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 Hospital & Medical Center, 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 Hospital & Medical Center is the only full-service, pediatric healthcare center in Nebraska, providing expertise in more than 50 pediatric specialty services to children across a five-state region and beyond.

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 Hospital & Medical Center.

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 Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Urology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, & 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.

Meet The Executive Team

Senior Executive Leadership

Chanda Chacón
President
Chief Executive Officer
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Janel Allen
Senior Vice President &
Chief People Officer
Amy Bones
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
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Kathy English
Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer & Chief Nursing Officer
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Beth Greiner
Vice President & Executive Director, Children’s Foundation
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Paul Esposito, M.D.
Senior Vice President &
Surgeon-in-Chief
Amy Hatcher
Executive Vice President,
Chief Financial Officer
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Christopher Maloney, M.D.
Executive Vice President
Chief Clinical Officer & Physician-in-Chief
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Kari Simonsen, M.D.
Senior Vice President &
Pediatrician-in-Chief
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Jerry Vuchak
Senior Vice President &
Chief Information Officer

Board of Directors

  • Brad Brabec, M.D.

    Dr. Brad Brabec, a Lincoln-based pediatrician and founder of Complete Children’s Health, has practiced medicine for more than 30 years. As an innovator in pediatric medicine, Dr. Brabec’s practice began with four employees and has grown to represent four offices with more than 140 employees. He also is the founder of Midwest Children’s Health Research Institute which participates in and conducts Phase 2-4 clinical trials for pediatric vaccine, drug and formula research. Dr. Brabec chairs the Board Quality & Patient Safety Committee, and also serves on the Governance and Strategic Planning Committees. He earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed his residency at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle before returning home to Nebraska to start his practice.
  • Bradley Britigan, M.D.

    Dr. Bradley Britigan serves as Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is a physician specializing in both infectious diseases and internal medicine. Dr. Britigan came to Omaha in 2011 after serving as chair of Internal Medicine at University of Cincinnati, preceded by 17 years at the University of Iowa. Dr. Britigan earned his medical degree at University of Southern California and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Rhode Island Hospital and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina.
  • Chanda Chacón, President & Chief Executive Officer

    Chanda Chacón, MPH, FACHE, has devoted her career to pediatric health care, focused on ensuring patients receive safe, high quality, family-centered care, while strengthening organizations and growing programs of excellence.

    Chanda joined Children’s from Arkansas Children’s, where she served as Executive Vice President and System Chief Operating Officer. In Arkansas, she oversaw the system operations of two hospital campuses, clinical services, human resources and support services. Prior to leading in Arkansas, she served as the President for Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Houston’s first community hospital designed exclusively for children. Chanda spent 14 years at Texas Children’s Hospital—one of the nation’s top pediatric health care institutions—serving in progressive leadership roles, including ambulatory operations, Heart Center, Fetal Center, Women’s Services and Pharmacy.

    Chanda earned undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health Management from Yale University. She is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives, a committed speaker on leadership, and has volunteered as a court-appointed Child Advocate serving children in custody for many years.

  • Joleen David

    As former owner of SKAR Advertising, now Smith Kroeger, Joleen David, APR, specializes in advertising, branding, research, strategy, media, public relations and digital services. Through dedicating her career to advancing the goals of her clients, she has learned how to accelerate growth and success in the organizations she advises. Her career has been built on respect, hard work and big ideas, and she brings that same work ethic to her service on Children’s Board. Joleen served as Chair of the Omaha Salvation Army Advisory Board and was a member of the Nebraska Humane Society Board. She currently serves as President-elect of the Joslyn Castle Trust board. David holds a bachelor’s degree in French from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

    Why I Serve: My younger son, Jason, has Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare and complex genetic disorder that affects the function of the hypothalamus and produces a challenging array of symptoms. Jason received outstanding endocrinology, ophthalmology, orthopedic and surgical care and support at Children’s, so when the opportunity came for me to give back to these wonderful providers through service on the board, I was proud to accept it.

  • Dave Diamond

    As former Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Mutual of Omaha, Dave Diamond holds expertise in managing teams through financial transformation. His extensive insurance and financial experience bring discipline and vast expertise to Children’s Board. His knowledge and familiarity with risk management and financial planning enable him to help oversee the hospital’s investments and liabilities. Diamond holds his bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and Finance from Miami University.
  • Robert Dunlay, M.D., MBA

    As Dean of Creighton University School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Dunlay contributes his medical expertise and shared focus of educating the next generation of academic pediatric providers to Children’s Board. Dr. Dunlay is specialty trained as a nephrologist and currently serves as a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Creighton, where he earned his medical degree. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine, also at Creighton, after service in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Dunlay completed fellowships in Nephrology at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, and in Nephrology Research at Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis. He earned his MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Diane K. Duren

    Former Union Pacific executive Diane Duren is an active community leader in her retirement, contributing her expertise in accounting, finance, marketing and sales through her role as Chair of Children’s Board. Duren was the first woman to lead one of Union Pacific’s multi-billion-dollar business units, the Agricultural Products division. In addition to serving with Children’s, Diane also serves as the Chair of the MECA board, which has helped revitalize downtown Omaha. Diane is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Creighton University and a Trustee for Peter Kiewit Foundation. Duren holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Creighton University, where she was awarded a Business Alumni Merit Award.
  • Brian Fahey

    Brian Fahey serves as President at Missouri River Title, offering professional title and escrow services throughout the region. Brian is no stranger to collaborating with key partners and the Nebraska Legislature, advocating to move health policy decisions forward. He helped to facilitate the passing of Nebraska law LB342, which widened Medicaid reimbursement for pediatric feeding disorders. This law ensures families have access to cutting-edge treatment options and that comprehensive, integrated multidisciplinary care is adequately reimbursed. Brian also serves on the board of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s Foundation. Brian is committed to bettering the health of our community and also serves on the boards of March of Dimes and Methodist Health System’s Foundation. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.
  • Jim Greisch

    Jim Greisch is the global managing partner for financial services at RSM, an audit, tax and consulting firm. His board service and support is deeply personal, as several of his daughters are dedicated pediatric caregivers at Children’s. Greisch is an active member of the Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Creighton University.
  • Margaret Hershiser, J.D.

    Margaret chairs the Employment, Labor and Benefit Department at Koley Jessen Law Firm.  As a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, Margaret has more than 25 years of legal experience advising and representing clients throughout the United States in employment, labor and benefits matters and education law. A frequent lecturer, Hershiser also provides training for management and employees on legal topics that impact the workplace. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marymount College and her Juris Doctor from Creighton University School of Law.  Margaret’s counsel to Children’s Board is invaluable.

    Why I Serve: It is an honor to serve on Children’s Board as there is no greater mission than one focused on the health and well being of children through the highest levels of clinical care, research, education and advocacy.

  • John Jenkins

    As partner at Dundee Venture Capital, Jenkins brings technology start-up experience in financial, insurance and health care industries to the Board. Jenkins has been actively involved in shaping the health benefits industry for decades. A health benefits innovator, his first venture was sold to private investors. His second venture led to the development of the software platform, COBRApoint—one of the industry’s largest stand-alone SaaS 70 Type II COBRA and Direct Billing administrators—supporting thousands of clients. Wex Health acquired his latest enterprise class SaaS financial management and integrated payment services solution, helping clients navigate the financial complexities of health benefits, billings and payments. Jenkins earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Steve Lindsay, MBA

    As senior managing director of wealth management at First National Bank, part of the largest family-owned bank in America, Steve Lindsay contributes his financial acumen to Children’s Board. With expertise in wealth planning, investments, banking and trusts, he is adept at building trust with colleagues and associates along the way. Lindsay believes in giving back to the Omaha community. Along with his wife, a former collegiate soccer athlete, he co-founded Kicks for a Cure, a charitable organization focused on advancing cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Institute at UNMC and Creighton. Lindsay has also served as Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and Completely Kids. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and holds his MBA from Creighton University.
  • Samantha Mosser, MBA

    Samantha Mosser is the President and a Board of Director of ACCESSbank; she joined the bank in January 2020.   Previously, Samantha was the Omaha President of Union Bank & Trust Company from 2009-2019. She is a proven leader with a demonstrated track record of driving results. She has a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience as well as more than 20 years of commercial banking experience in the Omaha market. In addition, Sam is passionate about supporting the community. She currently serves on the boards of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, is a councilor of the Aksarben Foundation, and is a trustee for the Business Ethics Alliance. She has previously served on the boards of Community Alliance, Child Saving Institute and YPO Nebraska.  Samantha has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

    Why I Serve: I am honored to serve on the board of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. We are blessed to have a stand-alone children’s hospital in our region dedicated to improving the life of every child. Each of my three sons has been seen since birth by a Children’s primary care physician. We have used their emergency and surgical services, and one son has been admitted to the hospital for care. Knowing they were in the hands of the talented physicians at Children’s was a great comfort to our family. The opportunity to be a small part of this organization’s success for years to come is a privilege.

  • Michael Robino

    A Private Wealth Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors, Michael Robino is a Certified Financial Planner (TM), and has over 25 years’ experience with investment portfolio design, family wealth planning, alternative investments, and the hedging and monetizing of concentrated investments. He has been recognized as a Premier Advisor by Wells Fargo Advisors for multiple consecutive years. Robino holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Creighton University.
    Michael Robino is a lifetime native Omahan and is married with two daughters.  He enjoys golf, travel, and entertaining.
  • Kenny Rocker

    As executive vice president of Marketing & Sales at Union Pacific Railroad, Kenny Rocker is responsible for the company’s three major business units, Bulk, Industrial and Premium, along with Marketing & Sales Operations, Commercial Strategy and its Mexico business. He also oversees the railroad’s Loup Logistics subsidiary and brings his operational expertise to Children’s board. He and his wife, April, have four daughters and are invested in serving the Omaha community. He currently serves on the boards of Seventy Five North, a revitalization effort underway in Omaha’s Highlander neighborhood. Rocker holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Tuskegee University.

    Why I Serve: We have four adventurous young daughters. Our oldest child Kennedy, who is 11, has Down Syndrome and our primary pediatric physician, whom we absolutely adore, is at Children’s.  She cares about our girls, and has a personal relationship with them.  We’ve had 14 surgeries among the four of them and have appreciated the unique attention and care Children’s has provided over the years.

  • Amy Ryan


    Amy Ryan is an Audit & Assurance partner in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Omaha practice. Ryan leads her team in providing independent financial statement and internal control audit services in accordance with the applicable professional standards and with a focus on quality. Deloitte is one of the largest professional services organizations. Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance business enhances trust in the capital markets, facilitates cross-functional teaming, and further enhances Deloitte’s strategic positioning in the Omaha market including leading community involvement initiatives. Ryan is strongly committed to contributing toward Children’s vision.

    Ryan is an alumnus of University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a bachelor’s degree in business
    administration with an emphasis in accounting.

  • Stacy Scholtz, MPH

    Stacy Scholtz is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Mutual of Omaha. Overseeing Mutual of Omaha’s Emerging and Strategic Solutions business unit, she is skilled in government affairs, customer experience and strategic and corporate communications. Scholtz earned her bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and holds her master’s in public health from the University of Minnesota.
  • Ryan Sewell, M.D., J.D., FACS

    Dr. Ryan Sewell earned both his medical and law degrees from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sewell is board-certified in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and holds surgical privileges at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. He practices at ENT Specialists, P.C., which treats both adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Sewell currently serves as Children’s Medical Staff President.
  • Jayesh Thakker, M.D.

    Dr. Jayesh Thakker is a pediatric critical care specialist at Children’s. He is the Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and an Associate Professor in the department of Pediatrics at UNMC. He has practiced at Children’s for more than 22 years. He serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Nebraska Medicine and is also a member of the Pediatric subcommittee of the Quality & Patient Safety Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Thakker received his medical degree from Seth G. S. Medical College in Mumbai. He completed pediatric residencies at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and Cook County
    Hospital, Chicago, as well as a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Dr. Thakker holds a Master of Science degree in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin and earned an Executive MBA, with health care focus, from Creighton University.
  • Jonathan Wegner, MSJ, J.D.

    As general counsel for McCarthy Capital, Jonathan Wegner oversees all of McCarthy Capital’s legal matters. Jonathan previously worked at Baird Holm LLP, where he chaired its Corporate Transactions and Wealth Management Section. He is experienced in structuring and executing mergers and acquisitions. Jonathan brings his finance, legal and journalism expertise to Children’s board. Jonathan holds a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and received a fellowship to study at Oxford University. He holds a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctor from Creighton University School of Law.

Quality & Safety

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

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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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Partnerships

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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Careers

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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