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UNDERSTANDING COVID 19 FROM THE front lines ConneCting our Community

Spiritofomaha.Com

the healthCare iSSue 2021


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in this ISSUE

connecting our community

healthcare heroes

9

REMEMBERING WHAT MATTERS on the front lines of a pandemic

16

PROFILES IN HEROISM

32

on the front lines of a pandemic

featured stories

26

connecting to our do-gooders

26

DOING GOOD TOGETHER giving tuesday • share omaha

28

JACQUE’S JOURNEY als in the heartland

connecting to our caregivers

THE BIG connection

covid-19 special part 4 of 4

32

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS area nonprofits fight for us as the pandemic deepens

spotlighting our partners

30

departments/columns

22

connecting to our heroism

AKSARBEN 2021 KICKS OFF

GAME CHANGERS • SUE MORRIS

22

16

connecting to our vision

presented by planitinc.

44

SHARE OMAHA lifting up do-gooders

46

OMAHA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION omaha giving

47

metroSPIRIT with mary vandenack

48

9

VW LAW planning matters

49

SWARTZBAUGH, FARBER & ASSOC. your money

49

STEPHANIE VONDRAK impact!

events

53

connecting to our priorities

SCENE highlights from recent charity & cultural events

connecting to our heritage

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CRediTS

metromagazine is wholly owned and operated by the publisher and is not affiliated with any other publication, operating solely on subscription and advertising revenues and the good will of the agencies and charities we support; all of which are very important to the continuing growth and quality of this publication. Thank you to all who support this endeavor.

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THe HeaLTHCaRe iSSUe 2021 • voL. 33 no. 1 Press releases and other editorial information may be sent to: P.o. Box 241611, omaHa, ne 68124 or e-mailed to: editor@Spiritofomaha.com Publisher/Editor-in-Chief andrea L. “andee” Hoig

Creative Collaboration elissa Joy omaha Community Foundation

Editor/Creative Director Rob Killmer

ConneCT@Spiritofomaha.com

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Community Engagement

MISSION STATEMENT aLH Publications exists to inform, inspire and connect those who give back to the community through volunteerism and philanthropy, recognizing the ongoing efforts of area businesses, organizations and individuals who better our community.

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MAKE THE CONNECTION!

“We have generations of individuals that have passion, and generations that have need. When those two meet, great relationships occur. metroMAGAZINE and The Giving Guide & Event Book consistently help connect and foster those relationships.” ~ NATE DODGE PReSidenT, nP dodge ComPany


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CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY

with ANDEE Hoig podcast


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words FROM MY HEART

2021: A NEW

mmagazine • LeTTeR fRom THe pUbLiSHeR

commitment

Welcome to our first edition of the year. As I look back to February 2020 and all that has happened over the past 12 months, life does not look the same. We are navigating through unfamiliar territory. There have been periods of darkness and uncertainty. We have been separated from our families, friends and co-workers. We haven’t been able to travel, shop or dine out as freely as before COVID-19… the list goes on and on. Most importantly, our health has been compromised, which is why we have dedicated this issue to recognizing and honoring those in the healthcare and wellness sectors: those on the front lines, those who made a commitment to keeping us healthy or caring for us when our health is in jeopardy. I want to thank everyone who is featured in this issue and all those we cannot call attention to as well. Your commitment and contribution during these unprecedented times is both necessary and a gift, and we are grateful. It was important for our team to acknowledge what is happening and also highlight those making a positive impact and inspiring others. Health and wellness—both physically and mentally—impacts all of us and our community. Taking care of ourselves is so important and it is a commitment we andRea L. Hoig can chose to make each and every day. Many of you know that I challenged myself ahoig@Spiritofomaha.com in 2017 to complete 50 5Ks. I did! Not only did it keep my body moving, it was FUN! Last year my intention was to step back into my walking/running shoes and hit the trails, reignite “My 5K Journey” again. It had gotten pushed to the back in 2019 when both of my parents passed away. In 2020 it got pushed to the back again. There were plenty of races, especially virtual races, but I didn’t make it a With all of the challenges in 2020, a lot of really amazing things happened. But I priority. To be honest, I didn’t make my health and wellness a priority; I didn’t was exhausted. When you are physically and mentally drained, it impacts your life. choose to commit to me. You are more easily stressed out, it’s easier to sit on the couch vs. taking a walk, the JOYS of life slowly fade away. I certainly got sucked into some of the stresses of the pandemic. Again, I didn’t choose to commit to me, to health or to my wellness. Time for a NEW COMMITMENT! My commitment to me in 2021 is to get moving, have fun, be silly! Silliness for me often involves dancing around my living room to Elton John and singing to my kitties. Making a commitment to yourself and to your life is far from selfish, it’s self-care, self-love! And it impacts everyone around you. When I feel good, when I have energy, when I am inspired everything changes—EVERYTHING! I am able to contribute more to my family, my community, to the planet. Big or small, we all have something to contribute and it all makes a difference. I encourage you all to really look at your commitment to yourself and to your life. I invite you to join me on My 5K Journey Facebook page as I step back into my walking shoes (sometimes running shoes) and commit to me!

With Ease & Joy, ~ Andee

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ADAPTING TO MEET YOUR NEEDS! FALL 2021 EDITION!

RESERVE YOUR SPACE EARLY & SAVE!

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CELEBRATING THE ONGOING COMMITMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY’S GIVING SPIRIT WITH TWO EDITIONS IN 2021!

PUBLISHER ANDREA “ANDEE” HOIG


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UNDERSTANDING COVID 19 FROM THE front lines where it really matters

MANAGING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

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ON THE

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healthcare heroes managing THE pandemic Although hope is rising that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming, it's still not over. the last year has been emotionally and sometimes financially draining to nearly everyone, but the people of our community’s hospitals have been on the front lines the entire time. the impact for these healthcare heroes goes beyond managing direct care of coViD-19 patients, and the challenges have evolved along with the pandemic. however, innovation can be the brainchild of crisis, and the pandemic has presented other opportunities including the discovery of resiliency.

Incubation

staff healthy so they could continue providing care,” at all but luckily Nebraska Medicine had a pandemic Robertson said. plan in place and a federal quarantine center that we The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged 7,000 could use to take care of those patients, and so we put miles away from Omaha in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 “If you look at March when a pandemic was declared, the and reached us a few months later. At that time, neither together the resources to work through that. We were first challenge was a shortage of supplies,” Linder said. very satisfied when that ended, but I don’t think anyone the virus nor the respiratory disease it caused, COVID-19, Nebraska Medicine had to be innovative, he added, and in the country appreciated what lay ahead in terms of were well understood. devised a means of safely sanitizing masks and other the number of patients who would require care in equipment usually used once so it could be used healthcare systems.” “I think the biggest challenge, early on, was the multiple times. “Our protocol was adopted by the CDC unknown,” said Christopher Maloney, MD, PhD, (U.S. Centers for Disease Control).” “We partner with so many referring partners to help Executive Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer & them manage their capacity and the transfer of patients Physician-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital & Medical who need lengthy and complex rehabilitation, and from With surgeries suspended, Boys Town Hospital found Center (Children’s). “Every day, things changed.” itself in the fortunate position of having more PPE than it the beginning of the pandemic we had an evolution of needed, Boes said. “Healthcare providers plan for public health emergencies, what we had to do to be a good partner,” said Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Paul outbreaks and even pandemics. With this new “We’d been part of a group of people who’d been storing Dongilli. coronavirus, our biggest challenge was learning daily it around town; it was part of our emergency plan,” he how best to manage patient care while keeping our explained. And the hospital was able—and more Boys Town President Father Steven Boes said that caregivers and communities safe,” said CHI Health CEO important, willing—to be generous. “All the hospitals although Boys Town National Research Hospital never Cliff Robertson, MD. “Much of our anxiety in the early shared PPE, if they had it, and it helped that some of the months came from not knowing what treatments were expected to provide acute care for COVID-19 patients, hospitals had significant emergency supplies.” actually beneficial for patients infected with COVID-19.” “The first priority was to keep everybody healthy—not just our employees, but our kids, the patients and Other hospital groups shared, too. Local testing capacity families we serve.” “It’s evolved over time, obviously,” said Steve Goeser, was also limited in the first months of the pandemic, President and CEO, Methodist Health System. “If you and CHI Health’s and Nebraska Medicine’s labs were able talk with people around the country, we’ve all have had Contact to take on some of the work. Boes’ team at Boys Town was like every medical facility’s the same issues, universally. Early on it was concerns in the area in their obligation to be cognizant of practices Another characteristic of the early days of pandemic was over supply chain issues related to PPE or personal to keep pathogens at bay and everyone in their facilities the anxiety of watching and waiting. Shifting protective equipment, making sure we had enough, a safe. Social distancing was quickly adopted, but PPE steady supply chain; that’s been fraught with all kinds information from official sources, along with alarming shortages and limited testing resources to identify virus- reports from more heavily affected cities, kept local of challenges.” positive patients and employees were among the most healthcare teams on edge from the beginning. “When we started in January-February of 2020 we were urgent concerns in the earliest weeks of the crisis. dealing with the initial evacuees from Wuhan and the “The guidelines kept changing: masks/no masks, testing “Preventing spread of the virus meant changing the way supplies, when you test. It was difficult to send a clear individuals who came from the Diamond Princess (cruise ship),” Nebraska Medicine CEO Dr. James Linder we deliver care drastically, from curbside COVID-19 message to our employees when information from CDC said. “At that time, we really did not understand the virus testing to virtual office visits. We also needed to keep our and the World Health Organization seemed to be

restoring dignity HEALING THE homeless healthcare heroes •

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story by KARA SCHWEISS • photos courtesy of FEATURED HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS

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WHERE IT really matters…

THIS IS SO MUCH more THAN political… it’s personal, WITH A real IMPACT ON human beings AND THEIR care providers THAT’S BEING lost IN ALL THE noise.

~ ROB KILLMER SENIOR EDITOR, METROMAGAZINE

REMEMBERING WHAT REALLY MATTERS…

where it really matters

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER

MANAGING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

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ON THE

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managing THE pandemic changed daily, if not sometimes twice a day,” Goeser said. “The concerns we saw with New York City and the toll it was taking on health workers was hard to watch. The ventilator shortage was really a tough thing to watch.” He added, “There was not much going on here early on, we were kind of constantly preparing and then…it happened. In early March we saw our first case and we started seeing inpatients probably in April. We thought we saw a spike in May, but little did we know what October and November would bring us.”

BOYS TOWN

WE REALIZE WE ARE ALL IN THIS together AND THAT WE NEEDED TO coordinate EFFORTS.

~ STEVE GOESER METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM

Robertson said, "A key operational challenge has been increasing our capacity quickly as cases spiked last spring and surged this winter. There was a great deal of collaboration—often on (online video communication platform) Zoom—as we coordinated staff and supply deployment across our 14 hospitals.”

Treatment NEBRASKA MEDICINE

Children’s staff have unique concerns related to their young patient demographic. Although most children experience mild symptoms with a COVID-19 infection, Children’s pediatric specialists have cared for patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but serious condition in some children who have COVID-19. “These children are very sick,” Maloney said, adding that some need extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a form of advanced life support, available to Nebraska children only at Children’s. The Children’s team had an additional concern: if trained ECMO staff became ill from COVID-19, availability of the treatment could be compromised for children in the region.

METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM

healthcare heroes •

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Taking a community-first approach, area hospital groups worked together to manage COVID-19 patients.

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healthcare heroes WHERE IT really matters… “We saw our role shifting over the course of the year to meet the needs of our community and to be a good partner to our referring hospitals. At first the hospitals transferred patients to us who were absent of COVID in order to free up beds they needed to manage the pandemic,” Dongilli said. “The second wave was postCOVID patients who needed time to recover; they needed the specialized services we provided to overcome the functional impairments and the medical complications as a result of COVID and return back to independence.”

“As the pandemic stretched into winter, we had to find ways to provide much-needed respite to staff who’d been on the front lines since day one,” Robertson said. “We have persevered because we have an incredibly gifted team of caregivers that have come to work every day with the commitment to do what it takes to continue serving their community. Hundreds of individuals—some who provide patient care and others who support the delivery of care—have demonstrated their commitment to their professional calling. They have succeeded because they are, quite frankly, the best professionals and best people that I have ever known.”

Some patients tested positive for COVID-19 following their admission to Madonna, he added.

“It’s really shown the agility and the resilience of our teams,” Maloney said. “They now just duck and weave; they can do this. They can move through a day. They “We were able to keep those patients here. We had know that something’s going to hit them and that they’ll negative-pressure rooms and we had the drugs and have to react to it, but they also trust that we’re going to biologicals needed to treat them. If we could manage get the information to them and support them through them here and prevent a readmission to an acute-care whatever the challenge could be…They’ve persevered hospital, that was our goal,” he said. because they leaned in and we’ve learned that we can trust each other and that we have to. We have to be Children’s was prepared to take in adult patients up to age 27, in addition to children, for COVID-19 care during there for each other. We have each other’s backs.” surges, Maloney said. The organization’s team also Outside support also has been uplifting for CHI Health expanded a symptoms-checker app for school districts. staff, Robertson said. “It’s about the community pulling together and helping each other,” he said. “The lunches, the chalk art, the ‘hero’ signs in their front yards have all provided that little extra boost that kept CHI Health shared a system to manage patient load so them going. The recognition from elected officials and no individual hospital system was overrun. even the news media all helped the front-line professionals know they were appreciated and respected,” “The three health systems in town really came together he said. “Those simple actions mean a lot to folks who and have worked well together. We realize we are all in have committed their lives to caring for others.” this together and that we needed to coordinate efforts,” Goeser said. “There are no competitors during a Both Boes and Linder also praised ongoing support for pandemic, that’s for sure.” research that continued at their respective institutions. “There has been enormous collaboration and cooperation “The community support here in Omaha has been between the different regional health districts in enormous,” Linder said. “They have stepped forward.” Nebraska,” Linder said. “We have all worked together to try and make sure the right protocols were in place to One major healthcare need emerged due to the take care of patients, that supplies were available, and collective stress of the pandemic outside of the virus that all knowledge was shared.” itself, Boes said.

Response Each hospital also had to make internal adjustments to persevere as the pandemic persisted.

“The increased need in behavioral health was overwhelming,” he said. “Our hotline calls saw a 30 percent increase.”

where it really matters

MANAGING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

Because counselors were working from home, the organization was able to staff the Boys Town National Hotline with more flexibility than if counselors had to drive to a central location, Boes added. “We met that 30 percent and kept our cost about the same.” Telehealth services were broadened, but new safety guidelines made it challenging for Boys Town to provide in-person psychiatric care for teenagers in crisis. “We did the best we could, but you can’t rush that process,” Boes said. “While our focus was on COVID-19, we couldn’t take our attention away from other serious conditions that afflict our community. The ability to continue providing noncoronavirus care remained a priority for us as we know how essential health care is to the communities we serve,” Robertson said. “One of the biggest—yet often forgotten—challenges we faced was the need for ongoing mental health care. This need is one we are continuing to track closely as we continue to find ways to improve our delivery of mental health services and support. As the pandemic peaked nationally in April and May, calls to our 402-717-HOPE line increased by 35 percent and 83 percent of our behavior health visits were delivered virtually.” Hospitals also had to respond to the same health emergencies they saw before the pandemic. “We still delivered care to patients who had other illnesses. That has not gone away. People still have strokes, motor vehicle accidents, heart attacks, cancer treatment…it’s all still there,” Linder said.

Containment Linder said his organization was poised to respond to pandemic conditions, but still faced a few surprises once it happened. “Nebraska Medicine and UNMC are in a truly unique situation because we’ve been thinking about pandemics for well over 10 years old and culturally we’re aligned with dealing with infectious disease, and our people take pride in being able to respond and pivot to those challenges,” he said. continued


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managing THE pandemic managing THE pandemic

IF YOU LOOK OUT A year FROM NOW, WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE new normal? WHO KNOWS?

~ CHRISTOPHER MALONEY, MD CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER

I DON’T THINK anyone IN THE COUNTRY appreciated WHAT LAY AHEAD IN TERMS OF THE number OF PATIENTS WHO WOULD require CARE IN HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS. ~ DR. JAMES LINDER

However, response to COVID-19 involved a lot of problem-solving and teamwork even beyond the direct patient care staff. Facility engineers changed ductwork and airflow to transform additional areas of the hospital buildings into negative-pressure rooms, for instance, and purchasing and procurement personnel explored “every nook and cranny” for PPE sources. Medical staff were flexible in their assignments and in some areas took on additional patients. Various employees served as “PPE extenders” to ensure medical staff was properly protected, and medical students came to the hospital in the evenings to help with blood draws. “The teamwork has been amazing,” Linder said. “There is no way we could have been successful without it.” A crisis command center to manage supplies, communications and labor was organized at Methodist, Goeser said, and physical changes were quickly executed. “This allowed us to funnel questions and answers through the whole system to a centralized area so that we could get out the word as we were changing and implementing change so that all four of our hospitals and our 30-plus clinics could get the right information at the right time,” Goeser said. “And I am amazed at how quickly we pivoted and started setting up plexiglass shields to make encounters with our registration staff safer, and implementing negative airflow not just in a few rooms but whole floors; we retrofitted areas of each of our hospitals to accommodate that.”

Madonna also created negative-pressure rooms to house COVID-19 patients at their facilities in both Omaha and Lincoln, Dongilli said. The team also found ways to manage challenges for other patients and their families after distancing measures were put in place, including using virtual channels to stay connected to family members and also train them in post-release home care.

NEBRASKA MEDICINE

vaccines like we do now,” he added. “Another benefit is a realization of the importance of public health nationwide.” Dongilli said he thinks the design of hospital spaces is taking a leap forward because of lessons learned during the pandemic, and a Madonna expansion project in Lincoln is already benefiting.

“I can’t say enough about the flexibility and specialty training of the staff to meet the needs of these patients,” “We’re taking a look at the physical environment and he said. making sure it supports infection prevention and safety,” he said. “It really turned out to be great timing in terms Recovery of our project; we’ve been able to take advantage of There have been bright spots, including the recognition being in the design phase in order to integrate all of of better, safer or more efficient practices. The expansion these changes into the design before we actually began construction.” of telehealth and virtual care, which is expected to be accepted more broadly by insurers going forward, was strongly called out as a positive by everyone interviewed. It’s not over yet. Maloney said Children’s has seen far fewer cases of flu and other respiratory virus among children this fall and “If you look out a year from now, what is going to be the new normal? Who knows? There may be another virus winter due to nonpharmaceutical interventions like mask-wearing in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. raising its ugly head or another natural disaster,” Maloney said. “But at that point the majority of the Goeser said some facility practices like plexiglass separators for face-to-face activity like registration may country will be vaccinated and we will have herd become permanent. And Linder said he foresees medical immunity, and COVID is going to be behind us. It will be facilities stockpiling PPE and other supplies for potential a two-year journey.” future crises. The long-term effects of COVID-19 are unknown. There is speculation in the medical community that the virus “One of the good things coming from this is hopefully people will reaffirm their belief in science. Ten or 20 years could cause problems years from now even in individuals ago we wouldn’t have the ability to (quickly) create with relatively mild cases, much like chicken pox can give

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healthcare heroes WHERE IT really matters… rise to shingles later or a polio infection from decades past has resulted in post-polio syndrome for some. Recovery for some COVID-19 patients is already proving to be arduous. “What we’re seeing for some of these folks is that it’s a lengthy and complicated recovery process. We have patients who have been here two months and still require comprehensive outpatient therapy. This is not going to be a short-term thing,” Dongilli said. “So many of these post-COVID patients who are recovering need rehabilitation, and we are happy and grateful to be available as a resource for them, like we are for others in the community, to help them regain independence.” Linder said he fears people will let their guard down prematurely now that a vaccine is available. “We really have to behave as if we’re in a pandemic, in my mind, until probably June 30. Then we can look around and see where things are at in terms of how many people have been vaccinated and how effective that’s been in lowering the rate of virus-positive individuals in the community,” he said.

also seen healthcare providers working together in ways that unfortunately have been rare in the past…This short-term collaboration amongst health systems will—and should—continue into the future,” Robertson said. “The pandemic has also united us in purpose and that will continue. For now, we are focused on caring for our communities and continuing to urge caution so we can prevent as many cases as possible while the vaccinations reach our communities.” As hard as it is to struggle through a crisis, trying times can reveal an organization’s biggest strengths. Linder said he has “enormous gratitude” for Nebraska Medicine’s healthcare providers. “It’s really been an honor to work with them.” “I’m really proud of the way our employees have stepped up and supported one another,” Goeser said, also praising the innovation Methodist team members have shown in finding ways to keep families connected to their loved ones. “Those are things that people don’t hear about. The staff go above and beyond to do the caring part of their job.”

But the end is finally in sight.

“Our staff here—and I speak on behalf of all of our staff—we’ve been so grateful for acute-care hospital “I am very hopeful that by the end of February our entire partners who’ve had to deal on the front lines of the organization will be vaccinated,” Maloney said. pandemic,” Dongilli said. “We’re grateful we’ve been able “We’ve come a long way in a short period of time. There’s to work collaboratively with them to manage the needs of our community.” a lot of hope. First of all, the vaccine is so effective. We will see how the rollout goes but it’s clearly what we “I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to our staff that are need to get on the other side of this. I think that the hanging in there with us,” Maloney said. “They were treatments we have found over time have changed the course of illness. We’re seeing more people recover from agile, they were resilient, they were ‘Children’s Strong.’” it, and not need ventilators. It’s still very devastating to the older population and people with comorbidities, so “Everybody did a little extra in direct care from the top it’s important to get that into the right hands and to the down,” Boes said. “We’re the Boys Town Cowboys, so everybody ‘cowboyed up.’” right people,” Goeser said. “It’s my hope and my belief that by June we should have a significant amount of the “If crisis reveals character, this pandemic showed our population vaccinated and then we’ll see if this is an organization’s unwavering dedication to providing our annual thing we’ll have to stay on top of or if the community—especially those who are most antibodies will last longer.” underserved—with the highest quality services,” “I think the future holds great things for health care in this Robertson said. “Every day we were seeing the power of human interactions in healing, and we will continue to country. Not only have we experienced the medical miracles that only seem possible in this country, we have honor the dignity of those we serve in all we do.”

where it really matters

MANAGING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

CHI HEALTH

MADONNA REHABILIATION HOSPITALS

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PREVENTION AND EDUCATION

EPIDEMIOLOGIST GUIDES CHILDREN S TEAM THROUGH PANDEMIC INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT DR. ALICE SATO, MD, PHD, MARKED HER FIRST ANNIVERSARY AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER ON JANUARY 1, 2021—AND WHAT A FIRST YEAR THAT WAS.

Learning as we go

Just three weeks into her new role as hospital epidemiologist, the physician in charge of infection prevention and education, Children’s set up its comprehensive coronavirus incident command.

“I’ve spent part of this year looking up at air vents in clinic and studying the layout in waiting rooms, trying to determine what makes for the safest door-to-door experience,” Sato said. “You have to give recommendations that are doable based on the best evidence we have today. The evidence I had in the spring is different from my options in October is different from where we are now.”

“I walked into the board room—I don’t really know anybody yet—and about 50 people are in there. Leadership says, ‘We need to be on top of this because we don’t know what’s going to happen,’ and everybody was involved: the facilities people, the logistics people, nursing supervisors, security. We talked about how do we plan, how do we keep track, how do we communicate. The amazing thing was, leadership had the foresight to do it then,” Sato said.

In her charge to prevent infection at Children’s, Sato considers everything from the number of air exchanges per hour in a patient’s room to the best way to ensure equipment is cleaned properly.

For those children in the community beyond prevention, Sato doubles as a pediatric infectious disease physician. She treats, among others, young patients with COVID19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

By early February, she was educating fellow doctors, “This is a new infection so we’re learning, as we go, the residents and medical students, presenting a lecture best way to manage it.” she’d titled Coronavirus: An Introduction, “because it was a new virus and also ‘an introduction’ because, ‘Hi, That has been a steady theme during her very fluid first I just started here. Let me tell you a little bit about me.’” year at Children’s: continual learning.

“YOU HAVE TO GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT ARE DOABLE BASED ON THE BEST EVIDENCE WE HAVE TODAY.’”

That synopsis encompasses a layering of varied “I’m learning new things all the time, and what I told you experiences that ultimately prepared Sato to help guide yesterday, I might see something new today,” Sato said. Children’s through a global health crisis. She trained in “It’s a little overwhelming sometimes, but on the other pediatrics as an MD and earned her PhD in immunology. hand, it’s been amazing to see information growing and In 2011, she went into pediatric infectious disease, being shared.” working mostly in upstate New York and Denver (her home before coming to Omaha), but also practicing in areas as varied as Navajo Nation and New Zealand. “I have laboratory experience from my research PhD, and I have vaccine experience. But I also have experience as a general and hospital-based pediatrician,” Sato said. “Having this weird background has been very helpful because I speak a lot of different languages as far as science and medicine goes.”

~ DR. ALICE SATO, CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER 16

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FILLING MANY ROLES

THERAPIST COVERS FOR ILL OR QUARANTINING COLLEGUES

“We have come up with ways to help,” Hernbloom KEEPING UP THE SPIRITS AND ENSURING said. “We are thankful for (videoconferencing CONTINUITY OF TREATMENT FOR THE YOUTH IN provider) WebEx. We can do our family therapy THE BOYS TOWN RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER (RTC) TOOK ON A NEW URGENCY FOR THE through this platform, so the kids can at least see their family. And we try to set up an extra time STAFF AS THE LOCKDOWNS OF 2020 TOOK HOLD. during the week just to let the kids share a visit TRUE TO THE BOYS TOWN MISSION, COVERAGE with their family.” MENTAL HEALTH THERAPIST AMY HERNBLOOM STEPPED UP AND TOOK ON HERO STATUS. Like all medical centers in 2020, the RTC had staff out on quarantine due to possible exposure or a COVID-19 diagnosis. But Hernbloom didn’t let that disrupt the care the resident youth received. With a can-do attitude, she accepted the challenge of working with youth and families that she’d never met as she covered for therapists who were out. “When I cover individual therapy sessions, I also cover family therapy sessions. So, I must build a quick rapport with that family and be empathetic to their needs. It can be frustrating for the youth and the families because they’re used to working with the same therapist for the long haul, and now I’m helping them for the next two weeks. It’s a challenge for them. And I strive to be as empathetic as I can,” Hernbloom said. That was only the first of many roles that Hernbloom would fill during the pandemic. Ryan Moss, Assistant Director at Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, said, “During the pandemic, our waitlist increased to numbers we have never experienced. Amy worked tirelessly with youth doing outpatient therapy while they waited to be admitted to the program.”

With a positive attitude and a ready smile for the physicians, nurses and direct care staff, Hernbloom has worked diligently to keep communication open and therapy sessions covered and has even worked across disciplines to ensure quality care for the youth at the RTC. When asked what she would view as the silver lining to the current situation, Hernbloom was quick to note, “A positive thing I’ve found here in the RTC healthcare setting is we’ve all built a closer bond and been more willing to do things for others; because we’re all struggling to deal with the pandemic at work and in our outside lives. We have a tighter bond to one another as we try to get through this together and to help the kids.” Heroes don’t always wear capes, sometimes they wear a smile. Heroes don’t always have superpowers, sometimes they have enough power make sure everyone is taken care of. Boys Town RTC sends out a heartfelt thank you to our healthcare hero, Amy Hernbloom, and to all healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

Finding solutions Typically, the RTC offers weekly visits from family members and strives to get children and youth motivated to earn transition passes, which move them into a different setting for a time. With those two highlights on hold during COVID-19, finding new ways of buoying spirits became an important task.

“WE HAVE A TIGHTER BOND TO ONE ANOTHER AS WE TRY TO GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER AND TO HELP THE KIDS.” ~ AMY HERNBLOOM, COVERAGE MENTAL HEALTH THERAPIST, BOYS TOWN RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER

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ACCESS TO HELP

METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM TEAM PROVIDES MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HIT THE REGION, ANOTHER CRISIS LOOMED. AS METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM MOBILIZED TO FIGHT THE VIRUS, THE METHODIST HOSPITAL COMMUNITY COUNSELING PROGRAM KNEW IT WAS IMPERATIVE TO CONTINUE TREATING THE MENTAL HEALTH OF ITS CLIENTS AND THE COMMUNITY.

Madden-McMahon had an idea for a mental health hotline staffed by counselors like Hills from the Community Counseling Program. The Methodist Emotional Support Line launched on March 30, 2020. The need for the support line continues as national trends suggest a growing mental health crisis. Those trends are consistent with what Hills is seeing through her work with the Methodist Emotional Support Line.

With schools and community sites closed by mid-March, the program had to quickly overcome the hurdle of providing safe and secure access to behavioral health “We’re definitely seeing increased anxiety and care. The result was an embrace of telehealth and the depression,” she said. “The uncertainty is the big thing. launch of the Methodist Emotional Support Line. Then the isolation of not being able to get out and see your friends and family.” Continuing Care “We had to change how we provided services pretty much on a dime,” said Jean Faber, corporate director of the Community Counseling Program. Counselors with the program transitioned to telehealth in the weeks following Nebraska’s first confirmed COVID-19 case. The program, which places mental health practitioners in each middle school, high school and alternative program in Omaha Public Schools as well as in churches and community centers, also faced a loss of office space and immediate access to its clients.

“WE GOT INTO ACTION AND MADE OURSELVES AVAILABLE, LETTING CLIENTS KNOW THAT WE’RE HERE TO CONTINUE PROVIDING SERVICES FOR THEM.” ~ CHAR HILLS LCSW, LIMHP, METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM

Counselors like Char Hills, LCSW, LIMHP, began contacting parents and clients and gathering community resources for anyone needing food or financial assistance. “I’m really proud of the program,” she said. “We got into action and made ourselves available, letting clients know that we’re here to continue providing services for them.” Addressing a Need With the transition to telehealth progressing, some felt there was a further mental health need in the community. Inspired by the success of the Methodist Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Faber and Methodist Hospital Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Tracy

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The list of issues people call about includes: anxiety, depression, uncertainty, fear, anger, illness, social unrest, political unrest, financial insecurity, food insecurity, struggles with remote learning, domestic abuse, substance abuse, loneliness, social isolation, suicide and grief. A Sign of Strength As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, the national conversation around mental health has gotten louder. “More and more people are realizing how important it is to pay attention to mental health – how it truly is the foundation to our overall health and well-being,” Faber said. But the stigma surrounding mental health lingers. “Asking for help is not a weakness,” Faber added. “Being able to recognize when you need support and reaching out for it is a sign of strength.” You are not alone. These resources can help: • Methodist Emotional Support Line: (402) 815-8255 (TALK)

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255

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VIRTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT

MADONNA VIRTUAL SERVICES TEAM KEEPS FAMILIES CONNECTED

AS 21-YEAR-OLD MITCHELL WAGNER CHALLENGES HIS BODY DURING A PHYSICAL THERAPY SESSION ON THE LOKOMAT (A THERAPY DEVICE), HIS PARENTS AND FAMILY CHEER HIM ON THROUGH A LAPTOP SCREEN. WITH EVERY STEP, THE BRAIN INJURY SURVIVOR FROM SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA RECEIVES ENCOURAGEMENT FROM HIS PARENTS AND SISTER AS THERAPISTS HELP WAGNER BUILD STRENGTH IN HIS LOWER BODY.

“Family plays an important role in the rehabilitation process,” Wagner’s mother Melanie Wagner said. “Our family is able to Zoom Mitchell throughout the day. My husband can Zoom many times from the combine while harvesting or just outside when he’s working on the farm.” Staying connected to home also allows Wagner to hear from his three siblings and his girlfriend. Wagner’s older sister is able to take breaks while working from home to jump in on a session, his two younger siblings can participate on days they attend school remotely and his girlfriend Zooms in during her breaks in college classes. Melanie Wagner spends a majority of the weekdays at Madonna and Zooms in from her son’s room.

In normal circumstances, Wagner’s family would be physically by his side in the therapy gym at Madonna’s Lincoln Campus rather than dialed in over Zoom. But with COVID-19, 2020 was anything but normal. With extra precautions to keep patients and their care teams safe, access to the hospital is limited to a patient’s caregivers. The “We all see how much harder Mitchell works when virus forced Madonna to reevaluate how to provide he has a cheering section behind him,” she said. the patient-centered care the hospital system is “The way he looks at the computer screen to see all known for. of us encouraging him is priceless.” That’s when Madonna’s Virtual Services came up with the idea of using technology to keep patients connected to their loved ones, even if they are hundreds of miles away.

It’s through that computer screen that not only is Wagner encouraged by his family, but his family is encouraged by his progress. It’s allowed his caregivers and loved ones to witness the gains he makes as he continues to work hard in his recovery.

“Offering patient-family virtual communication ensures that patients are able to stay in touch with “We truly appreciate all the hard work and their family members during a stressful and dedication of the staff here at the Madonna challenging time,” said Emily Rumery, OTD, OTR/L, Rehabilitation Hospital,” Melanie said. “Mitchell is Virtual Services Leader. so lucky to be here!” For the Wagner family, access to this technology has made a world of difference in being able to support Wagner during his recovery. It’s also kept Wagner connected to his life back home, where he farms with his dad, who has been known to provide crop updates to Wagner and his therapy team during therapy sessions.

“VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION ENSURES THAT PATIENTS ARE ABLE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS DURING A STRESSFUL AND CHALLENGING TIME.” ~ EMILY RUMERY OTD, OTR/L, VIRTUAL SERVICES LEADER, MADONNA REHABILITATION HOSPITALS

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PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE

CHI HEALTH SPECIALISTS GIVE COVID-19 PATIENTS FIGHTING CHANCE WORKING A FULL WEEK OF OVERNIGHTS MANAGING ICU CARE FOR CHI HEALTH PATIENTS IN OMAHA IS A STANDARD SHIFT FOR BRYAN KRAJICEK, MD. The arrival of COVID-19 made that shift anything but standard. “I had a week where I’d never seen more patients and I’d never done as many procedures,” said Krajicek, a pulmonary critical care specialist and eICU medical director. The experience left him weary, but also proud. “The whole CHI Health system is really stepping up and I could feel it that week, the most challenging week of my career,” he said. “Anesthesiologists and ER physicians were leaning in, and I had partners who were staying late to help.” One of those partners is Douglas Moore, MD, a CHI Health pulmonary critical care specialist and ICU medical director. “Hard days or not, I love what I do,” Moore said. “Once you experience something like this, you appreciate how important it is to optimize your resources, and you’re just really thankful for your team.” Team of stellar people

“IT’S VERY REWARDING TO HELP SERIOUSLY ILL PATIENTS AND SEE THEM PULL THROUGH.”

~ DOUGLAS MOORE, MD PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE SPECIALIST AND ICU MEDICAL DIRECTOR, CHI HEALTH

Since March 2020, a tight-knit group of 17 pulmonary critical care specialists have taken up the challenge of caring for COVID-19 patients at hospital ICUs throughout Nebraska and western Iowa. It’s a team years in the making, according to Zachary DePew, MD, Division Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. He credits CHI Health’s clinical and academic partnership with Creighton University for making it possible to grow the department—just in time for a pandemic that would require every expert hand.

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“We’re training stellar people who have ties to the region and want to stay in the region," he said. "As a result, we have a nearly 100 percent retention rate. That’s allowed us to build our ranks and double the size of our department over the last five or six years. That’s helped us weather the storm. I couldn’t be prouder of our team.” The flow of seriously ill patients has continued since the storm began last March. Caring for the sickest has been a nonstop effort for specialists, advanced practice providers, nurses, and respiratory therapists in the frenetic ICU environment. “As a medical student, the first time I walked in I thought, ‘I don’t know if I belong here.’ But I fell in love with this specialty because you practice all facets of medicine at a very intense pace,” said Moore. “It’s very rewarding to help seriously ill patients and see them pull through. We’ve also had people on extreme life support who survived and that’s a good win.” Intensive care at CHI Health is also unique because of its eICU, which is staffed by nurses and advance practice providers who monitor ICU patients 24/7 and help manage aspects of care. “This is one of the really valuable things that our system offers that no other hospital in the metro has,” Krajicek said. “It really helps me to be more efficient at the bedside.” As Creighton University grads, Drs. Moore, DePew and Krajicek “bleed blue” and credit their Jesuit education for helping with the toughest part of the job—when they reach the end of what they can do for patients. “Those are hard conversations. When that happens, you can be there with empathy and comfort for the patient and the family,” said Moore. The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines has the team hopeful the cases will recede and that they, too, will soon get together to socialize like they did before March 2020, before COVID-19. In the meantime, Krajicek said, “I wouldn’t want to go through a pandemic with anyone else.”

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NEBRASKA MEDICINE NURSING STAFF STEPS UP

IT’S BEEN A VERY LONG YEAR FOR FRONT-LINE NURSING STAFF SINCE NEBRASKA CONFIRMED ITS FIRST COVID-19 CASE, NEBRASKA MEDICINE CHIEF NURSING OFFICER SUE NUSS SAID. “The word I’ve used to describe how we are feeling is ‘weary,’” she said. “We’re stretched.” At the same time, Nuss has seen incredible compassion, unwavering advocacy and exceptional support from her staff for their patients and each other. “Our team continues to thrive and support each other despite being weary,” she said. “I’d like to say how proud I am of our team, how proud I am to be a part of this organization and how proud I am of our leaders… None of us have ever had to lead through a pandemic before and I hope we never have to again.”

so each nurse has fewer patients to care for because you have to take into account putting on and taking off the PPE. What that means though, is that in non-COVID units we had to stretch the ratios because there are only so many nurses to go around. We are in a shortage. So the nurses, instead of having four or five patients, might have five or six patients.” Restrictions on visitors meant added work to keep families connected via phone or videoconferencing, but the nursing staff has taken it in stride, Nuss said. “I would say everybody—everybody—is advocating for our patients.” Many have even held the hand of terminally ill patients “to make sure they were not alone when they died.” It's been stressful, Nuss said, but the team has supported one another throughout the crisis.

The early weeks of the pandemic were characterized by “We have a program called PINS: Peers in Need of Support. It's front-line staff who get some extra uncertainty, especially when New York City’s training and they’re available should somebody have healthcare system was overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients while hospitals here were still in wait-and-see something catastrophic happen or if somebody had a bad day and they just need to talk it over with a mode, Nuss said. peer—not talk it over with a counselor or talk it over with a boss—just commiserate or share their concerns “I tried to explain to my chief nursing officer colleagues with a peer,” she said. “The PINS program has been on the East Coast that it was like watching a tsunami,” around for several years now, but we had quite a few she recalled. “Because you watch it and think, ‘When’s people volunteer to be a part of PINS training as the it going to come?’” pandemic started and we realized we were going to need some help for our team.” Stepping up COVID-19 arrived in Omaha at the cusp of spring. Nuss lauded both the nursing personnel who volunteered to care for affected patients and the team members who took on an increased workload caring for patients with other ailments. “Everybody stepped up and said, ‘What do we need to do?’” she said. “Our ratio is lower on the COVID unit,

On December 15, the first vaccine doses arrived, bringing with them a ray of hope that the end of the pandemic is ahead.

“EVERYBODY STEPPED UP AND SAID, ‘WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?’”

“I’m really proud of the entire team, not just nurses, because it really has been a team effort,” Nuss said. “We’ve learned to work together differently and support each other. Our teamwork is ever apparent.” ~ SUE NUSS CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, NEBRASKA MEDICINE 21

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SUE MORRIS 22

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“The word of the year for 2020 is ‘unprecedented,’” sue morris said. she was talking about world events, but the word is also an apt description of her 25-year career with Heritage services, from which she resigned last year.

I HOPE TO MAKE A positive IMPACT FOR OUR community. ~ SUE MORRIS

PICTURED: THE NEW AMBULATORY CARE CENTER AT THE OMAHA VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER

unprecedented PRESENTS

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• SUE MORRIS

ContinUed


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unprecedented As president of HeritAge services, sue Morris wAs involved witH nuMerous cApitAl cAMpAigns over 25 yeArs supporting tHe likes of Joslyn Art MuseuM, tHe durHAM MuseuM, tHe HollAnd perforMing Arts center, do spAce, tHe university of nebrAskA oMAHA’s bAxter ArenA, lAuritzen gArdens, sienA frAncis House And More. Her last project was the Ambulatory care center at the omaha veterans Administration Medical center, which will serve thousands of veterans throughout the state of nebraska and western iowa and is the first public-private partnership with veterans Affairs in the country. “the vA project, while it wasn’t our biggest, is probably the crown jewel of the end of my career at Heritage,” she said. “in the past 25 years we realized over $1 billion in community projects and raised over $750 million in philanthropic funds.” Morris is originally from illinois but came to nebraska in her youth (“so i am from nebraska.”). After graduating from kearney High school, she attended wayne state college as a music major, thinking she might become a teacher.

“Honestly, the best work background to lead a nonprofit is to have experience working for a for-profit. i had two amazing bosses at the newspaper: bill donaldson and John gottschalk,” she said. “they challenged the best in me.”

Innate fund-raiser

Morris was especially adept at a sort of matchmaking. “i spent a lot of time listening to donors, asking what their personal interests are. Many times i wouldn’t ask them for a gift for years, until the right project came along that matched up to them,” she said.

Morris then “fell into” a development job with college of saint Mary. Her roots as the “but i did not do this alone,” she emphasized. “i daughter of a minister helped make her a had an amazing leader, walter scott (Jr.), who natural. led Heritage services for 30 years, and a “i didn’t plan to enter the development field, committed and talented board that knew but being a preacher’s kid, i think i was born when to take risks. over the years they had such an important impact in the community.” to be a fund-raiser…i saw my dad raise money every week,” she said. “i was at Lasting impact college of saint Mary for five years. Higher As a big-picture thinker, Morris also praised a education is a really good place to start in development. there are a lot of resources and staff that skillfully executed details and “every layers, and i learned a lot while i was there.” day worked with excellence.” in 1995, she joined Heritage services, a relatively new organization at the time. imagining and envisioning projects that serve the community was hard but rewarding work, Morris said. overseeing the development of projects usually included architectural and design oversight along with administration and financing…and many long hours.

“we had a real commitment to be good stewards of other people’s money,” she added. “ethics is important.”

she’s proud of the projects she was associated with through Heritage services, Morris said, and some had special meaning like leading the “My mother was a teacher, my brother was a Holland performing Arts center, which principal, my sister was in education,” she said. appealed to her interest in music. the omaha “education was very important in my family.” “it’s what’s required as an executive. it’s not a south High school soccer and football field 40-hour workweek, it’s a 60-hour workweek, was also particularly touching. and you’re committing to a lot of personal However, Morris realized in college that her time with evening functions and late heart wasn’t in education. she earned her meetings,” she said. “i’m humbled that people “changing the landscape of that school and degree and started working for the Omaha nurturing athletes and parents from other give their money away, and i chose to give World-Herald in 1979. it was a good schools play on the field or watch their children that power and recognition to the right experience, she said, but after starting a family, breaking down preconceived barriers is a her career became more exacting. she left the people, because that’s who deserves it: the lasting impact,” she said. donors. i’m a facilitator.” newspaper in 1988.

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This special feature is sponsored by planitinc.

SUE MORRIS

I’M humbled THAT PEOPLE GIVE THEIR MONEY AWAY, AND I chose TO GIVE THAT power AND RECOGNITION TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHO deserves IT: THE donors. ~ SUE MORRIS

Stepping down, moving forward

Morris, who was inducted into Aksarben court “i see myself considering the impact of covid of Honor in 2015, has always been active in and how it has impacted communities, i.e., the the community. decline in church attendance and if attendance will return back to pre-covid numbers,” she “i used to tell people i had the best job in the “when possible, i have tried to stay connected with organizations or projects Heritage services said. “the role of the church is important in city of omaha with Heritage. when walter how it responds through community outreach.” led or (in which) i personally have been scott made the decision to step down, i had worked for him for 25 years,” she said. “it involved. i am very supportive of uno and the seemed like the right time to leave, but it’s impact athletics has had on transforming that regarding the more distant future, Morris said, always hard to leave. it was kind of who i was campus. the baxter Arena and the new “when i really do retire, i’ll always be a for so long, and i loved it.” baseball/softball fields play an important role in recruiting all students, not just athletes,” she said. development resource for nonprofit leaders and fund-raisers and development officers.” she Her successor, rachel Jacobson, “is doing a great job,” Morris said. “the transition has gone Morris also enjoys mentoring professional may also become more involved in the political well.” women just starting out. process. “i don’t have aspirations to serve in a political role, but i see myself identifying Morris now serves as president of omaha “i didn’t know i was a role model, but after i emerging leaders and encouraging them to philanthropic trust, a new nonprofit supporting announced that i was stepping down as emerging philanthropic initiatives. “i’m not president of Heritage services, i was moved by serve in office.” retired!” she said with a laugh. “i hope to make the number of women of all ages who reached a positive impact for our community.” the new year is promising, Morris said. it’s out and said they admired what i had accomplished,” she said. “i’m most effective exciting to be in on the ground floor with a Morris’s husband david, however, did retire in with young women who are graduating budding organization, and she’s looking 2020. the couple also celebrated 40 years college and entering the workforce… i think forward to getting back to traveling and together last summer. women need buddies, particularly early in their hosting dinners and cocktail parties. careers. i look forward to identifying ways to “we are blessed that our two children are stay connected with that age of women.” thriving personally and professionally. My “i love to entertain, and i have a ‘dish room’ full daughter sarah is a technology attorney and of sets of china and fun serving pieces and she and her husband brent live in d.c. our son Other ways to serve Morris still makes room in her life for her church linens. My mother (bernice Hogan) was an is involved in corporate real estate and serves and faith, too, and even served as the national amazing entertainer and she also wrote on the omaha planning board,” she said. “patrick and his wife Monica planned a June 27 moderator in 2019 for her church denomination books. one book she wrote and dedicated to wedding at the Holland center. due to covid, the christian church (disciples of christ). she me is called The Party Planner (1967),” she said. attends first christian church here in omaha. they were married on March 23 in front of she said she’s mulling over how she can serve “to invite persons to my home and make them eight people. they made the right decision, her faith community in new ways. and they did it gracefully.” feel welcome in a special way brings me joy.” leaving Heritage services in 2020 after a quarter-century wasn’t easy, Morris said.

PRESENTS

game changers

• SUE MORRIS


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Marjorie M. Maas, SHARE Omaha executive director

lifting up do-gooders

• SHARE OMAHA

giving tuesday The people of the Omaha metro area showed up in a big way on December 1 for Giving Tuesday, powered by SHARE Omaha, almost doubling giving from the 2019 event. Locally, 2020 marked the second year of SHARE Omaha organizing this community engagement campaign specifically for hundreds of local nonprofit organizations as a part of the global Giving Tuesday movement. Over $3.15 million was given to nonprofits by generous everyday philanthropists. Thirty-two percent of these donors gave to an organization for the first time and the average donation for the day was $114. In addition, 28,692 items valued at an additional $32,784 were lovingly collected including diapers, hygiene products, winter gear, canned goods and supplies. Throughout the day, Giving Tuesday participants also shared immeasurable acts of kindness. The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation increased the impact of the day by contributing a 20 percent match to gifts to southwest Iowa nonprofit endowment funds. This match of 64 donations totaling $369,040 equated an additional $72,153 in support for nonprofit programs. Individuals, businesses and groups stepped up to provide much-needed financial assistance for our local nonprofits, fulfilled the wish lists of organizations and found new, distanced volunteer opportunities. It was invigorating to see community members like Bridgette Watson of Council Bluffs take initiative and recruit friends to participate. Watson created a fun “pass-along” sign game, complete with a holiday poem, to encourage her network to donate and spread cheer for Giving Tuesday. Businesses and community pillars like WoodmenLife, Physicians Mutual, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, BLUEBARN Theatre, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium Desert Dome, The Rose Theater, PayPal, Emspace + Lovgren, Do Space and the Iowa West Foundation towers in Council Bluffs were lit in purple to celebrate an impactful Giving Tuesday in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area. Local nonprofits were bolstered to receive much-needed support, often from unexpected sources. City Spouts shared, “One donor, who was an active recipient of produce from our free farm stand over the summer, was able to donate $5 just to say ‘thanks.’ I personally felt a lot of gratitude for this gesture because someone that received food from our program is trying to contribute what they can.” A key ingredient of the success of the day was the overwhelming support of local media, including metroMAGAZINE. By joining together to reach the whole community—including messages in Spanish—television, print and radio outlets broadcast the local Giving Tuesday message and call to action to be heard by metro area residents more than 19.2 million times. SHARE Omaha thanks the whole community for participating in this powerful day! #GivingTuesday402 in the metro was presented by Core Bank and #GivingTuesday712 in southwest Iowa was presented by TS Bank. Alhough Giving Tuesday happens just once a year, SHARE Omaha encourages the metro to give every Tuesday and continuously throughout the year. SHARE Omaha provides easy ways to do good 365 days a year and support 500-plus local causes. All gifts, acts of service, and generosity usher in a brighter future for our community. 26

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spotlight on

• ALS

als in the heartland Imagine your life changing in an instant. One morning you wake up with fatigue so heavy and deep that simple, routine tasks like brushing your hair seem insurmountable. Visiting doctor after doctor, you seek answers and search for help. Nothing can prepare you for these words: “I am so sorry, you have ALS.” Monday April 2, 2018, is forever etched in my mind. Sitting and helplessly watching my mom’s foot, the first of her limbs to fail, dangling alongside the exam table. Her fate summed up by three letters: ALS. A non-curable degenerative neuromuscular disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is the cruel realization that, muscle by muscle, function will diminish until death. Like watching the aftermath of an earthquake, the moment was surreal. I, my mom, and my dad looked blankly at each other: What do we do now? Nine months prior to this earth-shattering day, my oldest child, Harry, turned 12. A typical rowdy pre-teen, he was having a swimming party to celebrate with six boys, pizza, water guns and—as it turns out—a thunderstorm. With quick thinking and limited resources, the boys filled a nearby bucket with icy water and took turns dumping it over one another’s heads, laughing and boisterous as if this had been the plan all along. The idea, nothing more than simple fun, was borne from the nationwide viral event known as the Ice Bucket Challenge. Created in May 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge was the brainchild of two brave men, Pete Frates and Pat Quinn. Both diagnosed with ALS in their early 30s, these two advocates started a social media campaign posting videos of buckets of icy water being dumped on their heads. Each then challenged another and then another to do the same post and video and submit a donation to the ALS foundation. Seventeen million people participated in this challenge including celebrities like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith, and the results were outstanding! The Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $115 million dollars and is assumed to be the most successful fundraiser outside of disaster relief in U.S. history. I am forever grateful for this phenomenon because the funds generated in the Ice Bucket Challenge likely extended my mom’s life an additional six to nine months. How? Research and expedited drug approval for Radicava (edaravone). Radicava is a “superantioxidant” infusion given to ALS patients 20 days per month and believed to slow disease progression by as much as 40 percent in some cases. This infusion gives individuals without any previous hope and desperate to fight this horrible disease at least one weapon and one chance to do so. By sharing my mother Jacque’s journey, my hope is to inspire others and myself to do more. Think about it: icy water with funny videos equals $115 million— Amazing! Even smaller-scale, heartfelt efforts like bake sales and walk-a-thons don’t feel so small when you are the recipient who desperately needs them. Just think what each of us could do. What idea or action could be the next catalyst in this challenging fight? A cure, maybe? So, on behalf of my family, we extend our gratitude and thanks to all who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and especially those who donated to the ALS foundation in memory of my mom. Jacque’s memorial alone generated more than $3,200 in funds that will stay right here in the Heartland to help others fighting the ALS fight. Thank you! We are forever grateful. 28

mmagazine • THe HeaLTHCaRe iSSUe 2021


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by STEPHANIE VONDRAK, D.D.S.

• mmagazine

jacque’s journey

If you wish to learn more about Radicava or to donate to the ALS foundation in honor of Jacque, please contact the ALS foundation of the Heartland, alsintheheartland.org or (402) 592-2374.


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spotlight on

• AKSARBEN BALL

mmagazine

2021 AKSARBEN WOMEN’S BALL COMMITTEE

kicks off

Since 1912, the Aksarben Women’s Ball Committee (WBC) has been behind every detail of the Aksarben Foundation production. It’s no easy task; the women invited to sit on the committee are asked to make a three-year commitment of year-round planning and research.

Honoring a longstanding tradition, Jeffrey Taxman, Prime Minister of Aksarben’s mythical Kingdom of Quivira, introduced the new members of the WBC for 2021: • Kathryn Anderson, community volunteer • Sally English, Oncology Account Manager at TAIHO Oncology, Inc.

Planning for this year’s Aksarben Ball began with the annual WBC Kick-Off Luncheon at Happy Hollow Club on January 7. The 2021 Aksarben Ball, scheduled for October 23 at the CHI Health Center, will raise funds to support Aksarben’s mission of advancing education, workplace development, and civic projects in Nebraska through effective private, public and philanthropic partnerships. Each year, six new faces are added to the group. This transition brings in new ideas but also means saying goodbye to women who have served for the past three or four years. Retiring WBC members include Dr. Beth Wilson, who joined the committee in 2017 and served as the 2019 WBC Chair; as well as Ellie Grace, Emily Jung, Lisa Krumwiede and Libby Stiles. Each departing committee member was honored at the kick-off luncheon for her years of dedication to and hard work for WBC. The 2021 WBC is led by Chairman Laura Enenbach and Advisor Sam Hohman. Aksarben Ball Committee leaders are Chairman Tyler Owen, Co-Vice Chairpersons Jamie Gutierrez and Tim Kerrigan; and the Aksarben Foundation Board of Governors Chairman Dana Bradford. “While it was unfortunate the 2020 Ball was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking forward to the 2021 Ball, which will likely include the largest number of families ever recognized by Aksarben for their community volunteerism in the Heartland,” Enenbach said.

• Casey Fehringer, Community Volunteer • Lori Kleinschmit, Vice President Shared Services at Fiserv • Makayla McMorris, Executive Director of University Communication at University of Nebraska Omaha • Carol Wang, Executive Director of Metro Omaha Medical Society These women join these accomplished committee members: • Dr. Laura Enenbach, Associate Professor, Clarkson College • Sam Hohman, J.D., MBC, CEO Credit Advisors Foundation • Shelly Grote, Senior Account Manager, Catholic Mutual Group • Dr. Shannon Hoy, CRNA, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center • Anne Medlock, Development Specialist, Notre Dame Sisters • Christine Schulte, community volunteer • Dana Zeiss, APRN, FNP, Nurse Practitioner, CHI Health • Chloe Firestone, community volunteer • Jill Goldstein, J.D., Partner, Kutak Rock LLP • Dawn Gonzales, Vice President Community Involvement, Centris Federal Credit Union • Wendy Moore, Owner, Elevate and Create Retreats • Sharlon Rodgers, community volunteer • Susie Shoemaker, Project Manager, American Express

ANNOUNCED AS NEW MEMBERS OF THE AKSARBEN WOMEN’S BALL COMMITTEE ARE FROM LEFT: CAROL WANG, KATHRYN ANDERSON, MAKAYLA MCMORRIS, LAURA ENENBACH, CHAIRMAN, CASEY FEHRINGER, SALLY ENGLISH AND LORI KLEINSCHMIT. THE WOMEN WILL SERVE A THREE YEAR TERM ON THE COMMITTEE. 30

mmagazine • THe HeaLTHCaRe iSSUe 2021


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36-47-part4-CV19-221.qxp_PART 4 2/9/21 6:10 PM Page 32

covid-19 AWARE

carrying on

•••••••••••••••••

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• EMPLOYING EVERY AVAILABLE RESOURCE

local nonprofits on the front lines

attempt the impossible 32

mmagazine • the heaLthcare issue 2021

•••


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story by KARA SCHWEISS • photos provided courtesy of FEATURED NONPROFITS

• mmagazine

in our crisis

PART FOUR OF FOUR

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

THE covid-19 PANDEMIC finally, painfully enters 2021 with fresh hope as a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes more widely available, but the effects of the pandemic on area nonprofits still linger as they close in on a full year of serving the community in challenging circumstances including a growth in community needs, superhuman demands on staff, and a reduction in support.

•••••••••••

METHODIST HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

The final segment of this four-part series features nonprofits that foster health and wellness for special communities or the general population. Universally, volunteer activity was curtailed for an extended period and 2020 fundraising events and drives were limited due to the pandemic. Every organization profiled has expressed the urgent need for direct financial support, but community members can help in many ways; organizations’ websites provide information on how to contribute: monetary donations, material donations, onsite or from-home volunteering, virtual or in-person fundraising events, community advocacy and more.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Visit SpiritofOmaha.com for the most up-to-date information on nonprofit fundraising events and community activities. nonprofits:

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS

continued


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covid-19 AWARE

NONPROFITS: carrying on IN OUR CRISIS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Angels Among Us myangelsamongus.org There are angels among us. Be one. Angels Among Us provides financial and emotional support to families whose children are battling pediatric cancer. Eligible families include any one living in or being treated in the state of Nebraska who has a child with cancer.

OUR MISSION IS AS important AS EVER AND WE continue TO NEED supporters BY OUR SIDE.

~ JENNIFER REDMOND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION - NEBRASKA

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• American Heart Association - Nebraska heart.org/omaha A relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives

For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke and helping families and communities thrive. Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, remain the number-one killer in the U.S.

“Despite a global pandemic we are currently supporting a record number of pediatric cancer families, so we must move forward,” Director of Community Relations/Development Aly Theilen said. “As another result of COVID-19, our cancer families are experiencing additional stress financially due to potential additional loss in income, et cetera, as well as more emotional stress than ever due to extreme isolation because they have a child who is immune compromised.” Angels Among Us provides assistance to families for up to 36 months so they can pay critical bills during a child’s treatment such as mortgage or rent and utility bills. This keeps the family focused “on what truly matters: their sick child,”Theilen said. Thus, the organization has made filling the funding gaps perpetuated by the events of 2020 a priority.

“Every dollar matters more than ever…Angels Among Us has been able to provide some emergency funding to the pediatric cancer families that “As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult time for our have needed it during this time,” Theilen said. “In addition, staff has organization. But we are committed to continuing our lifesaving regularly been checking in with our families since March 2020 to be work...This includes meeting the emerging and urgent needs right here sure they are all doing okay and if there is any way we can connect in Nebraska,” Executive Director Jennifer Redmond said. “The global them to other resources, connect them with other families to feel a pandemic has impacted businesses and nonprofits worldwide and the sense of community, and to let them know they are not alone and we’ll AHA is not immune to that. Our mission is as important as ever and we all get through this together.” continue to need supporters by our side.” The organization provides trusted, science-based tools and resources to empower people to take charge of their health and well-being, Redmond said. “We are still learning more and more about COVID-19 each day and its effects on patients, especially patients who are impacted by heart disease and stroke. Much of our attention will be focusing on the health impact on COVID-19 patients long after their diagnosis,” she said. COVID-19 has also shined a spotlight on the significant barriers to health that exist for people of color, Redmond added. “The AHA has championed health equity for all people for nearly a century, and we are more determined than ever to eliminate racial and class disparities by redoubling our commitment to overcoming barriers to health, and to addressing social inequities,” she said. 34

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DESPITE A global PANDEMIC WE ARE CURRENTLY SUPPORTING A record NUMBER OF PEDIATRIC CANCER FAMILIES, SO WE must MOVE FORWARD.

~ ALY THEILEN DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS/DEVELOPMENT, ANGELS AMONG US

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• mmagazine • the heaLthcare issue 2021


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continued

• mmagazine

covid-19 aware ••••••••••••••••••••••••• Serving Our Health Organizations Autism Action Partnership autismaction.org Education, advocacy and support for persons on the autism spectrum and their families “In addition to providing high-quality direct services, Autism Action Partnership (AAP) also serves communities across Nebraska by supporting employers in their efforts to identify and retain employees with the unique talents that individuals with autism often possess,” Autism Action Partnership Executive Director Justin Dougherty said. “AAP is dedicated to creating a more inclusive, sensory-friendly community for those affected by autism by focusing on three areas: education, workforce development, and enrichment and inclusion.” Social events stopped during the pandemic and other activities moved to a virtual format in 2020; the programming changes and reduced fundraising resulted in a reduction in staff and a pause in planned initiatives. Nevertheless, the organization found ways to serve its clientele, Dougherty said.

ANGELS AMONG US

AUTISM ACTION PARTNERSHIP

“Our workforce program, PACE (Partnership for Autism Career Employment) saw an increase in demand. Nearly 65 percent of employed participants experienced employment change (such as) layoff, furlough, hour reduction. Many of these impacted employees contacted PACE for guidance. The PACE team answered these calls by offering over 70 virtual trainings, as well as one-on-one support. We are pleased to report that by September, 34 of 36 employed participants had successfully returned to work.” AAP’s pandemic support program included a pandemic response fund providing needs-based financial assistance, navigation services to individuals and families experiencing hardships, an online resource guide to community services, and activity kits for families to use at home with their children with autism. These kits were created with input from experts on autism and distributed to 90 percent of Nebraska counties and six counties in western Iowa.

•••••

AAP IS dedicated TO CREATING A MORE inclusive, SENSORY-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY FOR THOSE affected BY AUTISM.

AUTISM ACTION PARTNERSHIP

•••••

~ JUSTIN DOUGHERTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUTISM ACTION PARTNERSHIP

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

nonprofits:

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS

continued


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covid-19 special AWARE EDITION

NONPROFITS: carrying on IN OUR CRISIS •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• CHI Health Foundation chihealth.com Supporting and strengthening health care in our community CHI Health is a division of CommonSpirit Health, the largest faith-based nonprofit healthcare system in the country. “Our organization’s vision is a healthier future for all, inspired by faith, driven by innovation and powered by our humanity,” CHI Health Division Vice President of Philanthropy Kathy Bertolini said. “The CHI Health Foundation strengthens health care in our community and the region by facilitating supportive relationships with individuals, corporations and foundations interested in advancing the CHI Health mission of healing the body, mind and spirit of every person.” The organization has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since before the first known case was even diagnosed in Nebraska, Bertolini said.

WISH KID CAMILO

“Our leaders, healthcare providers, staff—everyone in our organization, no matter what their role—came together to plan for and respond to tremendous healthcare needs in our communities as a result of the pandemic,” she said. Teams worked with state and local governmental entities to address capacity, testing capability, safety measures and protocols, delivery of care and more, Bertolini said. “The delivery of health care has been impacted and will never be the same. This presents both a great challenge and a great opportunity for our organization to deliver value-based health care,” she said. “This pandemic has served to highlight some of the health inequities among vulnerable populations. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on providing high quality, affordable health care to all populations within normal and unforeseeable circumstances such as a pandemic.”

MID-AMERICA COUNCIL, BSA

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

THE delivery OF HEALTH CARE HAS BEEN impacted AND WILL never BE THE SAME. THIS PRESENTS BOTH A GREAT challenge AND A GREAT opportunity FOR OUR ORGANIZATION TO DELIVER value-based HEALTH CARE.

~ KATHY BERTOLINI DIVISION VICE PRESIDENT OF PHILANTHROPY, CHI HEALTH FOUNDATION

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continued

• mmagazine

covid-19 aware •••••••••••••••••••••••••Serving Our Health Organizations Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation childrensomaha.org Improving the life of every child “As the region’s pediatric health care leader, our team is dedicated to providing exceptional clinical care, advocacy, research and education,” Executive Director & Chief Development Officer Beth Greiner said. “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.” The dedication of healthcare workers, who are navigating entirely new conditions and unprecedented challenges “while continuing to serve children and families with unwavering strength, dedication and dignity” has been inspirational, Greiner said. “COVID-19 has not impacted our strong commitment to fulfilling Children’s mission to improve the life of every child. However, it has created enormous financial challenges in our ability to fund important mission-critical services. Yet, we remain everfaithful to our founding principal that no child be turned away for an inability to pay.”

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Implementing measures to keep patients, families and staff safe are just one of the ways Children’s has responded to the pandemic. “We are educating community partners and collaborating with schools, providing tracking tools to help prevent the spread of illness. We are growing our behavioral health offerings as we see the need escalating rapidly. We are a trusted resource for our community, offering a COVID19 Help Line, a COVID-19 Symptom Checker online assessment tool as well as helpful videos, podcasts, articles and more on our website ,” Greiner said. “Founded in the midst of the polio epidemic, Children’s has been steadfast in meeting the needs of the children and families in our region and beyond since 1948.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

COVID-19 HAS not IMPACTED OUR STRONG commitment TO FULFILLING CHILDREN’S MISSION TO improve THE LIFE OF every CHILD.

~ BETH GREINER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER FOUNDATION

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• nonprofits:

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS

continued


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covid-19 AWARE

NONPROFITS:

WE SERVE ON THE front lines CARING FOR THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN WHICH cannot BE DONE remotely WITH foster CHILDREN, CHILDREN IN residential CARE, IN A special EDUCATION CLASSROOM, OR IN A daycare SETTING.

~ DEBBIE ORDUNA PRESIDENT & CEO, CHILDREN’S SQUARE U.S.A.

Children’s Square U.S.A. childrenssquare.org Caring for children and families in need “Every day, over 1,000 children, youth, and families in Iowa and Nebraska are served as Children’s Square U.S.A. works to help recognize and treat the physical, emotional and psychological needs of each child—birth to 23 years—we serve,” Children’s Square U.S.A. President & CEO Debbie Orduna said. “Our programs include counseling, emergency services for children, early childhood care, foster care, residential treatment, and special education for children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders.” During the pandemic, the organization kept programs open and accessible to those in need, Orduna said. “We serve on the front lines caring for the well-being of children which cannot be done remotely with foster children, children in residential care, in a special education classroom, or in a daycare setting,” she said. “Working parents still needed childcare and we kept ours open and welcomed first responder families. This school year instruction has been in person all days knowing children with special education needs do better with stability. Transitioning mental health services to telehealth was necessary to maintain continuity for families. We provided families with PPE gear to ensure they continued to work toward self-sufficiency. Children aging out of the foster care system experienced new stressors with employment and housing and we helped them navigate those challenges.” The organization expect lingering effects of the pandemic, Orduna said. ““We have seen an increase in family stress and mental health needs as a result. We anticipate children and families will need greater access to services to be well and thrive.” 38

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CHILD SAVING INSTITUTE

continued

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carrying on IN OUR CRISIS covid-19 aware Serving Our Health Organizations ••••••••••••••••••••••

JDRF, Nebraska-Iowa Chapter jdrf.org Leading the fight against T1D (type 1 diabetes) “We primarily fund research through event-driven fundraising. This year, amid great mission progress came a global pandemic, which disrupted our event-based fundraising model and forced us to reimagine many of our annual fundraisers to keep our community safe,” Nebraska-Iowa Chapter Executive Director Laci Naber said. “During this time, it became clear that to continue funding critical, life-changing research, we would have to make some significant changes to our organization. JDRF is now fast-tracking new strategies to drive mission momentum in the current challenging fundraising environment.”

COVID-19 can pose a serious risk for people living with T1D, she added, making JDRF’s work even more important. “The CDC and WHO have listed diabetes as a significant risk factor for COVID-19 complications,” Naber explained. “Additionally, our T1D community needs our support to ensure they have the latest information regarding insulin and diabetes supply access, including potential supply-chain issues.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

WE HAVE MADE A promise TO THE T1D COMMUNITY TO ease THE BURDEN OF T1D UNTIL IT NO longer EXISTS, AND WE still INTEND TO keep THAT PROMISE.

To protect promising, life-changing research, JDRF cut staff nationwide and is expected to be a “leaner” organization moving forward, with area chapters merging to support larger geographic areas. “We have made a promise to the T1D community to ease the burden of T1D until it no longer exists, and we still intend to keep that promise; however, we cannot do it alone,” Naber said. “In the current economic environment, we need the help of community partners in order to ensure that life-saving research can continue (and) to continue to provide outreach and support for our T1D families.” nonprofits:

~ LACI NABER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEBRASKA-IOWA CHAPTER, JDRF

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS

continued


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covid-19 special AWARE EDITION

NONPROFITS: carrying on IN OUR CRISIS •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Methodist Hospital Foundation methodisthospitalfoundation.org Supporting excellence in health care and healthcare education Methodist Hospital Foundation, established in 1977, is the primary fundraising arm for Methodist Health System. “We serve the entire community. Our goal is to help Methodist improve the health of our communities by the way we care, educate and innovate,” President & CEO Tracy Madden-McMahon said. The foundation raises, protects and distributes funds that improve health care for the community, Madden-McMahon said. During the pandemic, activities focused on addressing immediate needs.

WISH KID CAMILO

“We created a crisis response fund to help fight the impact of COVID-19. We are assisting front-line caregivers, patients and students who are impacted by the pandemic. Early on we experienced an 800 percent increase in requests for financial assistance,” she explained. “At this moment we are working on efforts to show appreciation to our frontline caregivers. We are grateful for their hard work and commitment during this stressful time. Once a week we are making deliveries of selfcare items, snacks and gift cards. They need us now more than ever. We have donors in our community who want to help and are eager to show their appreciation, too.” The foundation is also looking at the long-term, Madden-McMahon said. “For example, there is a huge shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants. We are raising money to give full-ride scholarships to people who want to become a CNA,” she said. “This will not only help Methodist, but the entire community.”

MID-AMERICA COUNCIL, BSA

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

OUR goal IS TO HELP METHODIST improve THE HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITIES BY THE WAY WE CARE, EDUCATE AND innovate. ~ TRACY MADDEN-MCMAHON PRESIDENT & CEO, METHODIST HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 40

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continued

• mmagazine

covid-19 aware •••••••••••••••••••••••••Serving Our Health Organizations Jennie Edmundson Hospital Foundation jehfoundation.org Supporting healthcare needs in the community “The Jennie Edmundson Foundation has been dedicated to helping Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital fulfill its mission to ‘build a bridge between the community and the hospital to enhance the resources that support Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in meeting the healthcare needs of our community,’”Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Tara Slevin said. “We serve employees and patients who are in need of assistance including (but not limited to) those who are uninsured and underinsured in addition to leading capital campaigns to support new equipment and various programs.” Staff members have had to work longer shifts and care for more patients as the pandemic raged on, Slevin said, and the foundation has developed support systems for staff including financial assistance as well as respite spaces and even meals for staff who need a quick break. “We want to make sure our Jennie family is supported and healthy so that they can best support our patients.” The work goes on. “We are doing everything we can to adapt to the needs of the public. Medical staff have been cross-training to help in various areas of the hospitals. We have also hired screeners to take temperatures and greet patients when they enter the hospital and direct them where they need to go. We have also developed hotlines for patients to call with questions,” Slevin said. “As we look to the future we have begun to engage our donors on how best to support COVID patients who will experience long-term health concerns such as heart and lung conditions.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

WE ARE DOING everything WE CAN TO adapt TO THE needs OF THE PUBLIC.

~ TARA SLEVIN VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF PHILANTHROPY OFFICER JENNIE EDMUNDSON HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• nonprofits:

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS

continued


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covid-19 AWARE

NONPROFITS: carrying on IN OUR CRISIS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

OUR WORK absolutely IMPACTS PUBLIC health AND THE WELLBEING OF THE whole COMMUNITY.

~ ANDREA SKOLKIN CEO, ONEWORLD COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• OneWorld Community Health Centers OneWorldOmaha.org Providing culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved At 13 clinical locations, OneWorld Community Health Centers provides comprehensive primary health care, dental care, mental health/substance abuse services, affordable medications and supportive services for the community. OneWorld began offering COVID-19 testing early on in addition to its standard array of services. “In a word, it’s intense,” CEO Andrea Skolkin said. “Especially for those who are working face-to-face with patients who are testing for COVID-19, but also for all our staff. The months of a down economy are taking a real toll on our patients…Patient stories weigh heavy on our staff and we remain cognizant of their stress and work to provide outlets and breaks.” The organization’s campus and clinics changed “quickly and dramatically” to continue offering community healthcare in the safe, welcoming environment on which clients depend. Some of the team’s innovations have included the speedy implementation of telehealth services; discovery of new sources for personal protective equipment (PPE); COVID-19 testing follow-up; and opening a walk-up pharmacy and delivering medicine to high-risk and elderly patients. The staff even delivered food, clothing and essential supplies to families in need and hosted drive-up food pantries. “Unfortunately, what we all thought was a sprint is a marathon. Pandemics are not normal. And all our new procedures, protocols and extra efforts will remain in place for some time,” Skolkin said. “This pandemic has challenged all of us in so many ways, but our work absolutely impacts public health and the well-being of the whole community.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 42

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• mmagazine

covid-19 aware ••••••••••••••••••••••••• Serving Our Health Organizations QLI qliomaha.com Delivering life-changing rehabilitation and care QLI helps survivors of devastating brain and spinal cord injuries get back to life, providing industry-leading physical, cognitive, and psychological rehabilitation. QLI also supports clients’ families through a spectrum of services includes on-campus housing, counseling and education, and transition planning to foster both a successful return home and positive long-term outcomes. “As an organization serving a population of medically vulnerable individuals, QLI had to take the unfortunate step of limiting nonessential visitors to campus, including the friends, family and volunteers our residents relied on,” Director of Development and Public Relations Mike Joyce said. “This has resulted in a doubling-down of on-campus efforts to provide meaningful programming to our clients. As such, QLI has experienced significant increases in staffing, programming, and communication device expenses. Additional operational costs include PPE (personal protective equipment), employee screening and testing, overtime and added FTEs (full-time employees), and providing services free of charge for those clients whose insurance benefits have run out, but for whom traveling home is too large a risk…The health and safety of our clients remain our priority.” Costs associated with increased staffing and PPE equipment will continue to be burdensome in the coming weeks and months, Kearns added. “We also anticipate a continued increase in providing free services to clients whose insurance benefits can no longer pay for services, but traveling home is too great a risk,” she said. “For team members whose family has been financially impacted by the pandemic, QLI will continue to provide support as necessary to ensure they make it through without undue hardships.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••

THE HEALTH AND safety OF OUR CLIENTS remain OUR priority.

~ MIKE JOYCE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS QLI

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• nonprofits:

CARRYING ON IN OUR CRISIS


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Marjorie M. Maas, SHARE Omaha executive director

lifting up do-gooders

• share omaha

community impact: THEY’RE banking ON IT

Who is a do-gooder? Either you are one, or you know a few. SHARE Omaha defines do-gooders as those who see a need and do good for others or the community; those who raise their hands to help when a crisis or challenge arises around them; and those who regularly prioritize this good work, even in the light of personal sacrifice. SHARE Omaha tells stories of volunteers, donors and general do-gooders regularly on our blog at SHAREomaha.org, and with this column we seek to act as a megaphone for those making our community and metro area better. These do-gooders could be individuals, businesses, families or nonprofit organizations. Giving back comes first “It’s been our desire to be a bank that leads—from the beginning that has been our goal, to be the center of our communities—to lead in positive ways, to give back to the community and teach others to give back to the community,” said Judy Guttau, Board Secretary, TS Banking Group (Treynor State Bank). When Judy, Mick and Josh Guttau sat down for lunch in 2007 to discuss how much the company should reinvest into its communities, they did a blind test, writing down a percentage on a napkin. When they flipped them over, each one had the same amount: 10 percent. That became the bank’s commitment: 10 percent of pre-tax income annually would be given back to the community, and those dollars are reinvested locally. The bank also offers 50 hours of volunteer time to each of its employees each year. As a result of this financial and time investment, since 2007, TS Bank has reinvested over $4 million dollars into the southwest Iowa communities they serve, and their employees are very active in board service and volunteering. As the presenting sponsor two years running of #GivingTuesday712, SHARE Omaha has been able to see this commitment firsthand. It was TS Bank’s goal to engage even more employees and business clients this year. Companywide, they had locations and departments “adopting” local nonprofits; the five adopted nonprofits in Council Bluffs included Children’s Square, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, MICAH House, MOSAIC and New Visions Homeless Services. The TS Bank Atlantic location adopted the Ann Wickman Childcare Center. The TS Bank Corning location is adopting Fostering Hope of Southwest Iowa. Impact included cash donations and supply drives yielding home goods, items and toys for children of all ages, foodstuffs and hygiene materials: 3,977-plus items donated. Community is at their core In reference to their stewardship of our community and #GivingTuesday402 presenting sponsorship, Core Bank President and CEO John Sorrell said, “When it comes to overcoming the challenges of 2020, Core Bank is striving to be so much more than a bank. We are creating a better future for our families and small businesses. Core Bank is all in—with our dollars and with our service— for the good of the Omaha metro.” Core Bank provides each employee a stipend called Core Cares Dollars to use for charitable giving throughout the year. The employee is able to choose how and where these funds are used to support those in need; 100 percent of Core Bank employees participated in this giving-back effort in 2020. 44

This commitment also plays out in yearly traditions for the Core Bank employees, culminating in winter fun. The bank has a giving initiative, Christmas Families, in which they adopt families and share holiday gifts. For the past 22 years, Christmas Families has provided gifts for over 100 families and nearly 120 elderly individuals.

marjorie m. maas

Each year, bank internal leaders work with several local schools and their counselors to obtain wish lists for families and with the Eastern Nebraska Office of Aging to obtain wish lists for elderly individuals in need. These wish lists are then turned over to employees for them to “work their magic,” explained Core Bank campaign organizer and VP of Human Resources Lindsey Wedel. “Without knowing much about these families and individuals, our employees choose items from these wish lists to purchase. The care and thought that our employees put into the items they purchase is just remarkable! They shop for these gifts as if they were purchasing an item for a close family member. ‘Is the coat warm? Is it good quality and will it last several winters? Is it this little girl’s favorite color?’ It’s truly heartwarming.” A second winter example of this community investment is the passionate employee participation with Special Olympics Nebraska’s Polar Plunge. Core Bank has been plunging every year since 2010. Starting with seven or eight team members back then, it has grown to an enterprise-wide commitment raising nearly $100,000 for the cause and its athletes. In February 2020, the bank had 52 plungers and raised over $18,000, which was the most of any team in the Polar Plunge event last year. Chili cook-offs, jeans days and pick-the-plunger contests all raise additional funds yearly. Special Olympics Nebraska helps spur the excitement by hosting lunch-and-learn events for the bank, and the bank has been paired with an athlete and their parent in recent years, which has only increased the employee engagement. “It’s for a great cause, and we have fun,” said bank organizer and Executive Vice President Mike Rasmussen. “It’s tough to beat something that is good for a Special Olympics and fun to do. Couple the fun with the experiences we’ve had with lunch-and-learns, and it’s easy to see why people take part.” Who are your do-gooders? We bet you can think of leaders, either public businesses or neighbors, who have made a commitment to our community and acted on it. Tell us! Shoot an email to info@SHAREomaha.org or find us on social media. SHARE Omaha exists to be a conduit between nonprofit needs and public doing good. The best ways, we think, to spur that action is to inspire through telling stories of do-gooder actions and emphasizing that tiny acts of goodness add up to a healthy and engaged community.

Find your fit for volunteering and supporting the causes you care about at SHAREomaha.org mmagazine • THe HeaLTHCaRe iSSUe 2021


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Donna Kush, President and CEO

omaha giving

• omaha Community Foundation

thank you FOR YOUR COURAGE,

STRENGTH, AND generosity

Imagine having a crystal ball last year that would have revealed how 2020 would unfold. We would have thought it was a fictional movie plot—not believing it at all! We didn’t know the themes of change, uncertainty and loss would rise even before the first quarter passed. Our world has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic; everyone has had to reorient family, work and school life; many in our community have lost jobs or housing; some are living under constant financial stress and have no food; others have lost family and friends to COVID-19. Our country has reckoned with racist policies and actions against its own citizens. At OCF, we lost our beloved friend and colleague Kali Baker to cancer last year. We feel all of these losses deeply and our hearts go out to each of you who have felt them, too. But along with the suffering, we are consciously mindful of the goodness and generosity the past year’s events have inspired throughout this community. We all showed up for each other during a difficult time, and it’s allowed us to see the immediate impact of our work. When the pandemic first arrived, the Foundation moved quickly to launch our COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits who are serving thousands of individuals and families most impacted by COVID-19 in our community. To date, over 6,500 community members have given to the Response Fund, helping more than 50 nonprofits throughout this community who provide basic needs support including food, shelter, healthcare and mental health services.

As another response to the pandemic, the Foundation partnered with Douglas County to distribute $28 million in CARES Act funding. We moved swiftly to implement two grant programs for nearly 320 nonprofits who may have otherwise had to cease providing services to the thousands of community residents who benefit from their donna kush work. This community displayed its remarkable capacity to give during the final Omaha Gives, too. In 2020, the giving day had its best-ever year since it began eight years ago, raising $8.5 million during the 24-hour celebration, with a record number of donations and donors who participated. On top of this, our 2,100 Foundation fundholders stepped up their giving substantially. We know that our fundholders granted out 33 percent more grants in 2020 than in 2019, which accounts for a 43 percent increase in the number of dollars going to nonprofits. It is evident that this community knows that we are all in this together and we rose to the challenge that 2020 offered up. We are proud of all the good you’ve contributed to each in your own way. Just months into the new year, we know that many of these challenges will remain with us as we rebuild and recover together. Thank you for meeting this crisis with courage, strength and generosity and continuing this commitment into 2021. To learn more about how you can partner with the Omaha Community Foundation, email giving@omahafoundation.org or call (402) 342-3458.

N New e Priorities. N New e Perspectives. Sa Same Sam Intention. The pandemic has illustrated the value of community in ways we’ve never experienced in our lifetimes. Philanthropic giving goals have shifted for many—and we are here to help navigate this new environment. Please contact us at giving@omahafoundation.org or 402-342-3458 to explore how we can continue to strengthen our collective future, together.

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mary e. VandenaCK Mary Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified and ACE certified.

meditation TO BUILD

emotional intelligence

The pandemic increased the virtual presence of many of my longtime favorites in the areas of meditation, mindfulness and yoga. This virtual presence created a great opportunity for expanded learning and study in these areas.

Another example might be that you sent a loving text to your spouse, who didn’t respond. You keep checking your phone for a response. When there is none, your story could go in a variety of directions. You might go to worry. You might go to thinking your spouse is ignoring you and upset with you for some reason.

In a recent offering of Pema Chodron, the concept presented was that of using meditation to improve emotional intelligence. Chodron’s offerings identify certain emotional reactions that can be the basis for unhealthy life patterns.

The transition from emotion to story to perpetuation of the emotion into something bigger happens quickly. Meditation can help us identify the stories we tell ourselves

Consider anger. There are many things throughout the day that might make us angry. Perhaps we leave our phone at home and have to turn around to get it and start the day late. Maybe we chose to wear a light-colored shirt and spilled some matcha green tea latte on it first thing in the morning.

and learn to understand and manage our emotions in a positive manner. When we do so, our ability to communicate will improve, we will be less stressed, and our relationships will be more positive. There are many ways to meditate. It doesn’t require sitting on a mat. Given the fact

Anger (and other emotions) can pass quickly. We get in trouble with them when we experience an emotion and then begin to tell ourselves a story about them. Stories can work two ways: we can tell stories that support our own negative selfperceptions or we can tell ourselves stories that harm relationships.

that I spend so much time sitting related to my work, I rarely sit and meditate. I prefer walking meditations or other forms of moving meditations. I do love yoga nidras and have loved doing those of Dharma Mittra throughout the pandemic. Just as the foods that are right for one person may not be the same as those for another person, the form of meditation that works for an individual is personal, and may

Let’s say that you arrive at the office with a cup of coffee and promptly spill it on your keyboard and all over your desk, including important notes that you left yourself to help you with the day’s projects. You get upset. Perhaps you utter an expletive. Then, you let the anger start a story: “Why does stuff like this always happen to me? I have so much to do and I am working so hard and now my day is ruined because I have to clean up the mess. Why am I so clumsy that I would spill my coffee? I can be such a loser.” At the end of this, your anger has built and you might continue to carry this into your day and your personal interactions.

change from time to time. Meditation is simply about finding a practice that helps focus the mind. Meditation involves training the mind as to attention and awareness to achieve an emotionally calm state. In an emotionally calm state, I can detach myself from my stories and be aware of how they are affecting me, and begin to rewrite my stories by letting emotions be information rather than instigators of instant stories.

ENVISION YOUR FUTURE: PREVENT DISEASE DISCOVER HEALTH! YOU DESERVE A BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY SMILE!

Dr. Stephanie Vondrak • Dr. Ashley Rainbolt Vondrak Dental (402) 289-2313 info@drvondrak.com

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planning matters

• with Vw law

strategies FOR A POSSIBLE reduced ESTATE TAX exemption Trying to figure out what is going to happen with the federal estate tax exemption is like trying to avoid getting soaked while being without cover during a thunderstorm. The increase in 2017 to $10 million per individual ($20 million for a couple), indexed for inflation, made the estate tax a non-issue for many, at least through 2026. Given the high costs of the pandemic and a change in the dynamics of government, there is concern that the current exemption will be reduced prior to 2026. During 2020, estate planners implemented numerous strategies seeking to preserve the higher exemption without giving away the farm. While a retroactive change is not typical, many commentators are

concerned that 2021 might be the year where a retroactive change reducing the federal estate tax exemption (as well as other tax changes) could occur.

Common approaches to using a federal estate tax exemption include outright gifting (very few people want to give away $20 million even if they mary e. vandenack and michael j. weaver have it to give away), irrevocable trusts with spousal access, gifting of interests in family entities where the founder continues to act as manager, or some combination. For example, Mick and Meri might create a family limited liability company and contribute land in the path of development to the company. Mick and Meri might own voting units and act as managers for the LLC. Mick and Meri then each create an irrevocable grantor trust (with differing provisions to avoid the reciprocal trust doctrine) and contribute non-voting interests in the LLC to their trusts. Assume that land valued at $30 million was contributed to the LLC. When the LLC interests (rather than land) are contributed to the trusts, valuation discounts can be taken because the interests are not easily transferrable and may not have voting rights. This approach achieves a leveraged gift. In designing the trusts, Mick and Meri each provide the other access to the trust during lifetime (lifetime access can be provided in differing ways). Strategies using estate tax exemptions can be utilized in 2021; however, those that are concerned with the possibility of a retroactive change should consider strategies that won’t result in a taxable gift if there is a retroactive change. For example, a gift could be made to marital type trust so that a QTIP (qualified terminable interest property) election could be made with respect to the trust in spring of 2022. Another approach is to make a gift to a trust using a formula that limits the taxable gift to the amount that ultimately applies to it. Another option is to make a gift to a “family trust” that provides that the spouse is the primary beneficiary. The trust would then provide that if the spouse disclaims the spouse’s interest, the disclaimed portion reverts to the donor of the trust. The reality is that as of the date I am writing this, we don’t know what tax law changes will come through Congress; however, given the continuing impact of the pandemic on lives and likely impact on taxes, estate planning, in advance, should be a priority.

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• swartzbaugh-Farber & assoCiates, inC.

your money

impact!

• your dental health

acronym

overload:

jacque’s

FSA AND OTC EXPLAINED

journey mary drueke-collins

MEDICAL INSURANCE

terminology can be confusing. Then the healthcare industry adds in a bunch of acronyms and your confusion can turn to frustration. Medical insurance Consumers may choose to click past these letter-heavy headlines. Employees may put on blinders during open enrollment instead of investigating further. The unfortunate outcome is that individuals may ignore opportunities that would result in savings on healthcare expenses. A quick review of two common terms, FSA and OTC, and the recently updated CARES Act will help you understand your options. Do not leave money on the table at year-end. FSA: Flexible Spending Account What is it? An FSA is a healthcare savings account that allows the employee to deposit a portion of their paycheck tax-free into a savings account to pay for eligible healthcare expenses. A caveat of this offering is that all savings in an FSA must be used by the end of the plan year. Some employers offer a grace period of up to 2.5 months. It is important to understand where the savings—that is, tax-free earnings— come into play. The example below shows the savings associated with paying for a qualified healthcare expense with and without an FSA. Your salary: $50,000 Example expense: $50 copay for a doctor visit Amount you need to earn to pay this expense: • Without an FSA account: $61 (This amount is taxed at a rate of 22 percent per 2020 individual tax bracket.) to get the $50 you need • With an FSA account: $50 (Remember, you put this into your FSA tax free!) Cha-ching! That is $11 more in your pocket if you pay for this expense with your FSA account. OTC: Over-the-Counter What is it? Over-the-counter drugs are generally available for purchase without a prescription. This type of medication is available without the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Since 2011, OTC drugs were deemed FSA-ineligible without a prescription from your doctor. The CARES Act recently repealed the requirement of a prescription retroactively as of January 1, 2020. This means that you can use your FSA funds to purchase items like cold and flu products without requiring a doctor visit. The recent CARES Act update also made feminine-care products FSA eligible. Check with your employer to learn more about the FSA options available to you. Do you have money in your FSA account to use before year-end? Shop online at the FSA Store for eligible purchases.

For more information, please contact your trusted advisor at Swartzbaugh-Farber – ‘Client Centered – Client Advocates™’. Securities and Investment Advisory services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. SwartzbaughFarber and Associates, Inc. is independently owned and operated.

stephanie vondrak d.d.s.

LET’S NOT KIDourselves: 2020 was a year of

loss for many.The profoundness and intensity of missed opportunities, the absence of loved ones, and the lack of normalcy was different for each individual. In my life, the loss was devastating. It was not just a year of disruption or inconvenience but the year I had to say goodbye, forever. October 15, 2020, is the day my mom took her last breath surrounded by loved ones in a world going crazy, feeling too young and capable to believe it was happening. For those unfamiliar with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), it is an unyielding and cruel disease. It attacks all muscle function slowly over time, or not-so-slowly as the average life expectancy is only three to five years from onset of the first sign or symptom. Keep in mind, the first sign is usually a trip or fall, something insignificant and easily overlooked by circumstance. Most are unaware of their fate until a year or years after the first symptom occurs. In other words, ALS is diagnosed by process of elimination. When it can’t be anything else and your body—not your mind—continues to fail, it is ALS. The similarities between my mom and what we as a culture endured in 2020 are staggering. We, as a population, had to sit quietly and watch as our world changed with little to no control. The things once taken for granted like grocery shopping or hugging a friend now seemed strange and distant. And many, myself included, felt increasingly lonely and separated from those around me. Trapped within her own body, unable to speak or walk, I assume my mom felt the same way. As a dentist and people-person by nature, I was naive to how often I touched my patients on the shoulder or held tight to a frightened hand—until I couldn’t. The amount of missed hugs and high-fives after completing an involved treatment plan or removing braces from an excited teen was evident every day. And I most certainly overlooked the power of smiling faces as they walked through the door of my practice. I, for one, hope to never take smiles, handshakes and hugs for granted again. As I reflect on my personal experiences with the pandemic, my role as a healthcare provider, and my mom’s illness, the magnitude of her suffering exponentially outweighs anything I (or likely you) had to endure. So, it is fitting that the guidance of what to do next, of how to live in 2021, of what to gain from the COVID-19 world come from her. Think of your attitude, your resolutions and your plans. Then think of my mom, Jacque. She was an amazing teacher, mother, sister, friend and wife. She was selfless and self-sufficient at the same time. She never complained and she never asked, “Why?” She chose to focus on living and pushed outside her limitations like a Blackshirt linebacker. She was the definition of resilience and unbelievably kind until her last day. And, I believe with all my heart that this unbreakable spirit gave us more time together. As a dentist and business owner, the impact of the pandemic is felt by my team and my patients. Moving forward, my goal is to rebuild trust among both as well as to continue teaching others the value of health-centered choices for improved futures and wellbeing. As a daughter and mother, I strive to find gratitude within uncertainty, living life to its fullest just like my mom. I hope by sharing Jacque’s journey you gain some insight and intention that strength is within all of us. I hope you can draw on your own personal experiences and that you find gratitude and hidden blessings within the rubble that was 2020. Dr. Stephanie Vondrak is board certified by the American Academy of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine to treat patients suffering from sleep apnea with sleep apnea appliances.

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event galleries | charity support

local events! updated event info WHEN YOU SEE THE “BIG RED” LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2020!

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many charitable events continue to be postponed or canceled. Many rescheduled events remain in an ongoing state of flux and readjustment. In the pages that follow we have partnered with participating nonprofits to provide the latest information available.

Please check with all organizations and visit our LOCAL EVENTS webpage at SpiritofOmaha.com for continuously revised updates!

r! e h t e g to s i h t n i ed l l t c a e e n r a n co we u o y 1! g 2 n i 0 2 p e n i e k 53

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6 easy steps TO promote YOUR VIRTUAL & LIVE events ON spiritofomaha.com Learn More…email us: CONNECT@SpiritofOmaha.com

1 2

Go to SpiritofOmaha.com & click on the “Local events” link

Click the “PROMOTE YOUR EVENT” link…

3

Fill out your event basics & hit “SUBMIT”

4

Click the “FREE LISTING” option…*

*(consider revisiting these purchase options which offer numerous valuable resources for hyper-sharing the promotion of your events!)


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2020 Debutantes

Katherine Albers

Madie Beninato

Hannah Berryman Lauren Brownrigg

Alexa Carlson

Paige Christensen

Maggie Coffey

Abby Cota

Grace Crockett

Chloe Degan

Eleanor Dodge

Rachel Doll

Sarah Doll

Addison Dunbar

Camille Duryea

Izzi English

Johanna Epp

Kyra George

Harper Gordman

Lolo Hacker

Rebecca Hansen

Abby Hellman

Noell Hinsley

Sidney Jacobs

Taylor Johns

Lauren Krecek

Bridget Langenfeld

Katie Lewis

Claire Lyons

Lauren Maciejewski

Meredith Matz

Lauren Mayo

Sarah Montague

Clara Neary

Daisy Owen

Libby Pallesen

Maggie Pallesen

Bella Pantano

Kiley Root

Olivia Ryan

Rebekah Strohmyer

Grace Thaden

Caitlyn Thomas

Lauren Zadalis

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2020 Stags

Drew Boler

JJ Boulay

Alex Eischeid

Seth Forsberg

Jack Hanley

Ian Johnson

Will Cohen

Cole Gilliland

Henry Crocker

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Ben deMayo

Alex Goldstein

Preston Greiner

Adam Haughawout

Raymond Hasebroock

Jackson Jenkins

Joey Kirshenbaum

Liam Kizer

Joshua Kramer

Parker FeFebvre

Johnathan Patterson

Evan Maydew

Alex Payne

Grant Goding

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David Moreano

Sam Peterson

Christopher Nubel

Nick Pritza

Spencer Schneiderman

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event galleries

Photos courtesy OneWorld Community Health Centers

VIRTUALLY

Miraculous OneWorld Community Health Centers Virtual Milagro & Silent Auction When: November 5, 2020 Where: Virtual CAPTIONS

CAPTIONS

Why: This annual celebration honors extraordinary members of the healthcare community who have touched the lives of our patients with their kindness and compassion. This year marks OneWorld's 50th anniversary of providing top-quality, affordable health care. With support from individuals and organizations who donate their time and funds, we are able to create MILAGROS ("miracles" in Spanish) for our patients and ultimately build a healthier community for everyone. Special Guests: World-renowned sand artist Joe Castillo Attendance: 190 Amount Raised: over $130,000

CAPTIONS

CAPTIONS

Mission: OneWorld, in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. For more information: (402) 734-4110

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Photos courtesy The Durham Museum

SENTIMENTAL

Virtues

The Durham Museum Sentimental Journey: Reimagined

“OFFICIAL SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY PRESERVATION KITS”

Regrettably, The Durham Museum was not able to host our in-person Sentimental Journey gala this year. However, we are incredibly grateful to the John K. and Lynne D. Boyer Family Foundation, who pledged to match contributions from the community to help sustain the museum’s momentum. This led to the highestgrossing Sentimental Journey in museum history.

THE STAR OF THE SHOW WAS KERMIT THE FROG, WHO PERFORMED HIS CLASSIC TUNE “RAINBOW CONNECTION”

When: November 20, 2020 Where: The Durham Museum (virtual event) Why: This annual gala provides much-needed support to The Durham's educational programs and first-class exhibitions. Special Guests: Kermit the Frog and Camille Metoyer Moten Multimedia/Rentals by: CTI Attendance: 104 Amount Raised: $405,000 For more information: (402) 444-5071 THE VIRTUAL PROGRAM CONCLUDED WITH THE LIGHTING OF THE DURHAM’S CHRISTMAS TREE

CAMILLE METOYER MOTEN PERFORMS “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS”

Make your event a delicious success. Leave all the event planning details to us so you can enjoy spending time with your guests. · Premiere space for up to 500 · Central location with free parking · Exceptional catering that will impress · Professional, experienced sta · In-house audio/visual services audi

Your details are our specialty.

6450 Pine Street 402.778.6313 scottcenter.com

New Look, New Facilities, Same Great Service

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event galleries

Photos courtesy Outlook enrichment

Outlook Enrichment

Recreational/cultural events

OFFERS EXPANDED SERVICES FOR NEIGHBORS WITH VISION LOSS

Inclusive virtual events and activities for teens and adults help combat social isolation, a major cause of depression and anxiety for people with vision loss. Youth and adults can choose from a variety of virtual events. These events include audio-described movies, audio book clubs, board games and crafting events. Peer support groups

CAPTIONS

CAPTIONS Living with vision loss can be overwhelming without support. One way to stop feeling alone is to talk to others who have similar situations. Led by a trained facilitator, Outlook’s ongoing peer support groups give active adults with vision loss opportunities to share experiences and address challenges they face.

More than 15,000 people

in the Omaha metro are affected by vision loss, which is on the rise. Outlook Enrichment helps people with vision loss live life independently, confidently engage in their communities, and continue to do the things they love. The organization has expanded its program and service reach through virtual offerings. From working or learning remotely to maintaining social connection, accessibility needs became more important during the pandemic. Outlook Enrichment adapted many of its in-person programs and services to provide them in a virtual format to increase access to essential goods and services for people with vision loss, including:

Educational seminars Online events each month provide a format for discussion and sharing of best practices, tips and tools creating greater accessibility and inclusiveness for everyday living. Each seminar focuses on a specific topic, such as kitchen accessibility aides, home safety tips and seasonal community resources.

Adaptive technology training program Living with the uncertainty of COVID-19 requires flexibility and adaptability. Both are strengths of those who live with vision conditions, especially with access to the proper tools and training.

The training program helps people with vision loss learn how to use smartphones, apps and magnification technology to maintain their employment, facilitate remote learning and stay connected to their loved ones. Outlook Enrichment’s technology trainers work one on one with clients to discuss their goals and develop a training program tailored to CAPTIONS their needs on an ongoing basis.

Outlook needs your help to continue assisting our neighbors living with vision loss. CAPTIONS Please consider supporting Outlook Enrichment financially at outlooken.org/donate.

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metroMAGAZINE: The HEALTHCARE Issue 2021