Children’s Abusive Head Trauma Education Project Receives Certification

Melissa Coffin, RN, Child Advocacy Team, led the implementation of a new organization-wide effort to increase the frequency of abusive head trauma education for parents with children under age 2. 

Prior to this new update, parents received education twice — once at birth and again during their child’s first well-check visit. Thanks to Melissa’s efforts, Children’s is increasing the frequency of abusive head trauma education across the continuum of care, including toddlers. This program expansion will not only increase bilingual education but can also save lives.

This voluntary policy change was implemented across Children’s health system, including for Children’s inpatient, outpatient, specialty, primary and urgent care, including our home health and private duty nursing teams.

On June 16, Jackie Moline from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services presented an award naming both our Foster Care Clinic and our hospital as champions in this effort. Congratulations to Melissa and the entire Children’s team!

Shadows and Non-Academic Observations to Resume in October

Children’s will allow student shadows/non-academic observations (shadows) to resume onsite beginning in October 2021. The Office of Education will begin accepting online requests for fall placements starting on July 19. As a reminder, the Office of Education will schedule these requests in collaboration with your staff, and will onboard these learners in accordance with proper policies and procedures before the student arrives onsite. Shadow requests may be made for the hospital, Specialty Pediatric Clinic and Children’s Physicians offices, although some restrictions may still apply and will be reviewed.

Shadow experiences are typically four-hour maximum with no EMR, computer access or direct patient contact. The shadows must be fully escorted and will be provided a shadow badge for identification purposes. Students under age 19 are not eligible to shadow. High school students 16 to 19 years of age are encouraged to utilize the Day in the Life program, which will resume in Spring 2022 with a new format. Please direct all questions about academics or observations to Children’s Office of Education at

Technically Speaking: How Can We Reach You During Voalte Downtime?

Two weeks ago, we talked about our upcoming transition to 10-digit dialing within the organization. Our cutovers are now just around the corner, and you may have to take action to prevent being unreachable!

Voalte will be down for about two hours on June 22 between 9 and 11 p.m. During this time, if you are responsible for hospitalized patients or on call for your specialty, the Communication Center must have an alternative way to contact you in the event you are needed by clinical staff or another provider. This can be your pager (if you still have one) or your mobile phone. You can share that contact method with the Communication Center directly, have your Lightning Bolt administrator enter it, or send it to me—I’ll make sure it gets to the right place.

Following this transition, all Voalte extensions will only be reachable by dialing all 10 digits of the phone number. The numbers themselves will not change. Landline phones will transition to 10-digit dialing on June 29.

As always, if you have questions about this or any other IT project, please reach out and let me know. 

Stephen Dolter, M.D., CMIO

2021 Heartland Pride Festival Deadline Approaching

The Heartland Pride event is happening in 2021, and Children’s is a title sponsor. Children’s PRIDE Employee Resource Group (ERG) welcomes all staff members and their families to join us in celebrating 2021’s Heartland Pride. The festivities will include the Heartland Pride Parade, which will take place on Saturday, July 10, at 10 a.m. in the Old Market. The parade will be followed by the Heartland Pride Festival at Baxter Arena from noon to 4 p.m.

Read more about the events

All are welcome to come celebrate at the parade, the festival or both. As encouragement for participation, T-shirts are being offered to Children’s staff who will be walking in the parade or assisting with the festival as part of the Children’s family. Please follow this link to order a T-shirt for each person in your group by 11 a.m. on June 21. The PRIDE ERG will communicate further details to interested parties after T-shirt orders are complete. Registered marchers will be given a meet-up time and location as those details are finalized. T-shirts will be distributed the week of July 5.

Contact the ERG email at if you have any questions. For supporters who are unable to attend PRIDE, please watch for T-shirts in our gift shop in the future.

OneTeam Giving: One Week Left to Give

One week remains in Children’s Share the Love OneTeam Giving campaign. Please have your pledges and gifts submitted no later than Friday, June 25, to ensure your department receives its duck for the Great Duck Race.

So far, more than $170,745 has been raised to benefit the children and families we serve and provide needed support for our team members! To participate, open your giving reminder email from and follow the instructions to make a gift.

Why do you support OneTeam Giving?
Our leaders share their reasons why they give to Children’s. Please listen to this message from Beth Greiner, executive director, Children’s Foundation

This week’s Share the Love Winners: Radiology and Child Life
You’re invited to Share the Love with your colleagues in other departments. Show your appreciation by nominating another department with a short explanation of how you are grateful for what they do. Both departments will be entered into a weekly drawing. If chosen, both departments will receive Share the Love treats or prizes, and the nomination summary will be shared on MyChildren’s and in The Pulse. Join the fun and submit your Share the Love nomination to

Emily Perlberg, Child Life specialist, has nominated Radiology. These departments will receive Share the Love treats or prizes. Below is Emily’s nomination:

The staff in Radiology exemplify the mission and values of Children’s every day with their care and support of patients and families. The exams they perform can be scary, invasive and very difficult for patients. Every staff member shows love, patience, kindness and encouragement to every patient and family member that enters the department. They work together with each modality within the department to create a cohesive and safe environment for not only the patients and families but the staff members as well. I am so proud to be the Child Life Specialist with this department and am confident in the work they do every day for the patients we see here at Children’s.

The OneTeam Giving campaign will wrap up with the virtual Great Duck Race in the hospital “river” on July 8. Each department with 100% participation will receive a duck to race down the river. You do not need to make a pledge for your department to receive its duck, but you do need to complete the form through the OneTeam Giving platform.

Click here to see a list of each department with 100% participation that has qualified to participate in the Great Duck Race.

CHRI Hosts Pediatric Brain Tumor Scholar

As part of the monthly Child Health Research Institute (CHRI) seminar series, special guest speaker, Robert Wechsler-Reya, Ph.D., from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, California, will be delivering his presentation, “Less Heat, More Light: Discovering Smarter Therapies for Pediatric Brain Tumors” on Friday, June 18, from noon to 1 p.m. Dr. Wechsler-Reya is the director and professor of the Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program. His research focuses on the signals that control growth and differentiation in the cerebellum, and how these signals are dysregulated in the brain tumor medulloblastoma. His lab has begun developing new models of medulloblastoma and are using them to test novel therapeutic approaches. Dr. Wechsler-Reya’s participation as a speaker is supported by CHRI’s Pediatric Cancer Research Group.

The meeting will be held virtually through Zoom. (Meeting ID: 972 6476 1673, passcode: 242105).

Join Zoom Meeting

Children’s Named One of Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report

Children’s has once again been ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals in 2021, recognized in four pediatric specialties: Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery and Urology. Children’s is the only health care system in the region and in the state to receive this honor for pediatric specialty care.

This is great news for our patients, families and region; it means we’re delivering excellent, high-quality care that is among the best in the country,” says Chanda Chacón, Children’s President & CEO. “This elite recognition also affirms the expertise and excellence of our teams. We will continue to raise the bar on pediatric care, advocacy, research and education in our region; our children and families deserve our very best.”

The annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 15th year, are designed to assist patients, their families and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions. For 2021-22, U. S. News ranked the top 50 centers in 10 pediatric specialties. Debuting this year, the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings featured expanded offerings that include state rankings and multi-state regional rankings.

“When choosing a hospital for a sick child, many parents want specialized expertise, convenience and caring medical professionals,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News.  “The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings have always highlighted hospitals that excel in specialized care. As the pandemic continues to affect travel, finding high-quality care close to home has never been more important.”

The Best Children’s Hospitals methodology factors objective measures such as patient outcomes, including mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices. To calculate the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings, U.S. News gathered relevant data from children’s hospitals in early 2020 and from pediatric physicians and other health care organizations in 2021; because of the pandemic, data collection from children’s hospitals was not repeated in 2021.

For more information, visit Best Children’s Hospitals and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.

General Surgery Transition

It is mission-critical for a children’s hospital to have a dedicated general surgery program, offering the full spectrum of surgical care and defined, guaranteed call coverage. Children’s has been fortunate to have a strong general surgery program for decades.

Most recently, surgical care and coverage has been provided by contract with Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH). On Feb. 1, 2021, BTNRH gave notice to cancel this contract, effective Aug. 1. This left Children’s with a need to secure consistent coverage to continue to fulfill its mission and best serve patients and families.

Starting Aug. 1, 2021, the Children’s Specialty Physicians team of Dr. Abdalla Zarroug, Dr. Angela Hanna and a third surgeon expected to join in August will take call and consult responsibilities at Children’s. Recruitment continues, with plans to employ five surgeons by the end of 2021. Dr. Zarroug who formerly practiced at Mayo Clinic and most recently at Sidra Medicine, and Dr. Hanna, who comes to us from Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, perform the full spectrum of pediatric surgical care. There are no clinical gaps as we transition coverage to the CSP team.

As of Aug. 1, Dr. Angela Hanna, who is also board-certified in Surgical Critical Care, will serve as medical director for Trauma, surgical director for ECMO and surgical director for the PICU. Dr. Zarroug will become surgical director of the Fetal Care Center as the only fetal surgical fellowship-trained physician in the region.

The BTNRH pediatric general surgeons will remain valued members of the medical staff.

Physicians and providers may consult with and refer to pediatric general surgeons at their discretion, based on their patient’s needs. The on-call schedule will remain listed on Lightening Bolt after Aug. 1. Dr. Zarroug and Dr. Hanna are currently available for non-call consultations by submitting a request through Epic or faxing your request to 402.955.6445. This fax line goes into effect on Tuesday, June 15. Click here to access the referral request form.

Click here to read the FAQ document with facts and answers during this time of transition. We welcome your questions and look forward to sharing ongoing facts and updates about the program, its expert team and exciting vision for the future. Please contact Dr. Zarroug with any questions or feedback via email at

Health Care Providers: Take Care of Yourselves

When the pandemic hit, our communities faced economic hardships, drastic changes in social interaction and a global health crisis unlike the world has seen in over a century that impacted the physical and mental well-being of millions of people. Medical professionals faced unique and unimaginable circumstances on top of the everyday pressures and rising levels of burnout.

Take a pause; take care of yourself. Please remember that in order to take care of others, we must take care of ourselves first.

“As members of the medical staff at Children’s, we have the opportunity to provide care for the children in our community and our region. We have all experienced the professional satisfaction this brings,” said Ryan Sewell, M.D., J.D., Pediatric Otolaryngology. “Unfortunately, this profession also carries significant amounts of stress, which can become burdensome. Some studies indicate greater than 50 percent of physicians experience burnout. Burnout can manifest itself in many ways, including decreased job satisfaction, depression and even suicide. The pandemic has increased the stress we all feel. We need to acknowledge this and do all we can for ourselves and our colleagues to address burnout. Provide a smile or encouraging word if you can.”

See the flier for more information and resources.

Rebecca Ohlinger to Serve as Interviewer for Virtual Care Seminar in July

Rebecca Ohlinger, manager, Children’s Virtual Care, will serve as an interviewer in three panelist sessions at the C-Vision Virtual Health Summit on July 15. She will ask questions or interject thoughts key to the content being discussed as they relate to the pediatric health care virtual care landscape. C-Vision International is a global event and advisory firm dedicated to convening leading visionaries in an exclusive environment for peer-to-peer collaboration. 

Read about the summit

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