Tag Archives: Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Trio of Delight and Service

November 4, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Those attending the Nov. 9 Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Gala may notice three longtime volunteers participating in their last gala as members of the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Friends Board.

Cathi Arnold, Susan Andrews, and Kathy Seidel are friends, and in some cases knew one other before they began their service to Children’s.

In the mid-1980s Andrews was new to Omaha, having moved here from St. Louis with her family. Arnold was her neighbor, and their own children became friends. Seidel joined Children’s, and this service-minded duo, in the late 1990s. Andrews, Seidel, and Arnold became good friends while serving for a good cause. Now it is time for them to step down. Their stories are unique, but special.

Cathi Arnold

Arnold’s service to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center began in 1987, when she chaired the Midlands Market booth for the annual bazaar and associated benefit dinner.

“We did home-canned jams and jellies, and salsa, and fresh produce, and just had a little market of things for sale,” she says.

Choosing Children’s as a volunteer option was natural for Arnold, who always had an interest in helping kids. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she worked in the Head Start program and performed other child-related work.

“I was an elementary teacher by profession and retired to raise my own children. I was totally always a ‘kid’ person and knew after my Junior League of Omaha training that I wanted to volunteer and give back in some way, for kids,” Arnold says.

A few years after she started volunteering, she was invited to join the Friends Board, a 40-plus member group that volunteers at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and works on fundraising events that benefit the hospital.

“I was honored and proud to become a member, and to help lead and add to the volunteer base for Children’s,” she says. “The added bonuses were the close friends recruited to join me, and the new friends made while doing what I loved.”

As part of the Friends Board, Arnold volunteered in the gift shop as a clerk, helped out at the information desk, ran the snack cart, and served variously as gift shop chair, a gift shop buyer, and gift shop books chair. She served in every Friends Board executive office except treasurer, was president in 1995, and was adviser the following year. While president, she served on the hospital’s board of trustees.

Along with other Friends Board members, she helped make the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala happen. The event replaced the bazaar in the early 1990s and includes a dinner, auctions, and upscale entertainment. 

“We have been in charge of everything from setup to takedown and everything in-between,” she says. The gala often draws a sellout crowd and raised more than $1 million last year.

At the heart of things, service to youth is what Arnold values most.

“My very favorite part of it all—while we do need to raise the money and work in the hospital—remains the kids, especially our honored families chosen each year to represent all children at our gala. Those stories, those families are the reason we are all there. They are everything.”

In 2009, Children’s recognized Arnold’s years of service by giving her the Margre Henningson Durham Leadership Award.

Susan Andrews

Though Andrews’ service to the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Friends Board began in 1998, she had volunteered in various capacities with the group’s bazaar fundraiser and the surgery waiting desk at the hospital.

“I have always been a big fan of children, from my babysitting days to [being] day camp counselor, to swimming instructor, to Sunday school teacher, and to my eventually becoming a teacher in the Dallas public schools,” says Andrews, who grew up in Grand Prairie, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

“Children’s Hospital was a natural draw for me. It was an institution that reached many people in the Omaha community as well as surrounding areas, and it was all about helping the children and supporting their families.”

Andrews often co-chaired the bazaar’s Midlands Market Booth and Beanie Boo.

Work on the Midlands Market Booth required her to contact area businesses, including nurseries, orchards, and farmer stands, to request donations of produce and related items.

That was just part of the effort. The items also needed to be picked up, and Andrews helped gather the apples, hay bales, cornstalks, pumpkins, peaches, strawberries, and other booth staples.

She grew tomatoes and peppers in her backyard, and she used these to make dozens of jars of salsa sold at the event.

Andrews and other volunteers also made jams, jellies, soup mixes, hot chocolate mixes, and more.

“We used whatever we could get donated to make things to sell,” she says, adding that she also worked the event’s preview evening and the bazaar itself.

Through the years, Andrews also worked on Countdown Coffees, the book fair, and the Community Awareness Committee. She often served on the board’s nominating and executive committees.

“I did whatever I saw that needed doing and helped out behind the scenes on many committee activities,” she says.

For 16 years [2003 to 2019], Andrews was gift shop chair and a buyer for the shop.

As part of that effort, she took an annual trip to market and purchase merchandise for the shop.

Additional tasks included unpacking the merchandise, pricing the items, entering them into a computer system, displaying the items, and keeping the shop clean and organized. 

She often looked through catalogs and met with sales representatives to find items that would keep the merchandise mix interesting.

“We strove to please patients, their families and visitors, and the staff of Children’s Hospital,” Andrews says. “The gift shop served as a respite for those families, patients, and the staff caring for them. For me, seeing the children’s eyes light up and a smile on their faces always made my day.

“Working with people from the Friends Board made every job easier and always more enjoyable. Not only were we serving the Children’s Hospital community, we were also improving ourselves, deepening relationships that have led to lifelong friendships and becoming better citizens for Omaha,” she says.

Kathy Seidel

Those who know Seidel may not be surprised that she has spent more than 25 years volunteering at a hospital for children.

Seidel was working as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor when she met her husband, Tom—a neonatologist. In 1986, the family returned to Omaha when he took a job at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

Omaha was familiar to Kathy. She had attended Christ the King Elementary, Duchesne Academy, and Creighton University.

After her first child was born, Seidel stepped away from her nursing career and became involved as a volunteer with many organizations, including the PTA, Junior League of Omaha, The Rose Theater, Heartland Family Service, and Completely Kids. As her volunteer efforts continued, she gravitated toward Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

“I knew I wanted to give back to those who needed help, especially children,” she says. “I think my nursing background contributed to this.”

She also knew the Friends Board raised money to help families, and she wanted to become part of that effort.

She was nominated to the Friends Board in 1993 and served the group in a variety of roles, including recording secretary, president-elect, president, and adviser.

She chaired the gala, and was gift shop chair for 13 years.

Though the gift shop work required many hours a week, Seidel says it contributed to the development of friendships among the participants.

“Every group of women who would join us for two years as other buyers became good friends. It was so much fun, and we wouldn’t have been doing it if it wasn’t,” she says. “Buying trips were very fun—yet very tiring. We knew about each others’ lives and families, and it always seemed like an extended family.”

The work had other rewards.

“Watching families and patients come into the gift shop was very special,” she says. “Many did not know they were going to have a child admitted to the hospital, so they would come to the gift shop to buy essential items like socks and toothbrushes.”

Outpatients also would visit the shop, sometimes as a reward after having a treatment or visiting a physician.

“The gift shop has always been a nice respite for staff and families to get a break from the stress and tedium of a long hospital stay,” she says.

Through the past 20-plus years, these three have served in different ways, but they all served for the same reason.

“None of us were ever volunteers at Children’s for what we could get back,” Arnold says. “We were there for the kids—the most important piece of the pie.”

At the end of this year, it will be time to bid adieu to this trio who tirelessly gave, and welcome three new members.

Visit childrensomaha.org/event/childrens-gala for more information.

This article was printed in the October 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Susan Andrews, Cathi Arnold, Kathy Seidel

From left: Kathy Seidel, Susan Andrews, and Cathi Arnold

Pediatric Psychiatry

Many in Omaha remember Dec. 9, 2007. On that day, at 1:42 p.m., 19-year-old Robert Hawkins of Omaha opened fire in Westroads Mall, leaving eight dead and five wounded, before turning the gun on himself. Hawkins had been taking antidepressants and was hospitalized at Richard Young for mental illness twice—once at age 4, and again at age 13.

Hawkins was one of the 20% of people with mental health issues in the United States who had received treatment.

“About 80 percent of children in the United States who need mental health treatment don’t ever receive it,” says Dr. Joan Daughton, who specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry at Omaha’s Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. “And, there’s an average of eight to 10 years between the onset of mental health issues and the beginning of treatment. As a culture, we’re so accustomed to being reactive, but when it comes to health care—and mental health care is no exception—we need to be proactive.”

Most mental health issues children face are not headline news, which may be why they don’t get the attention they need. Daughton says that the majority of her patients are being treated for issues such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD and disorders on the autism spectrum. “Things like bipolar disorder are way lower on the list,” she says. 

Supriya Bhatia, Ph.D., of Boys Town Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, agrees. “Children and adolescents deal with [things] including bullying, navigating social situations, depression and anxiety, struggles with substance abuse, and learning what is a good relationship and what isn’t.”

What puts a uniquely 21st-century spin on things is round-the-clock virtual connectivity. With people glued to their smartphones and increased professional demands and other obligations that can distract parents, many families have lost touch with their ability to connect with each other in real life.

Social media has also been linked to mental health problems, as it helps rumors spread faster, increases avoidance of negative interactions, potentially removes a level of empathy, and is relentlessly accessible. 

“It can be a struggle for kids, especially adolescents in the 13-to-15-year-old range, to learn how to manage when everything in their world shifts to social media,” Bhatia says.

Resilience, Good Habits, and Communication

Michael Vance, Ph.D., the director of behavioral health at Children’s says that one of the most important ways adults can help young people navigate their world in a mentally healthy way is by emphasizing resilience—including modeling it ourselves. “Children need to fail sometimes,” Vance says. “When they see us screaming at other cars in traffic or being irrationally angry after a hard day at work, they’re not learning how to appropriately handle the fact that things won’t always go their way.”

He advises challenging them with opportunities such as extracurricular activities where there may not be a 100% chance of success, and complimenting them when they handle disappointments well, or behave in an emotionally healthy way.

Vance says that community involvement and part-time jobs help young people learn to be comfortable in their own skin, and that they are part of something larger than themselves or their challenges.

Self-care also plays a key role. “Children need their parents just as much, if not more, as teenagers than they do when they are younger,” Daughton says. “We need to help them remember to get good nutrition and enough sleep and exercise. But we also need to be able to talk about sexual education, substance use, and our expectations within the family. And if they aren’t comfortable talking to us about those things, we need to let them know where else they can go to talk to someone.”

While Daughton is a firm advocate for early intervention, she wants people to know that help is available at every stage.

Arming our kids with the skills to communicate what they’re going through and how they’re feeling can impact every facet of their lives. “Kids don’t automatically know what everything means when it comes to emotional perception,” Bhatia says. “We can help them learn how to express their emotions in a healthy, productive way. For them to be able to do this is a strength.”

Meeting Kids Where They Are

Today, young people have more opportunities to do that than ever before. Schools across the metro, including Westside, are being proactive in looking at students’ mental health.

“Westside Community Schools relies on a comprehensive, multi-tiered approach to mental and behavioral health prevention, identification, and intervention for all learners,” Brandi Paul, director of Communications & Engagement at Westside Community Schools, said via email. “Students at all levels participate in mental/behavioral health screenings conducted three times each year as part of our PK-12 Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports model. In addition, general and special educators directly instruct students at all levels in areas of social-emotional learning and school/campus-wide behavioral expectations.”

“We’re always looking at different ways to reach kids where they’re at,” says Vance. One way they do this at Children’s is through a service called telehealth that enables doctors to provide the same psychiatric care in a virtual visit that they could in person—an essential option for some patients who don’t have as much access to care or who are dealing with certain anxieties, depression, or trauma. Vance says that the team at Children’s is also using virtual reality technology—such as helping an anxious child or youth get more comfortable with an MRI procedure.

Additionally, Children’s is reaching kids in the classroom. “We’re spending a lot of time training teachers and school staff to recognize when a child might need an intervention,” says Daughton, noting that counselors in Omaha Public Schools, for example, spend about half their time teaching social and emotional skills such as sympathy and empathy. 

Many districts have partnered with Children’s Behavioral Health in an effort to address the needs of their students and families through more onsite services and resources. Families can work with school counselors to establish the connection and facilitate the appointment, either at school or at the facility.

“We have…expanded our partnership with Children’s Behavioral Health to address mental and behavioral needs of our children by offering more onsite services at Westside Middle School, Westside High School, and Westside West Campus,” Paul says. “We also work to continuously spread awareness of the Westside Safe Schools Hotline [through Boys Town], allowing 24/7 access to professionals for students or families with concerns about all issues from bullying, to safety, to suicidal thoughts, and anything else that could threaten someone’s physical and emotional well-being.”

According to Kara Neuvarth, media relations director at Boys Town, Safe Schools Hotline is available to several metro school districts—Omaha, Millard, Ralston, Bellevue, Papillion-La Vista, and Plattsmouth Public Schools, Brownell-Talbot, and Westside Community Schools. Students in those districts can call a number anonymously if desired and talk with a trained crisis counselor at any time. They also have a telehealth service.

The newest program at Boys Town is the The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Center, which opened Sept. 12. This new 16-bed facility, connected to Boys Town National Research Hospital-West on the Boys Town campus, provides care and safety for children ages 5 to 18 who need psychiatric hospitalization. It includes classrooms, a gymnasium, living spaces, and recreational areas.  Patients receive treatment and care from board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists, pediatricians, pediatric specialists, highly trained psychiatric nurses, and social workers.

Even campaigns such as the #BeKind movement that has been adopted by many Nebraska school districts in recent years can be a less formal version of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which patients learn to be mindful of how their thoughts and feelings impact their behaviors and the patterns that creates. “This message of #BeKind can stimulate more positive thoughts and make kids more mindful of how these thoughts affect their actions,” Bhatia says.

In many ways, schools are the front line—because they’re where the battle is won or lost, and they can be scary places. In addition to traditional stressors like bullying and academic and peer pressure, today’s students have active shooter education—including realistic drills—starting in kindergarten.

It’s hard not to assume that the necessary evil of an active shooter drill would be anxiety-producing. “Schools are doing the best they can to be prepared and to support children in managing their fears,” Bhatia says. Still, that requires more outreach from mental health professionals, more teacher education, and, frankly, more resources.

“Mental health awareness is improving, but Nebraska still ranks 49 out of 50 states when it comes to delivering quality mental health care in schools,” Daughton says. “We need elected officials to decide that it’s a priority and to support it.”*

Vance says that without the right resources in place, all too often, intervention will be put off until a problem has escalated to the point of self-harm, violent behavior, or hospitalization. “The earlier we can get kids the help they need, even before they need it, the bigger the impact we can have.”

*Update: According to mhanational.org Nebraska ranks 35 out of 50 for 2020. 

Visit boystown.org or childrensomaha.org for more information.

This article was printed in the November/December 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

silhouette of child's head


2018 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year

January 16, 2019 by

Nursing is the largest profession in health care, and one of the most recognizable.  Professionals from psychiatrists to surgeons use nurses each day to help care for patients with tasks from administering medicines to handing them tools of their trade.

Nurses labor tirelessly, often for 12 or more hours at a time. On Nov. 15, 2018, the March of Dimes took an evening to thank those vital professionals taking vital signs, and Omaha Magazine was in attendance as an event partner.

Nominations are blinded, then scored by the volunteer committee. Scores were based on credentials, certifications, their proudest outcomes, leadership, professional associations, and achievements. The Nurse of the Year is determined by the nurse with the highest overall score.

We again thank the nurses nominated for the March of Dimes awards, for taking care of us, each and every day.

Nurse of the Year Committee

Nicole Caswell, CHI Health Immanuel

Teresa Hultquist, UNMC College of Nursing

Cindy Mirfield, Methodist Women’s Hospital

Wendy Muir, Bryan Health

Christine Murphy, Nebraska Medicine

Sue Nuss, Nebraska Medicine

Melissa Schmaderer, Madonna Rehabilitation Center

Kris Stapp, VNA

Lisa Strasheim, CHI Health

Judy Thomas, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Judy Timmons, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Susie Ward, Methodist College

Chrissy Wilber, Boys Town National Research Hospital

March of Dimes Staff

Mackenzie Hawkins, Development Specialist

Kristin Schemahorn, Development Manager

Kristina Debus, Development Manager

Nurse of the Year

Jean Armstrong-Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, Family Resource Center and Shaken Baby Task Force

Jean Armstrong has been devoted to creating and implementing a Shaken Baby Task Force. She has developed an educational curriculum, organized a conference, and created multiple educational videos. Her efforts were first recognized on a national level in 2000 when First Lady Laura Bush made a stop at her hospital.

Armstrong has helped Iowa Senator Amanda Regan support Senate Bill 349 to establish a Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program through the Iowa Department of Health.

This Nurse of the Year was also instrumental in creating the only national 24-hour Crying Baby Helpline in the U.S.


Rising Star

Family Choice Award

Excellence in Academics

Betsy Miller-Methodist Hospital, Cardiac Care

Miriah Jansonius-Methodist Women’s Hospital, Labor & Delivery

Judi Dunn-Clarkson College, Continuing Education

Excellence in Advanced Practice

Excellence in Advocacy

Excellence in Clinical Excellence

Judy Placek-Nebraska Medicine, Plastic Surgery/Burn Surgery

Maria Lander-Nebraska Medicine, Solid Organ Transplant Unit

Sylvia Hanousek-CHI Health, Labor & Delivery, Post Partum and Mother-Baby

Excellence in Informatics

Excellence in Leadership & Mentoring

Excellence in Pediatrics

Ryan Zulkoski-Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nursing Education/Nursing Informatics

Anne Thallas-Methodist Hospital, Medical Surgical

Megan B. Sorensen-Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Transport

Excellence in Pediatrics in School Health

Excellence in Research & Evidence Based Practice

Excellence in Service to Veterans

Twlya Kleen-Storm Lake Community Schools, Elementary School Nurse

Bernadette Vacha-Nebraska Medicine, Lung Transplant

(No Photo Available) Lisa Crouch-Veterans Health Administration, Ambulatory Care

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Lindsey Ayles-Nebraska Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery Joan Blum-Clarkson College, Oncology Nursing Michelle Brester-Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Pediatric Surgery

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Cathrin Carithers-UNMC College of Nursing, Kearney Division

Tiffany Keller-CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center, Post Partum—Lactation RN

Jaki Kenney-Nebraska Medicine, Werner Special Care Unit

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

(No Photo Available)Jennifer Lantis-Great Plains Health, Infection Prevent

Kimberly Marsh-Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Barbara Petersen-Great Plains Health, Quality

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Spirit of Nursing Award

Kimberly Peterson-Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Performance Improvement

Julie Sundermeier-Nebraska Medicine, NICU

Danielle Treska-CHI Health Lakeside Hospital, ICU

Spirit of Nursing Award

Anne Wilber-UNMC College of Nursing, Northern Division (Norfolk)

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Taira Anderson-University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, Northern Division

Dania Cervantes Ayala-College of Saint Mary

Racheal Dawn Daigger-UNMC College of Nursing, Kearney Division

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

(No Photo Available) Katherine Glaser-Creighton University College of Nursing

Sara Glaser-Bryan College of Health Sciences

Sarah Henry-Purdue University Global School of Nursing

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Kathryn Noble-Nebraska Wesleyan University

Tiffany Pardew-Clarkson College

Megan Reiten-Nebraska Methodist College

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Student Nursing Award

Jiosajandy Garcia Reyna-University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing

Stephanie Shoning-College of Saint Mary

Breanna Swanson-Bryan College of Health Sciences College of Nursing

Student Nursing Award

Ashley Tagart-College of Saint Mary

Nurse of the Year Nominees

Boys Town Clinics

  • Sara Pfeifer, Pediatric Clinic

Boys Town National Research Hospital

  • Kayla Gentrup, Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Stephanie Hernandez, Surgical Floor
  • Nerissa Imada, Surgery Center
  • Autumn Rowe, Surgery Center
  • June Root, Pediatrics – Inpatient

Bryan Health

  • Christie Bartelt, Rehabilitation
  • Julie Bratt, Care Management

CHI Health

  • Sarah Barker, Family Birth Center
  • Susan Brill, Intensive Care Unit
  • Rebecca Gardner, Good Samaritan
    Surgery Department
  • Sylvia Hanousek, LDRP: L&D, Post Partum, and Mother Baby
  • Katelyn Henriksen, Orthopedics
  • Jennifer Lemmons, Hospital
  • Debra Saldi, Behavioral Serivces
  • Rebecca Seier, Infection Prevention
  • Lowellyn Steinkraus, Plainview Hospital Specialty Clinic
  • Heidi Gall, Rural Health clinic

CHI Health CUMC – Bergan Mercy

  • Aaron Allen, ICU
  • Kara Aldana, NICU
  • Alicia Buechler, HVI – Cardiac Universal Unit
  • Kara Johnson, Obstetrics
  • Tara Kiichler, NICU
  • Sarah Kumm, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Rhonda Meyer, Heart and Vascular
  • Tracy Meyers, NICU
  • Donna Myers, NICU
  • Emily Oppel, Intensive Care Unit
  • Elena Oquendo, NICU
  • Erin McQuinn, House Operations
  • Guylah, Med/Surg/Ortho/Intermediate/Dialysis
  • Heather Reese, ER

CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center

  • Tiffany Keller, Post Partum-Lactation

CHI Health Good Samaritan

  • Kelsey Daake, Leadership
  • Del Miller, Orthopedics/Oncology

CHI Health Immanuel

  • Hannah Baldwin, PCCU
  • Crisann Hannum, Critical Care
  • Mandy Iverson, Labor and Delivery
  • Mandy Iverson, Obstetrics
  • Mandolyn Klinkhammer, Labor and Delivery
  • Cynthia Lesch-Busse, Nursing Administration
  • Kay Maguire, Medical Surgical
  • Carrie Meyer, Labor and Delivery
  • Jaclyn Seiboldt, Medical Surgical Oncology
  • Elizabeth Steadman, Critical Care
  • Christy Todd, Labor and Delivery
  • Lisa, Labor and Delivery

CHI Health Lakeside Hospital

  • Christine Enterline, Surgery
  • Emily Mass, Med/Surg/Oncology
  • Jordan Novak, Med-Surg/Oncology
  • Katie Swanson, Med-Surg/Ortho
  • Danielle Treska, ICU
  • Jill Yosten, Ambulatory Infusion Center
  • Hanah Zehnder, Float Pool
  • Aysha Classen, ED

CHI Health Mercy Corning

  • Chimene Cobb, Outpatient Specialty Clinic

CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs

  • Marie Baker, Critical Care Unit
  • Ranita Hiller, Post Critical Care
  • Lori Woodrow, Psychiatric Nurse

CHI Health Midlands

  • Vicki Gall, Medical/Surgical
  • Julie Nichols, Surgical Services

CHI Health Missouri Valley

  • Jodi Potts, Rural Health clinic

CHI Health St. Elizabeth

  • Emily Bachman, Ortho/PEDS
  • Lori Birdzell, Observation
  • Nicole Ragon, Critical Care Unit
  • Tricia Topolski, Emergency
  • Christine Vogt, OBGYN
  • GayAnn Wagner, NICU
  • Kelly Watton, Primary Care

CHI Health St. Francis

  • Darla Cleveland, Medical Oncology
  • Lacey Pavlovsky, Quality Management-Infection Control

CHI Health St. Mary’s

  • Loree Mort, Labor and Delivery

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

  • Carol Beare, Med-Surg 6 – Nursing Informatics
  • Alicia Bremer, Performance Improvement
  • Michelle Brester, Pediatric Surgery
  • Erin Hartman, Emergency
  • Chase Hinzmann, Critical Care Transport
  • Jill Jensen, Performance Improvement
  • Vanessa Le, NICU, Nursing Informatics
  • Kimberly Marsh, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Katherine McCollough, Dialysis
  • Kimberly Peterson, Performance Improvement
  • Kathy Powers, CARES/PACU
  • Katherine “Kitty” Rasmussen, 5 Med-Surg
  • Megan B. Sorensen, Transport
  • Ryan Zulkoski, Nursing Education/Nursing Informatics

Children’s Physicians—Bellevue

  • Nicole Wallin, Lactation

Children’s Physicians—Plattsmouth

  • Rebecca Robbins, Pediatrics

Children’s Physicians—Gretna

  • Amy Wortmann, Pediatrics

Clarkson College

  • Joan Blum, Oncology NursingJudi Dunn, Continuing Education

Craig HomeCare

  • Amy Lauby, Pediatric Home Health Care

Fremont Health

  • Desa Clark, NursingTerese Moore, Labor and Delivery

Great Plains Health

  • Jennifer Lantis, Infection Prevention
  • Jill Stevenson, Joint Replacement-Orthopaedics
  • Wendy Ward, Quality-Risk Management
  • Barbara Petersen, Quality

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital

  • Jane Bilau, Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
  • Mari Ramsey, Acute Rehab

Methodist Hospital

  • Jean Beumler, Palliative Care
  • Ashley Colburn, Rehabilitation
  • Rachael Coufal, Progressive  Care Unit
  • Carrie Kelseth, Cardiac Care
  • Kelly Menousek, Emergency Department
  • Betsy Miller, Cardiac Care
  • Tiffany Pettit, Ortho-Neuro
  • Mandy Stockdale, Rehabilitation
  • Anne Thallas, Medical Surgical
  • Catherine Wolpert, Medical Surgical

Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital

  • Jean Armstrong, Family Resource Center and Shaken Baby Task Force

Methodist Women’s Hospital

  • Miriah Jansonius, Labor & Delivery
  • Sheri Kimmey, NICU/Outreach
  • Shonda Knop, High Risk Obstetrics
  • Amy Rapp, GYN, Postpartum

Nebraska Medicine

  • Megan Armbrust, Women’s and Infant’s Services
  • Lindsey Ayles, Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Claire Baweja, Emergency Department – BMC
  • Lindsie Buchholz, Enterprise Practice Support
  • Ashley Carne, Medical ICU
  • Barabara Cowden, Werner Intensive Care Unit
  • Lyndie Farr, Critical Care Anesthesia
  • Stephanie Floth, UNL Student Health Center
  • Caitlin Hagen, Cardiology-Progressive Care
  • Terri Heineman, Oncology Treatment Center at Werner Cancer Center
  • Samantha Jordan-Schaulis, Pediatric ICU
  • Jaki Kenney, Werner Special Care Unit
  • Teresa Kerkman, Medical ICU
  • Susan Knutson, NICU
  • Margee Langer, Oncology
  • Maria Lander, Solid Organ Transplant Unit
  • Riley Lyons, Werner Progressive Care Unit
  • Courtney Marshall, Nursing Development Specialist
  • Megan Myers, Medical ICU
  • Denise McGrath, Women and Infant Services
  • Sarah Newman, NICU
  • Sara Neumann, Cardiology
  • LeaAyn Norton, Clarkson Family Medicine Clinic
  • Megan Pierce, Women’s Services
  • Judy Placek, Plastic Surgery/Burn Surgery
  • Lori Schmida, Kidney/pancreas transplant
  • Michael Schrage, Emergency Department
  • Danielle Schulz, Emergency Department
  • Carmen Shannon, SICU
  • Amy Steinauer, Community & Corporate Relations
  • Angie Strain, Heart and Vascular
  • Julie Sundermeier, NICU
  • Gisele Tlusty, Specialty Care Unit
  • Tina Twymon, Clarkson Family Medicine Clinic
  • Bernadette Vacha, Lung Transplant
  • Lisa Wulf, Emergency

Nebraska Methodist College

  • Alice Kindschuh, DNP

Omaha Public Schools

  • Sharon Wade, School Health

Saunders Medical Center

  • Patricia Kucera, Long Term Care

Skinner Magnet Elementary School

  • Shannon Cunningham, Health Office

Storm Lake Community Schools

  • Twlya Kleen, Elementary School Nurse

UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s

  • Christi-Ann Bullock, NICU
  • Brenda Crank, Mother Baby

UNMC College of Nursing

  • Cathrin Carithers, Kearney Division
  • Anne Wilber, Northern Division (Norfolk)

Veterans Administration Health Care

  • Lisa Crouch, Ambulatory Care

VNA of the Midlands

  • Jennifer Dannen, Maternal Child

West Holt Memorial Hospital

  • Jessica Thomassen, Med/Surg, ER, Surgery

West Central District Health Department

  • Brandi Lemon, Outreach Director

This list was printed in the January/February 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Baked Omelette

Photography by Baldwin Publishing

Try this healthy omelette for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A delicious way to add vegetables to your meal, this baked omelette is packed with zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and baby greens. This quick recipe is gluten-free, too.

Find more great recipes at HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness.


  • 1/2 Cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 Cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 Cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup chopped baby greens (such as spinach, Swiss chard, or kale)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Cup egg whites (about 2 egg whites), lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp low-fat (1%) milk
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, thyme, sage, or parsley)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Heat a 4- to 6-inch ovenproof omelette pan (stainless steel or cast iron) on high heat until hot. Remove from heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Reduce heat to medium, add vegetables and sauté until caramelized, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, egg whites, and milk. Add egg mixture to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook eggs for 2 minutes without touching.
  • Sprinkle herbs over top of egg mixture and bake in oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until eggs set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and serve hot.
  • Nutrition Facts: Calories: 186; Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g;
    Cholesterol: 166mg; Sodium: 398mg; Carbohydrates: 10g;
    Fiber: 2g; Protein: 24g

Yield: 1 serving


Through A Glass Brightly

June 24, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This article was published in the May/June 2015 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Halfway through our interview, Therman Statom apologizes. He didn’t anticipate our conversation
lasting so long, and he has an appointment at Children’s Hospital he doesn’t want to break.
The internationally renowned glass artist has been working on large-scale cloud pieces for a new
pediatric wing, and although he’s technically completed them, an 8-year-old girl is contributing the finishing touches. “She has cancer, and her father says she used to hate going to the hospital,” he explains, “but now she can’t wait to come” because of this project.

That’s why we take an hour-and-a-half break. The young girl is meeting Statom to talk about the project, and he doesn’t want to cancel or keep her waiting. That commitment to children defines much of the artist’s career. He may be acclaimed for his airy glass houses, chairs, and ladders, but it’s his passion for making a difference in young people’s lives for which he’d prefer to be known.

That passion goes back to his own formative years growing up in Washington, D.C. Although the son of physician, he was a typical “problem child,” going through high school after high school. Unlike most troubled kids who had run-ins with the law, however, Statom did something different: he hung out at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. “The Smithsonian was like a home to me. It was like an extra room in my house. It’s where I found myself,” he recounts. “I was there so much, I got befriended by a curator, and he got me a job mixing clay.”

That job triggered an interest that eventually led to his attending the Rhode Island School of Design in the early 1970s, where he pursued clay as an artistic medium. “In clay I made a bunch of ugly pots. They were all brown,” he laughs. “Then I started blowing glass, and I went from very traditional to really exploring. Glass was immediate. You didn’t have to fire it two or three times. You could go into the studio and have something the next day.”

He soon discovered a particular talent for working in his new material. Statom created an arced sculpture out of clear glass cones, which earned him advanced standing at the school and enabled him to graduate early. From there, he went on to earn his MFA in 1978 from the Pratt Institute School of Art and Design, where he made the jump from blowing glass to working with sheets of it. “I didn’t want to be limited,” he explains. “It’s about exploring and questioning creatively and the actual act of making. It’s about challenging yourself and learning as an individual. I have a real interest in that.”

That interest prompted him to push the boundaries of glass as art, often using the material in unexpected ways. “I like to paint on translucent surfaces,” he says. “I consider myself a painter, and I think of glass as a canvas. If I had it my way, I’d paint on air.”

For years, museums have been taking notice of Statom’s unorthodox approach, and today his work is in the permanent collections of, among others, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the place where it all began: the Smithsonian, which features one of his signature painted pieces in the Renwick Gallery at the American Art Museum.

For as important as his own creative success is, however, Statom isn’t interested in his identity as an artist. “You don’t do anything unless you’re actively making a difference,” he emphasizes. “It’s not just narcissistic. It’s about making kids happy here and now. You have to engage. I’m more intrigued with helping people.”

To that end, he’s worked with children through a broad range of organizations, including a children’s hospital in Norfolk, VA, and the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program, through which he’s led workshops in such far-flung places as Mozambique and Turkey. Closer to home, he’s worked with the Omaha Public School’s Native American Indian Education Department, Kanesville Alternative School in Council Bluffs, Yates Alternative School in Gifford Park, and even local
Girl Scout troops.

No matter where he works with kids, the goal remains the same: to affect change in children through art. “I have kids who claim that activities in art save their lives,” Statom says. “That’s pretty big.”

Another hour into the interview, Statom glances at the clock. “It’s time to go,” he announces. There’s another girl he doesn’t want to keep waiting—his daughter. She’s about to get out of school, and just like the little girl at the hospital, he has no intention of keeping her waiting.


Breakfast Banana Bread

February 13, 2014 by

Don’t throw away those mushy bananas. Very ripe bananas are just what you need for this banana bread recipe. Wrap individual slices for a quick breakfast or healthy snack.

Ingredients (Yield: 14 servings)

  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. With a hand mixer, beat margarine and sugar in a bowl until creamy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat about 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the margarine mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Add vanilla, sour cream, and bananas; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, if using. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 171
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 16mg
Sodium: 245mg
Carbohydrates: 29g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 3g

*Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content.

For more healthy recipes, visit HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness.

Rice Krispies Treats (with a Twist!)

January 20, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Did you know that you can make Rice Krispies treats without marshmallows? No empty calories here! Creamy peanut butter, maple syrup, and honey give this kid-friendly snack a high-energy boost.

Ingredients (Yield: 16 bars)

  • 6½ cups Rice Krispies® cereal
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp trans-fat free margarine


  1. Lightly coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Rice Krispies and raisins. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave-safe container, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, honey, and margarine and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir.
  4. Pour peanut butter mixture over Rice Krispies mixture. Stir to coat the cereal and raisins.
  5. Using your hands, press mixture into pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, covered.
  6. Cut into16 bars. Keep bars refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 bar
Calories: 190
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 158mg
Carbohydrates: 24g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 5g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content

For more healthy recipes, visit HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness.

Boxes of Cheer

January 5, 2014 by
Photography by Justin Barnes

Northwestern Mutual employees recently teamed with the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation to deliver 170 boxes of cheer to children suffering from cancer and other ailments.

“Look, Mom, it’s a glow sword!” 5-year-old Sammy Nahorny chirps as he digs through a bright green Cheeriodicals box packed to the brim with smile-inducing toys, crafts, and more. Sammy, who lives in Columbus, is battling neuroblastoma.

His mother, Erin, is the recipient of her own Cheeriodicals box, this one loaded with reading materials (including Omaha Magazine and HerFamily) along with other grown-up goodies. “We haven’t seen a smile like that on Sammy’s face in three or four days.” She beams as her son shifts his attention to adorning his fingers with light rings and laser talons. “Whoever came up with this idea is a genius,” she adds. “What a fabulous boost it is to have you here doing this for Sammy.”


Cheeriodicals is a web-based company offering a wide array of customizable gift boxes for all seasons and reasons. The boxes delivered that day were carefully curated so that each child would receive age- and gender-specific surprises. Two Men and a Truck donated its time and people to transport the treasures to the hospital.

“This was a wonderful event that brought our team together to help give back to the community and spend time with so many special children and their families at Children’s Hospital,” says Michael Tews, managing partner of Northwestern Mutual of Nebraska. “We were honored to have the opportunity to bring a smile to so many families.”

“It was amazing that Northwestern Mutual could join us in this way,” says Alyssa DeFrain, development officer of the Foundation. “We could tell they had a great time getting to know our young patients, but what they didn’t get to see was that those little green boxes continued to bring big cheer to the kids and families for many days after the event.”

Gingerbread Men

December 12, 2013 by

Baking holiday treats with the kids is a tradition in many families. This year, look for ways to trim up your favorite recipes and share a gift of good health.

Ingredients (Yield: 32 cookies)

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups sifted whole wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (1½  sticks) trans fat free margarine, softened
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsulphured molasses


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and molasses until combined. Gradually add flour mixture.
  • Divide dough into thirds and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm.
  • Dust rolling pin lightly with flour; roll out each piece of dough on wax paper until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour and use to cut out gingerbread man (or other desired shapes).
  • Transfer cookies onto baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. With a metal spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Calories: 100
Fat: 4g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Sodium: 106mg
Carbohydrates: 16g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content.

For more healthy recipes, visit HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness.

Turkey Soup

November 26, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It’s the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. Try this easy turkey soup that can also add a welcome, new twist to Thanksgiving leftovers.

For more healthy recipes, visit HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (about 16 ounces) cubed cooked turkey
  • ½ cup cubed zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in carrot, celery, pepper, oregano, and basil. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with their liquid, water, broth, beans, and turkey and stir. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini and parsley and cook until zucchini is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Yield: 8 servings


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 165, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 528mg, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 21g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s 
nutritional content.