Nebraska Health Network names new CEO

by Katie Hansen, Nebraska Medicine | March 05, 2015

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Lee Handke
The Nebraska Health Network (NHN) announced Wednesday that Lee Handke, Pharm.D., will serve as its new chief executive officer.

A 1999 graduate of the UNMC College of Pharmacy, Dr. Handke comes to the NHN after a tenure at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, including his most recent role as senior vice president of providers and products, where he oversaw provider networks, pharmacy, medical management and product development functions.

"I am very excited and honored to be selected to lead the Nebraska Health Network," Dr. Handke said. "This collaborative partnership between Methodist Health System and Nebraska Medicine is certainly unique, and they have done great work together the past five years. As health care continues to evolve, we acknowledge there is much work still to do. To be able to lead this organization and change the way we care for our community is a challenge I welcome."

Dr. Handke's role with Blue Cross Blue Shield will serve him well in his new capacity with NHN, as he will be responsible for growing the business by creating new partnerships with insurers, employers and brokers to increase the number of lives for which the NHN is medically and financially responsible.

"We are a physician-led organization and have been operating the past several years under the guidance of the NHN board," said Mike Romano, M.D., chairman of the NHN board. "We felt the organization had reached a point where a CEO was needed to take us where we want to go. To have someone with Lee's health care expertise and knowledge of the Omaha market puts NHN in a position to truly change the health care industry in our community."

Dr. Romano said that having a CEO with Dr. Handke's background will allow the organization to reach its growth potential within the Omaha market by leveraging his unique knowledge of the financial side of health care and reimbursement structures.

Dr. Handke is expected to begin serving in his role as chief executive officer starting on March 30. He anticipates spending time meeting with various physicians and administrators as he adjusts to his new position.

"I look forward to working with our physician leaders in the future and finding ways to deliver high quality care in a sustainable, cost efficient manner," Dr. Handke said.

James Rybacki, Pharm.D.
April 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Excellent to see a Pharm.D. in this position and potential optimization of medication use outcomes.