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UNMC hosts luncheon for departing legislators

From left, Senators Steve Lathrop, John McCollister, Matt Williams, Mark Kolterman and Patty Pansing Brooks, with Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, at center

From left, Senators Steve Lathrop, John McCollister, Matt Williams, Mark Kolterman and Patty Pansing Brooks, with Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, at center

A luncheon was held on Nov. 17 in the Wigton Heritage Center to thank departing Nebraska state senators for their service to the state and their support of UNMC and the entire University of Nebraska System.

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, addressed the group of six senators, thanking them for what they’ve done in their elected roles. He listed several projects that would not have been possible without the legislature’s support including:

  • The Davis Global Center’s iEXCEL program;
  • The new dental college;
  • UNeTech; and
  • The UNMC/University of Nebraska at Kearney Health Science Education Complex.

“This is a unique class, and we thank you for your friendships and your caring for the people of Nebraska,” he said.

The luncheon also included remarks from Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for external relations, and Heath Mello, University of Nebraska System vice president for external relations.

Sen. Matt Williams served District 36 and recalled working closely with UNMC during his time at the legislature.

“There are many programs that we collaborated on, and things did not become partisan, and they shouldn’t,” he said. “The issues we’re talking about are people’s health, and it’s all about the people.”

Sen. Mark Kolterman of District 24 said he experienced working with UNMC and Nebraska Medicine not only professionally, but personally as well. He spoke of the care his late wife received when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“They took great care of her for 18 months,” he said. “The service and patient care that we got were incredible.”

Sen. Kolterman added: “It’s a good relationship when you really believe in something. This place is good for the whole state.”

Dr. Gold concluded the luncheon by awarding each senator a plaque from the university in appreciation of their work and partnership.

“The job is not over,” Dr. Gold said. “Don’t erase any phone numbers. Your experience will be invaluable to the next legislative class.”