University of Nebraska Medical Center


The Department of Anesthesiology became an independent department in 1971 following nine years as a division within the Department of Surgery (1972-1971). 


The Division of Anesthesiology within UNMC’s Department of Surgery consists of one faculty physician, John Jones, MD, two CRNAs and the department’s first resident in the two year program, Gail Walling Yanney, MD.


Research and clinical activities on Malignant Hyperthermia begin. UNMC recognized as one of three muscle biopsy testing centers.

1971 - Anesthesiology becomes a standalone department within the UNMC College of Medicine. John Jones, MD, appointed as department chair.

1978 - Anesthesiology faculty lead university-wide certification efforts for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

1979 - Barbara J. Hurlbert, MD, appointed by the American Board of Anesthesiology as department’s first oral board examiner until the late 1980’s.


Faculty growth continues. The residency program enrolls ten residents per year.

1985 - UNMC’s liver transplant program begins. Anesthesiology leaders play integral role in implementation and training processes. The program becomes one of the top transplant programs in the country.


1996 - The chronic pain medicine fellowship is established as the first fellowship in the department.

1997 - Merger between University Hospital and Clarkson Hospital expands clinical volume and joins the two workforces. CRNAs return to the department.

John H. Tinker, MD, is appointed department chair.


2001 - Childrens Hospital & Medical Center completes relocation to a state-of-the-art facility at 8200 Dodge Street.

2002-2003 - Department Chair John H. Tinker, MD, begins expanding cardiac anesthesiology coverage.

2005 - The Nebraska biocontainment unit opens in University Tower. Critical Care anesthesiologists recruited to provide patient care.

2007 - Cardiac anesthesiologists begin formal training in trasesophageal echocardiography at the University of Utah.

2008 - Department launces National Echocardiography Training Program, which trains physicians from all over the country through its on-site course.

2009 - Anesthesiologists from Children’s Hospital & Medical Center fully integrate with the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology.


2010 - Residents and faculty present at the Midwest Anesthesia Resident Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2012 - Department consists of 33 faculty, 21 CRNAs, 1 research faculty, and 12 residents per CA1, CA2, and CA3 class. The categorical residency program is created and adds the clinical base year. Between 2012 and 2014 CBY class size grown from four residents to 12.

Steven J. Lisco, MD, is appointed department chair of anesthesiology. The department expands as an academic unit.

2013 - Walker Thomas, MHPTT, RDCS, recruited as the department’s first sonographer.
The perioperative echocardiography consult service is established, leading to the development of Echo Boot Camp.

Adult Cardiothoracic and Pediatric Anesthesiology fellowships are established.
Pediatric Anesthesiology is established as the department’s first division.
Pain Medicine is established as a division.

2014 - The Acute Pain Service is established.
The Critical Care Fellowship is established.

The Cardiac Anesthesiology and Critical Care Divisions are established at Nebraska Medicine’s Biocontainment Unit for Ebola virus treatment.

Department expands research endeavors, recruiting faculty research scientists and clinical research nurses.

2015 - The first echocardiography CME course is held in Naples, Florida. The course attracts clinicians from across the country.

The Chronic Pain Fellowship is reinitiated and recertified.

Department awards Margaret R. Larson Professorship in Anesthesiology as first endowment to Andrew Patterson, MD, PhD.

2016 - The Critical Care Anesthesiology service is established and rapidly grows, expanding to multiple teams and 24/7 coverage the following year.

Global Health program embarks on first surgical mission trip to Gitwe, Rwanda, leading to yearly growth in patient care, education and research.

Megan Chacon, MD, appointed as Director of Global Health.

2017 - The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Opens.

Critical Care anesthesiology expands to three-team model with 24/7/365 coverage.

Four department members join the Xtreme Everest research expedition to study hypoxia in high-altitude environments.

The perioperative echocardiography fellowship is established.

Digitization of trainee curriculum begins with recruitment of instructional designer Faye Haggar, EdD. Curriculum is enhanced with clinical and exam-based simulation technology.

2018 - The Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship is established.

2019 - Tim Glidden, director of nurse anesthesia, awarded the first APRN/PA Excellence Award by Nebraska Medicine.

The Multispecialty Division is established.

2020 to present

2020 - Amy Duhachek-Stapelman, MD, named UNMC 2019-2020 Varner Educator Laureate.

Regional Anesthesiology & Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship is established.

COVID-19 patients from the Diamond Princess cruise ship arrive at the Nebraska Medicine Biocontainment Unit for treatment. Critical Care division faculty are recruited to monitor patients.

Multiple department emembers lead response to the COVID-19 pandemic, guiding local and global communities in health safety and mental wellbeing.

The Liver Transplant Fellowship is established.

2021 - Seven new endowments have been awarded for a total of eight endowed appointments within the department. We are grateful for these generous donations that benefit department missions of research, faculty development, diversity, equity and inclusion and more.