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Nebraska Heart to Join the Catholic Health Initiatives Network in Nebraska

June 27 2011

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – Nebraska Heart Institute and Nebraska Heart Hospital announced today that they will become part of the Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) organizations in Nebraska, combining the state’s premier cardiology group and hospital with the second largest healthcare system in Nebraska.

“This integration positions both organizations for the changing healthcare landscape,” said Tom Burnell, CEO for Nebraska Heart. “Nebraska Heart, which provides the highest quality cardiac care in the state, can bring services to more communities and more patients by joining forces with CHI Nebraska.  Under healthcare reform, physician-owned hospitals are limited in their ability to expand services and add beds.”
“Nebraska Heart has been our valued partner for 30 years. Their patient quality and outcomes are second to none. They are recognized nationally for overall cardiovascular care,” said Bob Lanik, CEO of CHI Nebraska. “We are excited to add their expertise to the services available through CHI Nebraska as we expand our network of physicians and hospitals.”

The transaction is expected to close on or about August 1, 2011. Following the alignment, Nebraska Heart will continue to provide services at the Nebraska Heart Hospital, their clinic locations in Lincoln, Grand Island, Hastings, Columbus and North Platte, as well as their 40 outreach clinics across the region. They will continue to be known as Nebraska Heart Institute and Nebraska Heart Hospital. Nebraska Heart physicians and clinic staff will become part of The Physician Network, wholly owned by CHI Nebraska. The Nebraska Heart Hospital and its staff will become a fifth hospital in the CHI Nebraska network, joining Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Saint Francis Medical Center in Grand Island and St. Mary’s Community Hospital in Nebraska City. Nebraska Heart patients will continue to be seen by the same physicians and staff from whom they have come to expect exceptional service and quality care.

“This is an opportunity for the vibrant network of primary care physicians within The Physician Network to partner with the premier cardiology group in Nebraska to take patient care to the next level,” said Kent Reckewey, MD, CEO of The Physician Network.
“Throughout Nebraska, our physicians work closely with community physicians and other specialists to achieve outstanding outcomes for patients. They look forward to becoming part of the CHI Nebraska team and continuing this collaborative spirit with their new colleagues at The Physician Network and within the local hospitals,” Burnell said.

Cardiovascular care has been a hallmark for both organizations.  In addition to the full-service cardiac services available at Nebraska Heart Hospital, open heart surgery and heart catheterizations are currently performed at two of CHI Nebraska’s four hospitals: Good Samaritan and Saint Elizabeth. Heart catheterizations are also performed at a third CHI facility, Saint Francis. Combined, Nebraska Heart and CHI Nebraska offer patients a complete breadth of healthcare services unmatched in the region.

“We’re bringing together two progressive organizations—Nebraska Heart and CHI Nebraska. By working together we can be more effective and efficient in serving cardiac patients in Nebraska” Lanik said.


Nebraska Heart Institute (NHI), founded in 1987 is a physician practice group specializing in cardiac, vascular and thoracic care services.  The group practice includes 3 anesthesiologists, 5 surgeons, and 21 interventional and non-interventional cardiologists.  A comprehensive suite of services provided by the physician and clinic staff include consultative cardiology, nuclear cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization, coronary intervention, cardiothoracic and peripheral vascular surgery.  On an annual basis NHI physicians perform more than 700 open-heart procedures, more than 1,500 interventions, and more than 4,000 cardiac catheterizations.

Nebraska Heart Hospital (NHH), founded in 2003, is Nebraska’s first and only heart-exclusive hospital.  The 63-bed, state-of-the-art facility residing on a 20-acre campus, provides patients and families throughout the region with leading-edge services delivered in a caring environment. NHH includes three operating suites, three cardiac catheterization labs and peripheral vascular and electrophysiology labs with comprehensive imaging services. The 29 physicians and more than 500 support staff work together in providing cardiac, vascular and thoracic care and will continue to influence and shape the future of health care through innovation, creativity and research.

More information on NHI and NHH can be found at

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2010, CHI provided almost $590 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of approximately $9 billion, CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic health care system.

Catholic Health Initiatives organizations in Nebraska include Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Saint Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, St. Mary’s Community Hospital in Nebraska City, HealthConnect at Home and the The Physician Network.  Through its hospital facilities and The Physician Network, Catholic Health Initiatives in Nebraska provides full-service inpatient, outpatient, and behavioral health care along with primary care and specialty physician services. 

The Physician Network
The Physician Network is a physician-led, physician-directed organization established to strategically support the health care ministries of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) organizations in Nebraska. The organization allows physicians in a variety of specialties to focus their efforts on the practice of medicine and be assured that the business and financial aspects of office operations are handled competently and professionally in a market-leading manner. The Physician Network employs more than 160 providers and consists of about 44 practice sites, including primary care, specialty care and hospital-based practices located throughout Nebraska.