We’re looking back at 133 ways our caregivers have been part of keeping Grand Island strong.
Good Happens every day in Grand Island, and CHI Health St. Francis is proud to have been part of it since 1886. As family. As neighbors. As the area’s longest-serving hospital, we’re committed to providing our area the highest levels of clinical care – and a community spirit that’s always ready to give back to the place we call home. Scroll down to see all 133 ways.
In 1883, when Grand Island had grown to 1,900 people because of the Union Pacific Railroad and Gold Rush, the Sisters of St. Francis were called upon to establish a hospital. 133 years later, that hospital is still here helping everyone in the community get healthy and stay healthy.
In 1987, the CHI Health St. Francis Cancer Center delivered a first for Grand Island by providing chemotherapy locally.
In 2005, CHI Health St. Francis broke ground on a nine-story, 159-bed addition to elevate our service offerings to our community. That same year, we became the first and only hospital in Nebraska to receive the Edgerton Quality Awards Program’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence.
In 1995, St. Francis achieved a Grand Island first — bringing in local oncologists who could support the community and those in need with cutting-edge cancer expertise.
It’s called eICU® and we’re the first and only local hospital to have it. It’s a sophisticated remote technology and software that adds a second layer of care for patients in our intensive care unit. eICU acts as a second set of eyes, as a panel of physician intensivists and critical care nurses keep watch over each patient 24 hours a day.
In 1937, on our 50th anniversary, CHI Health St. Francis was widely acknowledged as one of the most well-equipped institutions in Nebraska. Now, more than 80 years later, we continue that tradition.
In early 2021, CHI Health St. Francis will open the doors to our new 37,500-square-foot Surgery Center. The new larger space will house state-of-the-art surgical suites, endoscopy suites and private pre- and post-operative rooms.
At CHI Health St. Francis, we’re not only treating what ails us today — we’re working to uncover breakthroughs for tomorrow. We currently have more than 70 clinical oncology trials going on.
Debra Hann, an Admissions Coordinator at St. Francis Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, has volunteered at Rowe Sanctuary for more than a decade. Her work is helping protect precious local habitats for wildlife, ensuring Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, and other migratory birds remain safe and protected.
CHI Health St. Francis is proud to partner with MD Save to bring more affordable health care to Grand Island. MD Save helps residents save up to 60% by purchasing procedures online.
Last year, a total of 376 Grand Islander volunteers donated 23,698 hours of time to St. Francis. A chunk of that time was given by Carolyn Davis and Gerri Williams, who were honored as 2018 Volunteers of the Year. As a 17-year volunteer, Carolyn serves as a weekly Pastoral Services visitor and somehow also finds time to make blankets and pillows for oncology patients. And though Gerri started volunteering only three years ago, she’s received five separate nominations for logging 1,500 hours doing a variety of hospital duties, including escorting patients.
Sleep disorders are nothing to snooze about. They’ve been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. That’s why we have a dedicated sleep lab, where sleep specialists like Dr. Manoj Suryanarayanan conducted more than 500 sleep studies last year alone. In fact, we were accredited in 2017 by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.
We take pride in the faces and neighbors we see day in and day out. Year in and year out, the CHI Health network sees more than one million patients.
At the heart of every healthy community, there’s a specially trained team of cardiology specialists. Drs. Jose Friesen, Erich Fruehling, Jeff King, and Doug Kosmicki work together to ensure we have every treatment option necessary to keep our hearts healthy. Best of all, these aren’t just trained specialists. They’re friends and neighbors you can trust.
Since 1998, CHI Health St. Francis has been the only area hospital to offer Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab services. In fact, we had more than 3,500 patient visits last year alone.
In 2009, we introduced Grand Island’s only maintenance for patients completing our Cardiac or Pulmonary program and their spouses. Last year alone, we had more than 10,000 maintenance visits, helping to promote healthy lifestyles over the long term.
Our Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab continues well after the acute rehab portion ends. We create a maintenance program for patients to continue their independent health journey.
In 2016, CHI Health St. Francis received a Lifeline Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
Both CHI Health St. Francis’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs are nationally accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).
Since 2011, our cancer treatment has remained diligent in our commitment to safety and quality care by retaining consecutive QOPI® Certified Practice accreditations.
Digital video technology called Telehealth is connecting patients and CHI Health St. Francis caregivers to specialists well beyond the county line. Through remote video conferencing, patients here in Grand Island can be seen by specialists who are hundreds of miles away. And St. Francis physicians can confer with other physicians to bring Grand Island the best care possible.
Rebecca Hadenfeldt, an Oncology Nurse Navigator at CHI Health St. Francis, volunteers as a first responder, putting her life on the line to help support the lives of people within the community every time she serves.
Our Nurse Scholarship Fund has awarded $85,000 to 31 recipients over the past six years to assist them in earning their RN. Our goal is simple — we want to help empower all of our nurses to receive their RN license.
In 2014, we became the largest health care system in the region. That means no matter the need, we’re here to answer it. Just consider us your local hospital with nationally recognized capabilities.
For Kelly Eriksen, an RN in CHI Health Regional Cancer Center, caring isn’t a nine-to-five occupation. In addition to teaching confirmation classes and serving as a booster club member, 4-H leader, and YMCA health instructor, she somehow found time for a mission trip to Uganda. There she worked with Kids Inspiring Kids — a nonprofit building self-sustaining villages for those in need of a home. That’s why she won our 2019 Mother Bonzel Award, presented annually to a St. Francis employee demonstrating outstanding volunteerism and community service.
Did you know a single tissue donor can help more than 75 people? People who donate organs and tissue are true heroes in our book. That’s why we held a special tribute in honor of them and the lives they helped save.
We want our patients to get the care they deserve. Through our Project Care Fund, we’ve given more than $210,000 to patients needing medications, transportation, hotel stays, and grocery vouchers.
Since 2017, we’ve invested more than $20 million in programs and assistance for Grand Island residents who are vulnerable and underserved.
CHI Health St. Francis offers support with free, temporary housing to low-income, out-of-town patients and families of patients with special needs.
We provide substance use disorder treatment to all residents in Central Nebraska, regardless of their ability to pay.
For the past two years, CHI Health St. Francis has supported more than 6,200 local patients with medical financial assistance right here in Grand Island.
Dale Beye, a Safety Specialist at CHI Health St. Francis, knows what it means to serve the community. He serves on the board at the Grand Island Theatre, performs in the Nebraska Christian High School Christmas Concert, and is a Grand Island Historian.
With a system like CHI Health, you’ll always have access to experts who understand your needs and your health situation. In fact, you’ll have 2,980 of them across our network.
Because we believe all life is sacred, CHI Health St. Francis hosts an Infant Memorial Service each year to commemorate the lives of babies stillborn, miscarried, or who have died in infancy. The annual service helps families find comfort and peace in the midst of heartbreaking loss.
Quitting smoking is no easy task. We’ve got your back. In fact, we regularly offer smoking cessation classes to help you quit smoking and stay smoke-free.
In just one year, our Education Fund at CHI Health St. Francis has contributed more than $8,000 to help employees gain a variety of certifications and continuing education opportunities.
Our Safety First approach is what guides us. It’s what has made us a great place to work and a great provider for the past 133 years.
Nothing brings Grand Islanders together like the annual Harvest of Harmony Parade and Field Competition. And nothing brings CHI Health folks together like building a float for the parade. Turns out we’re pretty good, taking first place in a field of 87 competitors.
Meeting the needs of our community has always been a priority. It’s why we opened the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis in 1992. It’s also why we invited a team of oncology specialists to Grand Island. Drs. David Crockett, Ryan Ramaekers, and Doug Clark are providing the region’s best cancer care in a personal, case-by-case approach that’s giving cancer patients the one thing they want most — hope.
We understand the need for relaxation and reflection when you’re going through cancer treatments. That’s why our new center will offer a 6,300-square-foot healing garden.
Over the past two decades, CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis has become a shining star on Nebraska’s prairie. Here, clinical trials enrollment rate has reached an all-time high of 36 percent, which is unprecedented for a community-based cancer program like St. Francis. The national average for participation in clinical trials is 3 to 5 percent and around 15 percent at the most highly rated academic centers.
At CHI Health St. Francis, we want to make sure oncology patients in our outpatient program thrive. That’s why we visit them free of charge to provide nutritional counseling.
We’re bringing the latest techniques for fighting cancer. This includes high-dose brachytherapy — where radioactive implants are delivered directly to the tumor, sparing healthy tissue.
Our new CHI Health Regional Cancer Center will be home to stereotactic radiosurgery, which delivers targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments. The advanced technology delivers more speed and precision.
In 2016, the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center received a three-year Commission on Cancer Accreditation with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons. The accreditation acknowledges our dedication to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients.
In 1987, we changed the way cancer patients were treated by offering chemotherapy locally. We took the travel out of getting the treatment you need.
Respiratory and sleep issues are not only aggravating but they can also be dangerous. Fortunately, we have Nikhil Jagan, MBBS, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care. He and a team of pulmonary specialists provide comprehensive treatment for all types of respiratory and sleep conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and respiratory infections. They can even care for critically ill patients, including those needing mechanical breathing support.
In 2004, CHI Health St. Francis was named a finalist for the American Hospital Association’s Foster G. McGaw Prize, recognizing excellence in community service.
For more than 20 years, our team has worked behind the scenes to create a national cancer clinical trial program that keeps more patients where they belong — at home in Grand Island.
If you’re at the hospital on Mondays, chances are you’ve met Sparky, a Wheaten Terrier therapy dog. He and his partner — Healing Hearts volunteer Kathy Ripp — visit with patients every week, bringing warmth, comfort, and smiles.
To give expectant mothers more choices in dealing with pain during labor, we introduced the use of nitrous oxide. The odorless, tasteless gas is inhaled through a mask. The benefits? It takes the edge off labor pains and, for some mothers, reduces anxiety. Best of all, mom can control the amount she takes in by simply removing the mask. CHI Health is the first system in Nebraska to bring nitrous oxide to our maternity services.
CHI Health St. Francis supports SkillsUSA by serving on the state steering committee. We also coordinate health care contests for students.
Last year, during our annual Drug Take Back day, we collected more than six boxes of old medications from local residents. By removing them from the home, we’re helping to ensure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Based on our quality care and proven results, we’ve been acknowledged as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Speed is critical when a stroke happens. The faster the treatment, the more likely a positive outcome is. That’s why our stroke team is always on standby to offer the fastest treatment possible. It’s also why we’re recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the Get with the Guidelines® Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award. The award demonstrates our team’s commitment to helping stroke patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
CHI Health St. Francis was one of just 13 other Nebraska hospitals to achieve Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care recognition for reducing C-section rates for first-time, low-risk mothers.
Since 2002, we’ve cared for a wide variety of traumatic injuries through our American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified Level III Trauma Center. In fact, we’re one of only six Nebraska trauma centers to be recognized by the ACS.
CHI Health St. Francis has received the designation of Breastfeeding-Friendly Business from the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition.
The St. Francis Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center was selected as a Blue Distinction Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery. The distinction is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s Blue Distinction Care program, which recognizes facilities proven to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes.
Beginning in 1979, the Nebraska Hospital Association has paid tribute to Nebraska’s most caring and dedicated health care employees by presenting them with The Caring Kind Award. This year, our very own Adriana Lopez won the award for her tireless work as St. Francis’s only interpreter.
For three consecutive years now, the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Clinical Trials Participation Award.
Only at CHI Health St. Francis are we able to offer both inpatient and outpatient Ostomy Care. We work with patients to find solutions that fit their lifestyle and needs.
For the past three years, the Student Wellness Center of Grand Island Senior High School has funded $450,000 worth of risk assessments, violence prevention, immunizations, and behavioral health counseling for the well-being of 350 Grand Island middle school and high school students.
We collected change from our staff to build a canned food sculpture benefiting Project Hunger. We can happily report the sculpture was completed and donated.
Would you know what to do in an emergency involving bleeding? You can, thanks to a program we sponsor called “Stop the Bleeding.” The free, 60-minute classes — offered to local businesses, schools, and churches — are designed to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
As proud Nebraskans, we make sure that we’re a part of all of our state’s favorite traditions, such as the annual Nebraska State Fair, where we sponsor first-aid stations.
In 2009, CHI Health St. Francis and three other CHI Hospitals came together to form a statewide system that could better serve all of Nebraska.
As a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, our specially trained nurses care for the smallest and sickest newborns, providing every baby with access to specially designed environments that help them grow stronger every day.
CHI Health St. Francis understands that being a new parent can seem daunting. That’s why we offer infant CPR classes as well as breastfeeding and childbirth education classes.
Our Child Safety Fund exists to help let kids be kids by keeping them safe. We’ve distributed over 250 car seats and 125 bike helmets.
As a commitment to the safety of our community, we’re proud to offer car seat checks to make sure your little ones stay safe while you drive.
To provide Grand Island children a fun, safe alternative to door-to-door trick or treating, we partnered with Burlington department stores to host a public Halloween Trunk or Treat. Several St. Francis departments manned trucks and handed out candy to costumed kids.
CHI Health St. Francis held the Discovery Kids after-school programming for 123 students in seven schools to promote the understanding of peer pressure and the dangers of substance abuse.
This past year, our Behavioral Health professionals taught six “Circle of Security” parenting classes to local parents. The classes teach parents how to decrease stress, increase positive relationships with their children, and create better awareness of behavioral triggers.
50 children go to the emergency room every hour with a wheeled sports-related injury. And only 45% of them aged 14 and under wear a helmet. That’s why we passed out free helmets to kids during our annual Bike Rodeo. The event also included helmet fittings and a road safety course.
As one of the only hospitals in Grand Island for over a century, our Emergency Department has served as a go-to source at the most critical times for our neighbors.
The Maternity Center here at CHI Health St. Francis has been designated a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service.
We’re not one to miss out on the celebrations throughout the communities we serve. That’s why we make sure to be a part of Husker Harvest Days, offering health screenings.
100 physicians. 1,100 employees. We’re proud of the community we’ve built within our community and are here to help.
We have always been champions of organizations committed to doing great things for our community. We have fundraisers to generate donations for Relay for Life, the Humane Society, and Hope Harbor.
CHI Health St. Francis wants everyone to feel secure at home. With Lifeline, you’ll be connected to a member of our hospital with the push of a button.
When colorectal issues demand surgery, it’s comforting to know that you have a fellowship-trained surgeon right here in Grand Island. In fact, Dr. Scott Baker is one of two in CHI Health. He’s an expert in the surgical treatment of a variety of colorectal disorders, including hemorrhoids, fissures, and fistulas; colon and rectal cancer; Crohn’s disease; and ulcerative colitis
This year, our team of general surgeons grew yet again with the addition of Dr. Anton Simorov. Dr. Simorov completed his general surgery residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he also researched minimally invasive, gastrointestinal, and robotic surgery.
For patients dealing with the physical aftereffects of stroke, fractures, arthritis, cardiac surgery, or neurological diseases, getting back into life can be a battle. Thankfully, we have specialists like Dr. Shane Burr to guide them. He and a team of physical medicine experts create individual rehabilitation plans that are unique to every patient. Together, they help patients restore movement and function and get back to doing the things they love.
Our mental and emotional health can have a huge impact on our physical health. That’s why we have psychiatry experts like Dr. Kavir Saxena right here in Grand Island. He helps patients deal with a variety of mental disorders, emotional disturbances, and other behavioral issues.
If there are unsung heroes in the operating room, it’s the anesthesiologists. After all, they’re the ones helping patients avoid too much pain, discomfort, and distress. Fortunately, we have one of the best anesthesiology teams in Nebraska. There to help ensure patient safety during surgery, they specialize in general anesthesia, sedation, and regional anesthesia.
We love bringing the families in our community together. Every year, we celebrate Superhero Sundays as a salute to the everyday heroes who live and work in our community.
At CHI Health St. Francis, we offer the same clinical trials as M.D. Anderson. When we say personalized cancer care close to home, we mean it.
We take pride in where we live just like you. That’s why we schedule trash pickup to help keep the community looking its best.
We’re proud to collaborate with our high school’s Health Occupation Student Association (HOSA), which is preparing the future of the health care workforce today.
Our Tobacco Free Hall County-funded education and training for individuals and community members allows people to start and continue living life tobacco free.
CHI Health St. Francis offers a 24/7 wellness center for our employees, volunteers, and doctors to promote health and wellness.
We do what it takes to make sure our community stays healthy. Dr. Shu-Ming Wang is a shining example of that. After three years serving in operations, she went back to primary care because of the connections and impact she can make here in Grand Island.
To help give your family the advice you need to get healthy and stay healthy, we participate in a variety of local community health fairs, offering free education and health screenings.
Our specialty care physicians have enjoyed a close relationship with local primary care physicians, who value the ability to refer their patients to someone they know and trust.
Our Employee Stewardship Program was able to assist 58 employees with emergency support including rent, utilities, groceries, and more. The best part? It was employees giving back to other employees.
We worked alongside the Center for Rural Affairs to provide funding over two years to build and implement a sustainable community garden at Third City Community Clinic.
We trained five leaders in “Circle of Security,” a model that helps parents and caregivers create positive and healthy relationships with their children.
Hunger impacts far too many in Grand Island. That’s why CHI Health St. Francis is proud to host food drives throughout the year, filling plates and cheering up households.
Kylee Uden, an Oncology RN at CHI Health St. Francis, knows the difference a dog can make in our health and happiness. That’s why she spends some of her days off volunteering at local hospice nursing homes, bringing her two dogs to visit with patients and give them new reasons to smile.
You can find a lot of great stuff in the Gift Shop at CHI Health St. Francis. But every December, parents find something extra special. At their request, Gift Shop volunteers will call their children, posing as Santa Claus.