Archive for December, 2017

Strength in Mothers and Numbers

After welcoming a new baby, Jackie Holscher of Ankeny, Iowa, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May.

Ashli Brehm (left), breast cancer survivor, put out the call to support Jackie Holscher, who could not breastfeed her child because of her cancer treatment. The response was overhwhelming.

The mother of three met with a medical team in Des Moines, Iowa, but was unsatisfied with the care she received. A family friend suggested she make an appointment with Elizabeth Reed, MD, a medical oncologist at Nebraska Medicine.

“On the phone, they explained their One Day, One Plan approach – and got me in right away,” says Holscher.

In one day, as part of the Nebraska Medicine Cancer Network, breast cancer patients meet with an entire team of breast cancer specialists in medical, surgical and radiation oncology. By day’s end, patients have a plan in place.

“Each doctor took a full hour with me. I walked out of there feeling so amazing. They found a plan for me as Jackie – not as a cancer patient,” says Holscher. “I told my husband the drive from Ankeny to Omaha is worth it if I have people who have my back.”

Holscher underwent six rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a double mastectomy – which meant, she could no longer breastfeed her daughter. That’s when Ashli Brehm, another Nebraska Medicine breast cancer survivor, stepped in with an idea.

Through her Facebook page Baby on the Brehm, which has nearly 8,000 followers, Brehm posted Holscher’s story – and asked for 6,500 ounces of breast milk donations. The response was overwhelming. Brehm received messages from mothers all over the country – including Nebraska, Kansas, Florida and even Canada.

“I just cried,” says Brehm. “I watch too many women go through this and the things they lose, so being able to give something and say, ‘No cancer, you don’t get to do this. You don’t get to control this,’ I think that’s really so therapeutic, selfishly for me.”

To date, Brehm has received offers for nearly 20,000 ounces of breast milk. Most of the milk is being stored in freezers at Nebraska Medicine and Brehm’s house. Holscher picks up a new batch when she drives to Omaha for infusion treatments every few weeks. Recently, Holscher’s medical team told her she’s cancer-free.

“I breathed for the first time in six months,” says Holscher. “It’s rare to find a group of doctors who work together for you. This is where I need to be. I’m so thankful for everyone’s support along the way.”

Watch more in this KETV news story.


To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Nebraska Medicine, call +1-402-559-3090 or OIHS@nebraskamed.com.

Melanie Stewart Named One of ’40 Under 40’

Melanie Stewart, campus sustainability manager, was recently named 40 Under 40 by Midlands Business Journal.

Melanie Stewart, sustainability manager for Nebraska Medicine and UNMC, has been chosen as one of the 2017 recipients of the Midlands Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40 Award.

The award honors 40 Greater Omaha, Council Bluffs and Sarpy County entrepreneurs, executives or professional men and women under the age of 40. Recipients will be recognized during a Thursday, Dec. 15, breakfast.

Although she says she was pleased to be recognized, Stewart — who was named the medical center’s first sustainability manager in 2014 — stresses the award was for achievements the entire campus has worked on.

“It was an honor to be nominated,” she says. “It’s nice to know people notice the work we’re doing and the effect it has on health and our community. Still, it is important to note that while we’ve done some impressive things, it’s definitely a campus effort — the energy we’ve saved has every bit as much to do with facilities and the energy group — and the people who turn off lights — as it does with me.

“The LiveGreen Ambassadors have done a lot of work to get the word out to campus and in turn lots of people help achieve these goals by recycling, carpooling, conserving water and shutting hood sashes, just to name a few.”

Stewart, who has been with the medical center since 2000, points to the medical center’s embrace of the Sustainability Master Plan, written in 2011, as integral to the success of sustainability efforts.

“We hit a lot of milestones by 2015, with a 25 percent reduction in energy use, a 22 percent reduction in water use, so those are fantastic achievements.”

She says metrics show that other goals within the master plan, such as use of active transportation with TravelSmart, continue to move within reach.

Stewart adds the medical center provides a work climate that fosters the growth of young leaders.

“If you are going to lead the world, you have to have leaders on campus, and you have to have new ideas, new ways of thinking, to solve new problems. I think anybody who is looking to be a leader can do that here.”

The Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 issue, featuring Stewart and other Omaha-area business leaders, will be released on Dec. 15.


To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Nebraska Medicine or for more information, call +1-402-559-3090 or OIHS@nebraskamed.com.

Nebraska Medicine Website Earns National Recognition

computer-monitor-blank-mdThe NebraskaMed.com website has undergone some major changes in the past year in its appearance and functionality, and people are taking notice.

The website recently earned a Silver for Best Overall Internet Site category at the 2017 eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

“We’re happy to be recognized in this category after all the work that went into the web redesign by so many people,” says Jason Bash, Digital Services manager. “As we said at site launch, that was just a point in the journey, not a destination. We’ve made great progress since then and will continue to make improvements to build upon this foundation.”

There were around 1,000 entries with Nebraska Medicine being recognized among some other highly-regarded peers, as you can see below.


Cleveland Clinic

Mayo Clinic Health System

Mayo Clinic


Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

UCLA Health


Nebraska Medicine

Butler Health System

Henry Ford Health System

Duke Health

“I am very proud of how the team came together to create a nationally-recognized customer experience that is on par with and beyond other renowned brands,” says  Frank Lococo, Corporate Marketing and Communications vice president. “Especially as consumerism grows in health care, we are well positioned to connect with individuals where they are looking for information so they can make more informed decisions.”

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Nebraska Medicine, call +1-402-559-3090 or OIHS@nebraskamed.com.

Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Takes National Stage


Ken Cowan, MD, PhD, director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, left, escorts Jane Pauley of “CBS Sunday Morning.”

CBS will air a segment on the Healing Arts program at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center on its CBS Sunday Morning news magazine program on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Locally, the show runs from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on KMTV (Ch. 3). The air date is tentative, as breaking news may cause producers to hold the segment. Following its airing, the segment will be available on the CBS Sunday Morning website.

The Healing Arts program is highlighted by the Chihuly Sanctuary – the most comprehensive health care environment structure ever created by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Other art features include:

  • An 82-foot tall “Search” Tower designed by Jun Kaneko of Omaha and located at the front entrance of the cancer center
  • Leslie’s Healing Garden, an all-season garden where families can spend time and enjoy flowers, pine trees and heated walkways
  • Artwork from more than 15 other artists is displayed around the building, including therapeutic art and music programs, diverse art collections and rotating art exhibits

“Research has proven that healing takes more than just medicine,” says Ken Cowan, MD, PhD, director of the cancer center. “The Healing Arts can provide patients a holistic view of medicine by creating a supportive and comforting environment. This can result in major dividends by helping to reduce the pain perception, anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression that can accompany cancer.”

In addition to letting the CBS crew tour the Healing Arts in the cancer center, Dr. Cowan showed how research and patient care have been integrated through knowledge transfer zones, which enable cancer researchers and clinicians to easily come together and discuss their findings and look for ways to work together.

The CBS Sunday Morning team, including host Jane Pauley, visited the cancer center Nov. 1 and 2, interviewing Warren Buffett and Pamela Buffett, who used to babysit for Warren’s children. The CBS team filmed throughout the cancer center.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Nebraska Medicine, call +1-402-559-3090 or OIHS@nebraskamed.com.