Our Story

Mission: To improve the life of every child…through exceptional Care, Advocacy, Research and Education.

Vision: To be a global leader for children’s health.

Values:  Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence

To improve the life of every child: At Children’s Nebraska, this is our mission — and it’s the heart of everything we do. As the region’s pediatric healthcare leader, we’re dedicated to exceptional care, advocacy, research and education. Whether we’re providing care for critically ill children or championing child-centered legislation, we strive to improve the lives of children, families, and entire communities.

Children’s Nebraska is the only full-service, pediatric hospital and medical center in Nebraska, providing expertise in more than 50 pediatric specialty services to children across a five-state region and beyond.

  • We are home to Nebraska’s only Level IV regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit and the state’s only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center.
  • Our regional heart center offers expertise in pediatric heart transplantation.
  • Children’s is recognized as a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in the pediatric specialty, Pulmonology.

Our History

John Paul Mattson was born with a hernia. In 1948, at nearly 7 years old, he became the first child admitted to Omaha’s brand new medical facility, Children’s Memorial Hospital. His hernia surgery was a success — the first of many successes for what would go on to become Children’s Nebraska.

Ten years later, John returned to Children’s with a ruptured appendix that almost took his life. His treatment was successful, and he eventually graduated from Omaha’s Westside High School and Northwestern University. John Mattson is now a father and grandfather who says, “I’m here because of Children’s.”

The original Children’s Memorial Hospital was founded in 1948 by Dr. C.W.M. Poynter, Dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Henry Doorly, publisher of the Omaha World-Herald. Together, these men had a vision: that no child in need of medical care would be turned away due to an inability to pay.

The hospital cost $835,000 to build. A community-wide penny drive and contributions from 30,000 donors in Nebraska and western Iowa funded the cost.

Awards And Recognition

  • U.S. News & World Report: “Best Children’s Hospital” in Pulmonology

    Recognizes hospitals with excellent survival rates, patient safety, specialized staff, and hospital reputation.
  • Joint Commission Accreditation

    Accreditation is a process in which a hospital is reviewed for their ability to meet standards and requirements that have been established by a particular accreditation agency. Receiving accreditation means that the hospital is dedicated to meeting high standards in performance and patient care.

    Hospitals can be accredited as a whole, and can also receive accreditations for certain specialties or procedures (e.g., home care accreditation).

    The Joint Commission is the oldest and largest standards-setting and accreditation agency in the US. Hospitals with Joint Commission accreditation are recognized across the nation as high-quality institutions that have a commitment to meeting the highest performance standards.

  • Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems Accreditation

    Accredited for meeting quality and safety measures in air and ground medical patient transportation.
  • Level II - Verified Pediatric Trauma Center

    Provides 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons and specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, and critical care. Children’s is the only Level II Center in Nebraska.
  • Gold Beacon Award

    Recognition by the The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for hospitals who exemplify excellence in professional practice, patient care, and outcomes. “Gold” is the highest level of recognition. Children’s is one of only seven neonatal intensive care units — and one of 10 pediatric care units — in the nation to be honored with this award.
  • HI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute Medtronic Safety Culture & Technology Innovator Award

    Recognizes extraordinary and innovative initiatives that drive successful implementation of technology in healthcare.
  • Magnet® Recognition

    This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes excellence in nursing, where nursing leaders successfully align their strategic goals to improve the organization’s patient outcomes. Only 7% of healthcare organizations have earned this prestigious credential, and only 2.8% of US hospitals have achieved three or more designations. Children’s has been honored with Magnet® Recognition three consecutive times.

    Magnet® recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as:

    • Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receival of discharge information
    • Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue (when providers cannot prevent death after a complication, such as difficulty breathing after surgery)
    • Higher job satisfaction among nurses
    • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave positions
  • America’s Best Children’s Hospital By The Women’s Choice Award®: Best Children’s Hospital

    Designates hospitals that demonstrate exceptional ratings, and provide the highest level of commitment and care. This is the only award that takes women’s preferences when selecting a hospital into account.
  • American Nurses Association: Recognized for excellence in Nursing Quality Indicators for Pediatric Hospitals

    The American Nurses Association created a national database for nursing quality indicators — a set of standards for evaluating nursing care. It also establishes links between health outcomes and nurse staffing characteristics (e.g., education level, turnover). Children’s was recognized for outstanding nursing quality, based on following these standards.

    Nurses are a key part of your child’s care. They administer care, communicate to physicians, provide comfort, and advocate for you and your child. That’s why we are honored to have received this recognition.

  • ECRI Institute: Winner — Health Devices Achievement Award

    This award is given to recognize healthcare institutions who have implemented innovative and effective initiatives related to health technology management (e.g., using technology to improve patient safety or lower costs).

    Receiving this award means that Children’s is always striving to use the most high quality, cost-effective, and safe technology for treating your child.

  • Child Health Corporation of America: Winner — National Award for Excellence in Asthma Best Practices

    Our care teams will only use nationally recognized best practices, guaranteeing that your child is receiving the most advanced treatment for managing asthma.
  • Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Award for Excellence in Life Support – Platinum Level

    The ELSO Award recognizes extracorporeal life support (ECLS) programs worldwide that distinguish themselves by having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote excellence and exceptional care in providing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to their patients. ELSO’s goal is to recognize and honor ECLS programs that reach the highest level of performance, innovation and quality. The ELSO Award signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional patient care. It also demonstrates to the health care community an assurance of high-quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols and advanced education of all team members.

Senior Executive Leadership

Chanda Chacón
President &
Chief Executive Officer
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Janel Allen
Executive Vice President &
Chief People Officer
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Kathy English
Executive Vice President &
Chief Operations Officer
Amy Hatcher
Executive Vice President &
Chief Financial Officer
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Christopher Maloney, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President,
Chief Quality & Clinical Transformation Officer,
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Jerry Vuchak
Executive Vice President,
Chief Information & Innovation Officer
Amy Bones
Senior Vice President General Counsel
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Beth Greiner
Senior Vice President & Executive Director,
Children’s Foundation
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Pam Johnson-Carlson
Senior Vice President,
Patient Care Services
& Chief Nursing Officer
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Kari Simonsen, M.D.
Senior Vice President &
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Abdalla Zarroug, M.D.
Senior Vice President &

Board of Directors

  • Chanda Chacón, President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Nicole Birge, M.D.
  • Dele Davies, M.D., Dean
  • Dave Diamond
  • Robert Dunlay, M.D., Dean
  • Cindy Heider
  • Margaret Hershiser, J.D.
  • Farhan Khan
  • Steve Lindsay, MBA
  • Samantha Mosser, MBA
  • Amy Ryan
  • Stacy Scholtz, MPH
  • Sue Thaden
  • Jonathan Wegner, MSJ, J.D.
  • Bryan Wilson, MBA

Quality & Safety

From preventing infection to ensuring patient satisfaction, here is how we guarantee that your child is receiving the highest quality, safest care.

Read More

Media Relations

We coordinate hundreds of news stories each year for print, broadcast, and web news outlets. Learn more about our media policies.

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Children’s partners with organizations and institutions in and around Omaha to ensure that all of our patients receive the most advanced, comprehensive care.

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Teamwork, friendly coworkers, a supportive leadership team, and a family-like atmosphere make our workplace feel like home. You will enjoy autonomy, the respect of our world-class physicians, and the opportunity to advance your career.

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