care, therapy and counseling.
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 hired six new psychiatrists, three psychologists, and two licensed therapists.
The facility will have features that put it at 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. This component is meant to relieve working parents.
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.
Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff
“CHKD Medical Tower II.” W.M. Jordan Company, 31 July 2020, www.wmjordan.com/pf/chkd-medical-tower-ii/.
Scott, Tamara. “CHKD Hosts Beam Ceremony Celebrating Construction Milestone for New Mental Health Hospital.” WAVY.com, WAVY.com, 12 Aug. 2020, www.wavy.com/news/local-news/norfolk/chkd-hosts-beam-ceremony-celebrating-milestone-in-construction-of-new-mental-health-hospital/.