Here’s to 133 years of making Good Happen in Grand Island.

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.

Here’s to providing the best care since 1886.

Here’s to staying involved in our hometown.

Legacy Milestones
Legacy Milestones
Here’s to answering the call.

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.

Here’s to bringing cancer treatments closer to home.

In 1987, the CHI Health St. Francis Cancer Center delivered a first for Grand Island by providing chemotherapy locally.

Here’s to a big addition.

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.

Here’s to Grand Island’s first oncologists.

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.

Here’s to making intensive care even more intensive.

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.

Here’s to setting the standard early.

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.

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Here’s to building something bigger.

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.

Building Something Bigger
Here’s to the relentless pursuit of breakthroughs.

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. 

Here’s to the ones protecting our habitat.

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. 

Here’s to working to lower health care costs.

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. 

off certain procedures

Here’s to more hours doing good in Grand Island.

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.

Here’s to a better night’s sleep.

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.

Here’s to a million served.

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.  

patients seen
Here’s to keeping hearts beating in Grand Island.

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.

Here’s to getting back to life.

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.

patient consults last year
Here’s to promoting healthy lifestyles.

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.

maintenance visits last year
Here’s to keeping hearts healthy.

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.

Here’s to having heart.

In 2016, CHI Health St. Francis received a Lifeline Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. 

Here’s to achieving dual accreditation.

Both CHI Health St. Francis’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs are nationally accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

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Here’s to a practice that’s certified.

Since 2011, our cancer treatment has remained diligent in our commitment to safety and quality care by retaining consecutive QOPI® Certified Practice accreditations.  

Here’s to bringing more specialists into Grand Island.

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.

Here’s to the ones always on call.

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.

Here’s to achieving RN.

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. 

awarded for scholarships
Here’s to growing your network.

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. 

Here’s to our Mother Bonzel Award winner.

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.

Here’s to celebrating the life givers.

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. 

Community Benefits
Community Benefits
Here’s to the right kind of assist.

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. 

to help patients in need
Here’s to caring for the whole community.

Since 2017, we’ve invested more than $20 million in programs and assistance for Grand Island residents who are vulnerable and underserved.

Here’s to a helping hand.

CHI Health St. Francis offers support with free, temporary housing to low-income, out-of-town patients and families of patients with special needs.

Here’s to backing 22 counties.

We provide substance use disorder treatment to all residents in Central Nebraska, regardless of their ability to pay.

Here’s to paying it forward.

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.

patients financially supported in the last two years
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Here’s to the ones putting the grand 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. 

Here’s to a network you can trust.

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.

medical experts

Here’s to remembering our tiniest joys.

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.

Here’s to clearing the air.

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.

Here’s to continuing our education.

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.

given for continued education in one year
Here’s to always putting Safety First.

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.

Here’s to hometown parades and marching bands.

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.

Here’s to building a regional cancer center.

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.

Here’s to 6,300 square feet of healing.
Here’s to innovating cancer treatments that work.

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.

Here’s to going the extra mile.

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.

Here’s to pinpoint precision.

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.

Here’s to fewer treatments.

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. 

Here’s to achieving accreditation.
Here’s to localizing treatments.

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.

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Here’s to breathing easier.

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.

Here’s to giving back in a big way.

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.

Here’s to personalized cancer care.

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.

Here’s to a visit from “Sparky.”

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.

Here’s to less pain during childbirth.
Here’s to fueling young minds and breakthroughs.

CHI Health St. Francis supports SkillsUSA by serving on the state steering committee. We also coordinate health care contests for students.

Here’s to preventing drug abuse.

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.

Here’s to achieving distinction.

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.

Here’s to better stroke outcomes.

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.

Here’s to fewer C-sections.

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.

Here’s to a higher level of trauma care.

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.

Here’s to a more welcoming workplace.

CHI Health St. Francis has received the designation of Breastfeeding-Friendly Business from the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition.

Here’s to recognizing effective addiction treatments.

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.

Here’s to an awarding kind of care.
Here’s to making advancements.

For three consecutive years now, the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Clinical Trials Participation Award.

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Here’s to being a first in care.

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.

Here’s to the mental health of our students.

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.

Here’s to working to put an end to hunger.

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.

Here’s to “Stopping the Bleed.”

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.

Here’s to always being fair.

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.

Here’s to creating statewide connections.

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.

Caring For Kids
Caring For Kids
Here’s to a higher level NICU.

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.

Here’s to being there for first-timers.
Here’s to putting kids first.

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.

car seats
Here’s to double-checking every buckle.

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.

Here’s to fewer tricks and more treats.

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.

Here’s to giving kids a good head start.

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.

student participants
Here’s to equipping parents.

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.

Here’s to wearing your helmet.

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.

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Here’s to being there when it matters most.

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.

Here’s to a sound night of sleep.

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.

Here’s to always being there at harvest.

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.

Here’s to neighbors always ready to help.

100 physicians. 1,100 employees. We’re proud of the community we’ve built within our community and are here to help.

local employees

Here’s to those doing good.

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.

Here’s to always being a lifeline.

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.

Here’s to surgical peace of mind.

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

Here’s to welcoming a new surgeon to G.I.

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.

Here’s to getting you back to what you love.

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.

Here’s to nurturing our emotional health.
Here’s to the ones putting us to sleep.

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.

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Here’s to putting the super in superheroes.

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.

Here’s to state-of-the-art oncology trials.

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.

Here’s to cleaning up the community.

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.

Here’s to making tomorrow today.

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.

Here’s to living tobacco free.

Our Tobacco Free Hall County-funded education and training for individuals and community members allows people to start and continue living life tobacco free.

Here’s to putting our fitness first.

CHI Health St. Francis offers a 24/7 wellness center for our employees, volunteers, and doctors to promote health and wellness.

Primary Care
Primary Care
Here’s to primary care living here.

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.

Here’s to making care even more convenient.

In 2017, we opened our first Quick Care right inside Hy-Vee to make high-quality, expert care that much more accessible.

Here’s to creating a community of good health.

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.

Here’s to bringing care to your front door.

In 2014, we took our care from our hospital to your home with the introduction of Virtual Care to the Grand Island area.

Here’s to building local trust and relationships.

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.

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Here’s to employees helping employees.

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.

employees supported
Here’s to helping the community grow.

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.

Here’s to creating connections with kids.

We trained five leaders in “Circle of Security,” a model that helps parents and caregivers create positive and healthy relationships with their children.

Here’s to a full plate.

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.

Here’s to the ones dedicated to pet projects.

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.

Here’s to still believing in Santa Claus.

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.