A strong sense of empathy and strength of character are the noteworthy assets that define Barbara A. Chalk, a nurse with a big heart. Having earned a diploma in nursing from the House of Good Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, N.Y., in 1957, Ms. Chalk spent the majority of her 43 years in neurosurgery at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, one of just five Level 1 trauma centers in Virginia. There, she held the title of clinical coordinator of the neurosurgery operating room from 1975 to 2000, when she ultimately retired. Her previous positions include head nurse in the neurosurgery operating room at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville from 1959 to 1975 and operating room staff nurse at the House of Good Samaritan Hospital from 1957 to 1959.

Over the years, Ms. Chalk has been actively involved in a number of prominent professional organizations.  She has contributed to the clinical core curriculum and the surgical core curriculum of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN), and was the national treasurer of the group from 1975 to 1979. Further, Ms. Chalk has served AANN’s southeastern chapter in Virginia as president-elect and publicity chairman in 1981 and 1978, president from 1979 to 1980, member of the finance commission from 1975 to 1979, and chairman of the admission commission from 1973 to 1975. She also joined the Association of University Registered Nurses (AURN) as vice president, president, and publicity commission chairman, and is the co-editor of “Core Curriculum for Operating Room Nurses –Neurosurgery.”

Although she’s now retired, Ms. Chalk continues to assist in the pacemaker clinic at Sentara Norfolk General Heart Hospital. Since 2003, she has been on the board of directors of the Parkinson Disease Association in Virginia Beach, from which she received a certificate of merit in 2001. She volunteers in the Parkinson’s support group because she has witnessed the struggles of patients and their families and she knows she can help. Additionally, Ms. Chalk has pledged support for the Clinical Education Excellence Initiative in memory of her father, who inspired her to become the person she is today. In recognition of her success, she has been featured in numerous issues of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and Who’s Who of American Women.

When Ms. Chalk has spare time, she enjoys doing needlepoint, working with ceramics, and contributing articles to professional journals.

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