NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Children and families stood alongside politicians and doctors to cut the ribbon on a brand new hospital building in Norfolk Friday morning. CHKD’s Children’s Pavilion is designed to fill a gaping hole in mental health care services.
It’s the only facility of its kind in the state and among just a few in the entire country.
“I’ve never seen a facility with so much attention to detail,” Senator Creigh Deeds told 10 On Your Side.
Deeds, who lost his son to a mental illness helped dedicate the $224 million facility whose
crowned jewel, an outdoor recreation center, sits atop the 14th floor.
The space with basketball and four-square courts offers kids fresh air and breathtaking views. It’s a safe space, enclosed with netting and shatterproof glass, to play and open up.
“As soon as you pick up a basketball and start dribbling, as soon as you pick up a soccer ball, it’s just an invitation to deepen the conversation,” said CHKD Vice President, Mental Health Service Lin, Jack Warburton.
An art therapy room and music recording studio also invite kids to express themselves
“It’s the art of healing and the healing of art that come together in this facility,” said Senior Vice President, Chief Engagement and Innovation Officer of CHKD Health System, Amy Sampson.
Sixty private inpatient rooms will open to provide care never before available in Virginia such as eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders and kids who have combined medical and mental health needs, such as cancer and depression.
“So much of what we do on an inpatient service is to include the family the family is so important to the treatment of the child,” Dr. Carl Petersen, Chief of Psychiatry told 10 On Your Side.
That’s why each room has two beds so a parent can stay.
Safety features blend into the room design including furniture weighted with sand, and flexible towel hooks
CHKD has gone from just one psychiatrist three years ago to now 19. “The team that we’ve assembled here is absolutely outstanding we have folks from the most elite programs in the United States,” Dr. Petersen said.
Senator Deeds, who could not find a bed for his son in 2013, worries these will fill up fast. The need is tremendous and the hospital has a reason to celebrate. Finally, for families like his, help is here.
“Kids are going to get well here and that makes me very happy,” Deeds said.
Inpatient beds will begin to open to patients on October 11. There is room to add 24 more beds if the need is there and there is the money to pay for it.
So far the community has raised $68 million dollars to help build the facility, surpassing the original goal of $60 million. A new goal has been set to raise a total of $75 million to provide more of the services needed.
Donations are accepted through the Lighting the Way Campaign.