November 21, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

From life-altering surgeries to routine doctor visits, health care in the United States has become increasingly complicated. Regardless of the discourse that this far-reaching industry has produced, one simple truth remains: people get sick; and to get better, they need quality health care close to home. 

Maintaining that level of care for the Greater Omaha area and surrounding states is often only possible by the generosity of private dollars. This is where Tracy Madden-McMahon and her team at Methodist Hospital Foundation get to work.

Madden-McMahon serves as president and CEO of the foundation, which is at the helm of raising private dollars large and small to help fund sizable hospital projects. Since 2001, for example, the foundation has secured nearly $130 million for six capital and renovation projects. This year, the foundation has a $25 million goal, which will go toward renovating and expanding the Methodist Hospital Emergency Department.

Madden-McMahon is well suited to share stories from Methodist Hospital, its clinics, and its programs. Many in Omaha may recognize Madden-McMahon from her nights behind the anchor desk at WOWT. For 15 years she covered a variety of local, regional, and national news events for the station’s viewers. 

The Chicago-area native’s roots in storytelling run deep: her mother worked as a writer and columnist for the Suburban Tribune newspaper. Madden-McMahon says she did not have aspirations of working in broadcast news, but she longed to tell other people’s stories in the same way as her mother.

This is why, after a successful career in television news, it made perfect sense to chart a new path in a profession that tells stories while also making a sizable and tangible impact. By the early 2010s, with a young family to raise, Madden-McMahon was ready to make a transition.

“Changing jobs was a process—not an ‘a ha’ moment,” she says. “When looking at our children’s schedules and their needs, [my professional transition] was an evolution. I became the parent who was saying, ‘I would be there so long as there wasn’t any breaking news or severe weather.’”

The Methodist Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic arm for Methodist Hospital, Methodist Women’s Hospital, Methodist Physicians Clinics, and Nebraska Methodist College. Throughout the year, the foundation works alongside hospital leadership to determine how to best support patients, employees, and the community. 

“We raise the funds, we protect the funds, and we distribute the funds,” Madden-McMahon explains. “We take all three roles very seriously. It’s mission in action.”

Cultivating new donors, maintaining current ones, and telling the Methodist Health System story is all part of a day’s work. One such funder—the Dr. C.C. & Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation—is proud to support the Methodist Hospital community.

“I have been fortunate to work with Tracy Madden-McMahon and her team at the Methodist Hospital Foundation for several years,” says Andy Davis, a Criss Foundation trustee. “They are some of the most dedicated and compassionate people I have had the privilege of working with. Their enthusiasm for both Methodist and the Omaha community is inspiring.”

Madden-McMahon says philanthropy is an important part of her work, and home, life.

“[Many believe] only people who have lots money have legacies, but we all do. And it’s the way we live every day, and it’s what is important to us,” she explains. “Living that every day is pretty meaningful.”


Visit methodisthospitalfoundation.org for more information about the foundation.

This article was printed in the December 2018/January 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.