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Celebrating A Decade of Excellence

This month, The Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center are celebrating a decade of excellence - a successful 10-year partnership between the two entities.


"Our success did not happen by chance" said Glenn Fosdick, FACHE, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center.

"Our success did not happen by chance," said Glenn Fosdick, FACHE, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. "The hospital board and the medical center leaders had a clear and concise vision from the beginning and we have remained committed to that vision even when facing challenges."

Before the 1997 merger of the two hospitals, both Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital, founded in 1869, and University Hospital, founded in 1917, had each established themselves as leaders in healthcare. "The first heart transplant, the first kidney transplant and the first dialysis treatment in the state of Nebraska were all performed under Clarkson Hospital programs," Fosdick said. "University Hospital pioneered the transplantation of peripheral stem cells for lymphoma treatment and performed the first liver transplant in the state. Our partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center only makes us a better organization."



"The Nebraska Medical Center has become a national model for successful hospital mergers," adds Harold M. Maurer, M.D., chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Hospital mergers were popular in the early 1990s, but most were not successful. "We were unique to flourish," said Fosdick. "We often get asked, ‘Why did it work for us?’ We remained tenacious. We also valued one another’s strengths."

"The Nebraska Medical Center has become a national model for successful hospital mergers," adds Harold M. Maurer, M.D., chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "The reputation of The Nebraska Medical Center is climbing nationally. The care provided by physicians, nurses and other health care practitioners and staff is of the highest quality."

Currently a 624-bed, not-for profit facility, The Nebraska Medical Center continually strives to provide innovative and extraordinary patient care. Together with UNMC, it is involved with cutting-edge research and plays a significant role in educating health care professionals of the future.

The Nebraska Medical Center has treated patients from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 43 foreign countries. Many of those patients come to The Nebraska Medical Center seeking treatment in the areas of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, oncology, cardiology and neurology.

The past 10 years have been filled with growth. In 1998, The Nebraska Medical Center opened the Lied Transplant Center. A model for cooperative care, the 13-story building embodies the medical center’s commitment to transplant and cancer patients. The transplant center houses a 24-hour clinic, research labs and suites for patients and families.

In 2005, the Hixson-Lied Center for Clinical Excellence was established to consolidate many of The Nebraska Medical Center’s services into one building, leading to more efficient care. The new building houses emergency, radiology, cardiology, surgery and the newborn intensive care unit.

Also in 2005, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Julie Gerberding, M.D., joined physicians at The Nebraska Medical Center for the opening of the Biocontainment Unit. The unit is currently the only center accessible to civilians in the United States to safely care for anyone exposed to a contagious and dangerous disease such as avian flu.

The past 10 years have also been filled with many firsts. In the first years after the merger, staff at The Nebraska Medical Center delivered the state’s first set of quintuplets, performed the region’s first implantable hearing aid surgery and performed the world’s first bowel resection using surgical robotic equipment.

In the years following, The Nebraska Medical Center was the first in the region to use ‘camera in a pill’ for small intestine disorders, the first in the region to use the Novalis radiation therapy system and the first in the region to use Calypso 4-D Localization System for radiation therapy. The medical center can also stake claim as the first in North America to perform a frozen elephant trunk aortic dissection procedure and the first in the nation to perform an autologous islet transplant on a young child.

The Nebraska Medical Center’s academic partnership with UNMC strengthens the medical center’s ability to offer cutting-edge treatments. "Patient care rises to a new level when patients have access to new therapies because of research and educational opportunities," said Dr. Maurer. "Even though the hospital is located in Omaha, it has also become a resource for the entire state."

The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC’s educational programs are responsible for training more health professionals practicing in Nebraska than any other institution. "We have attracted the best and brightest students, residents and health care practitioners," Dr. Maurer said.

"The Nebraska Medical Center’s culture encompasses a commitment to quality improvement," Fosdick said. "Adoption of programs like Six Sigma and Crew Resource Management, and participation in programs such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100K Lives campaign, demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to seek out best practice models and apply them to our operations."

The medical center has twice received the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital for Service Excellence (2005 and 2006), six times been awarded the National Consumer Choice Award by the National Research Corporation and is among a select few in the nation to receive recognition for performance improvement among the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals.

The Nebraska Medical Center has also received Magnet designation for extraordinary nursing care by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition Program.

Fosdick sees the value of an academic partnership only growing stronger over the next decade. "Academic medicine’s financial dependence on the government is going to continue to become less reliable," he said. "Realizing that 85-percent of medical school graduates go into private practice, it will remain crucial to continue collaboration with private medicine by providing teachers for the new and upcoming physicians."

Dr. Maurer predicts a bright future for the partnership. He said, "The Nebraska Medical Center will become among the highest-ranked destination hospitals nationally and internationally in keeping with UNMC's quest to become world-class."

The next decade will also bring more growth. The Nebraska Medical Center will open a 60-bed hospital in Bellevue in 2010. The Clinical Cancer Center, a multidisciplinary, full-service approach to cancer treatment with radiation treatments, surgical procedures, medical therapies, radiology and laboratory support, will open in fall of 2008 in west Omaha.

Together, The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC represent the third largest employer in the state, assuming both were private entities. The Nebraska Medical Center staffs 4,954 employees and 1,039 physicians. UNMC staffs 4,516 employees, including 1,003 faculty members.


  • Consumer Choice Award, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1999
  • The Edgerton Award, 2007, 2006
  • Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leader, 2007
  • University Health System Consortium Rising Star Award, 2007
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of Nebraska Recognition for Quality Program Award, 2007
  • URN/Optum Health Care Solutions Client Choice Award, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital, 2006, 2005
  • Platinum Wellness Workplace Award, 2006, 2003
  • Best Hospitals, U.S. News & World Report, 2004
  • Top Hospital, U.S. News & World Report, 2003
  • Corporate Health and Productivity Management Award, 2003
  • Voted City’s Best Employer, Omaha Magazine, 2002
  • Gold Well Workplace Award, 2001, 1999
  • 2007
    • Clinical Cancer Center in West Omaha Announced
    • First Certified Heart Failure and Heart Attack Programs in Nebraska
    • Magnet Designation for Extraordinary Nursing Care
    • Ground Broken on Bellevue Medical Center
    • First Autologous Islet Transplant in Nebraska; Youngest Patient in the U.S.
    • First Calypso 4-D Localization System for Radiation Therapy in the Region
    • Medicare Certification for Heart Transplantation
  • 2006
    • First “Frozen Elephant Trunk” Aortic Dissection Procedure in North America
    • New Health Information Management Medical Records Building Opens at 103rd & Crowne Pointe Ave.
    • Crew Resource Management Techniques Adopted
  • 2005
    • Hixson-Lied Center Opens
    • Heart Transplant Program Revived; First in Nebraska to Perform More than 12 Transplants in One Year
    • First Certified Stroke Center in Nebraska
    • Only Epilepsy Center in Nebraska to Receive Level 4 National Designation
    • Nebraska Biocontainment Unit Opens
    • Renovated 7th Floor, Clarkson Tower Opens
    • Information Technology Relocates to Consolidated Site, 4230 Building
    • First Blood Type Incompatible Kidney Transplant
  • 2004
    • 2000th Liver Transplant Performed
    • First Novalis Radiation Therapy System in the Region
    • State’s First Live Surgical Webcast; Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Surgery
    • Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital Opens
    • Valet Parking Offered to Patients
  • 2003
    • Name Change – Nebraska Health System Becomes The Nebraska Medical Center
    • First Anonymous Living Kidney Donation/Transplant Performed
    • 3000th Bone Marrow/Peripheral Stem Cell Transplant
    • Solid Organ Clinic Opens in The Lied Transplant Center
  • 2002
    • Six Sigma Processes Begins
    • Nine Adult Transplants and One Pediatric Transplant in 36 Hours
    • “Thank You” Program Established
    • First in the Region to Use “Camera-in-a-Pill” for Small Intestine Disorders
    • Multi-Organ Transplant Clinic Opens
    • Storz OR1 is Only Operating Room in Region Providing Seamless Integration Between
    • Medical Staff and Machine
    • Storz Pavilion Visitor Center and Deli Open
  • 2001
    • Glenn A. Fosdick Joins Hospital as President and CEO
    • Burn Center Receives National Accreditation
    • Four Pediatric Liver Transplants Performed in One Night
    • Domino Liver Transplant Performed
    • First Unrelated Living Liver Transplant
    • First Adult-to Adult-Living-Related Liver Transplant
    • Affiliation with Community Hospital, Fairfax, Missouri
    • Intestinal Rehab Program is Established; Intestinal Transplantation is Approved by
    • Medicare
    • One of Only a Few Hospitals in Midwest Offering Vascular Brachytherapy (VBT);
    • Beta Radiation Treatment to Reduce the Chance of Restenosis of Coronary Artery
  • 2000
    • First Hospital in Omaha to Offer Nurse Residency Program
    • Only Hospital in Nebraska Using B-mode Acquisition and Targeting (BAT);
    • Ultrasound-Based Radiation for Prostate Cancer
    • State-of-the-Art Cath Lab Opens
    • Intestinal Failure Clinic is Established
    • World’s First Bowel Resection Using Surgical Robotic Equipment
    • Region’s First Implantable Hearing Aid Surgery Performed
    • First Hospital in Nebraska to Offer Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) to Treat Cancer
  • 1999
    • Lied Transplant Center Opens
    • Healing Gardens Open
    • Employee Relations Department Established
    • 24-Hours-a-Day Emergency Care at Clarkson West
    • Three-Bed Observation Unit Opens at Clarkson West
    • Connector Concourse Opens
  • 1998
    • Nebraska’s First Set of Quintuplets Delivered at The Nebraska Medical Center
    • Partner with Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Shenandoah, Iowa
    • PICU Renovated
    • Corporate Offices Open in Kiewit Tower
    • Radiation Oncology Departments Consolidate in Clarkson Tower

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